Friday, October 26, 2012

Spice Cake with Raisins

I have collected books from Odhams Publishing for years, mostly the knitting and dressmaking books, but I also have this huge book called Cookery Illustrated and Household Management. The book has an enormous amount of recipes, and there is one I have wanted to try out for a long time; Spiced Raisin Cake. When I lived in Dublin I used to get these snacks called Nutrigrains, which basically was a small square of spiced raisin cake, and I have missed them terribly since moving back to Norway. They are so handy, you can just pop a few in your handbag, and have an easy fix for those pesky low blood sugar incidents. When I saw this recipe I thought that this seemed like it could be a close match. It's actually not. I think the Nutrigrains have oats in them, whereas this is a traditional spice cake. But it was delicious, albeit a little too sweet for my liking. Next time I will halve the sugar and syrup. I would not recommend adding more spices, as the cake has a very pleasant aromatic taste as it is.

3/4 cup of sour milk (I used buttermilk)
1 lb. flour
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup syrup or treacle (I used dark syrup)
3/4 cup of margarine or butter (I used margarine)
2 cups of chopped raisins
1/2 ts of ground cloves
1/2 ts salt
2 ts ground cinnamon
1/2 ts of ground mace (I used nutmeg)
1 ts of baking soda

Beat the butter or margarine until creamy. Stir in the sugar and the syrup or treacle. Beat well, then add the beaten eggs, and when well mixed, stir in the sour milk in which the soda has been dissolved. Add the chopped raisins to the flour sifted with the salt and spices, and then mix all the ingredients together. Turn the mixture into a shallow, buttered baking tin, and bake in a moderate oven (160 degrees celcius in a fan oven, 180 in a traditional oven) for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, stand for a minute or two, then turn out and cool on a cake rack. Serve cut into squares.

Edited for update October 31st:

This cake tastes best the day after it was made, somehow the tastes seem to refine, and it no longer tastes too sweet. So, perfect as it is on day two :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Humerus Fracture

The recent long silence is due to a broken humerus. I broke my arm first week of August after a nasty fall, and although it most certainly has been a learning experience it has mostly been of a "ouch that hurts" nature, and of limited interest to others, I think.

I am now quite a lot better, the arm has started healing properly (as I understand it a healing time of 15 weeks is not uncommon), and I am now able to knit a little and do a bit of cooking, which I enjoy. I am thinking of testing a cake recipe this weekend, an English spiced cake, should be yummy.

I have started knitting this jacket here:
I found this picture online and decided to try recreating the pattern. If anyone wants to follow the attempt you can check the progress on Ravelry. If the jacket turns out OK I'll post the pattern here.