CRANBERRY AND MARZIPAN CAKE
115 g cranberries (thawed if frozen - I used dried) I think this would be FAB with Raspberries!
100 g unsalted butter, softened (I used Stork marg)
65 g caster sugar
200 g marzipan
3 medium free range eggs, at room temperature
120 g ground almonds
120 g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
25 g flaked almonds
icing sugar, for dusting
Heat your oven to 180 deg C/350 deg. F/Gas 4 (slightly less if a fan oven). Chop the cranberries fairly coarsely in a food processor or by hand and set aside till needed.
Put the soft butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat with a hand-held electric mixer until light and creamy (I just used my ordinary mixer). Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Crumble or cut the marzipan into small pieces and add to the bowl. Beat thoroughly until very smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides from time to time.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a fork until broken up, then gradually add to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as before. Gently stir in the ground almonds with a large metal spoon.
Sift the flower and baking powder into the bowl and fold in with the metal spoon. As soon as all the flour has been incorporated, carefully fold in the cranberries, but avoid over-mixing at this point - stop as soon as the cranberries look evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Scrape the mixture into a pre-prepared (greased and lined 20.5 cm round springclip tin - though I used a springless cake tin) and spread evenly. Scatter the flaked almonds over the top. Place in the heated oven and bake for 40 - 45 minutes until risen and golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Set the tin on a wire rack. Run a round bladed knife round the cake to loosen it from the then, then carefully unclip the tin side and leave the cake to cool completely. (I didn't, and just tipped it out unceremoniously onto my cake rack and took off the used greaseproof.) Once cold, wrap in greaseproof paper or foil and store in an airtight container overnight. Dust with icing sugar before serving. This is SCRUMMY! One for the family cookbook of favourite recipes to use again.
With thanks to Sara Paston-Williams, who compiled the National Trust Book of the Country Kitchen Storecupboard, from whence the following recipe is taken:
"GRANNY SNEYD'S HEDGEPICK JAM"
2 lbs (900 g) Crab Apples, or any apples
2 lb (900 g) Blackberries
1 lb (450 g) Elderberries
1 lb (450 g) Sloes
1 lb (450 g) sugar to each 1 pt (500 ml) fruit pulp
(You can use any mixture of these fruits, but it's not a good idea to have a large proportion of Sloes!)
Peel, core and chop apples. Cook in a little water until soft. Beat to a pulp. Wash other fruit, removing any stalks from elderberries and sloes and cook in a little water until soft. Remove from the heat and push through a sieve. Mix with apple pulp and measure the quantity of pulp together,. Place in a large pan and stir in 1 lb (450 g) sugar for each 1 pt (500 ml) fruit pulp. Heat very gently until sugar has completely dissolved. Then increase heat and boil rapidly until setting point is reached. Pour into warm jars and cover.
Meanwhile, I haven't been able to rest as much as I should have done today either, as we had to get the grocery shopping done, but I did fit in a little rummage around the Craft shop, where I got some coloured tops for a needlefelt project, and found they no longer sold Mordants, so I will have to source mine on-line now. wildcolours.co.uk seem to sell the small amounts I need. However, I shall have to boil up, strain and freeze my Golden Rod flowers as they have started to go over after yesterday's torrential "showers".
This interest in dyeing again has all been set off by a good article in last month's Country Living magazine.
I spent the afternoon on the sofa catching up on Poldark (but we have to wait another YEAR for the next episodes!) and just relaxing. I didn't even sew today.