Thursday, October 9, 2014

Prune, Ginger and Lemon Teacake and a new pink design at Society6

Ahhhh - lovely, delicious, delightful Prune, Ginger and Lemon Teacake - what a wholesome and satisfying treat on a cosy autumn day. The poor beleaguered fruit known as 'prune' is a star in this tangy, spicy sweet, fruit cake - I love prunes and always wonder why they have such a bad reputation - maybe 'they' are on to something by trying to change the name to dried plums?

If you are a fan of light fruit cakes then get thee to the kitchen pronto, and best to have all your ingredients at room temp!

This recipe is for my usual 6 inch cake - you can double for a 9" pan but will have to bake longer and check more often for 'doneness'
First you must start by soaking your prunes in good strong tea - I use Earl Grey for that extra lovely, flowery bergamot flavour - but use whichever tea you like.

5 ounces of prunes chopped into 1/2 inch chunks - don't chop too fine or they will turn to mush in the hot tea.

4 fluid ounces strong tea 

1. Put the two together in a small saucepan and heat through 'til almost bubbling for a few minutes - maybe three - then allow to cool completely

Pre heat the oven to 350F, butter and line with parchment paper a small, tall 6" diameter baking pan lightly rebutter the parchment after lining the pan. 
5oz white flour/ 1 1/4 cups with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda whisked in 

2oz/ 1/2 stick salted butter
I always use salted but you can use unsalted if you prefer

3oz chopped crystallized ginger

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

2 tablespoons freshly chopped lemon zest - chopped works better in this recipe better than grated - the slight tooth gives an added dimension

4 oz / slightly mounded half cup sugar

1 egg lightly beaten

1. Cream butter and sugar 'til light and fluffy .

2. Add egg in three goes and beat each time to incorporate fully.

3. Fold flour and baking soda in in two goes until well blended and smooth.

4. Fold in the prunes with tea, blend, fold in the lemon zest and two gingers and blend.
5. Dollop the thick batter into your prepared pan and smooth over.

6. Pop into the pre heated oven and bake for 45 mins, then add a parchment or foil hat over the cake to stop it from burning and bake for another 30 mins checking at 15 mins for doneness with a toothpick which should come out of the cake clean after being deftly plunged into the centre of the cake. When the toothpick comes out clean your cake is done.

Mine did sink a little in the middle after it came out of the oven but it was fine - not sticky in the middle at all.
Allow the cake to cool for about 15 mins before removing from the pan to a cooling rack - allow to cool completely before eating.

This is definitely one of those improves with age cakes so if you can wait til the second day the flavours will have married to a point of complete perfection.

Get the kettle on!!!

If you are interested in the watercolour blue and white gingham fabric pictured above you can find it in my Spoonflower shop HERE
and the Homespun Patchwork design - in fabric, wallpaper and wrapping paper too, is available HERE

Usually I flip flop my posts between design and recipes but this time I am combining the two.

My latest design to be added to my print on demand online Society6 shop, I give you Country Days Patchwork on Pink - if you know my work you know how much I love the colour pink :)
To this design in my Society6 shop HERE
I don't know why I love painting patchwork designs in watercolour but I do, there's something very satisfying about it for me. I originally created the motifs in this design for a competition at Spoonflower - here is a LINK to that design in a different format.

And here is my new design on various items in my shop with links below to the individual product:
To the iPhone (including iPhone6) and Samsung Galaxy cases click HERE
To the Country Days on Pink mug HERE
To the shower curtain HERE
To the Country Days Patchwork on Pink tote bag HERE
I hope you are having a wonderful Fall/Autumn thus far - we have had some glorious days in Maine and I do hope they continue for a while longer. If you bake my cake please feel free to be in touch and let me know how it came out - you can post pics of such on my Facebook page HERE

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