For random recipe this month Dom is celebrating his second blog anniversary - Happy Blogiversary Dom! And so he has asked us to bake a cake to help him celebrate.
One of my more recent purchases (thanks to Sainsbury's having the 'My Kitchen Table' series of books (of which I have a few now...) for only £3.99 each) was Mary Berry's 100 Cakes and Bakes. Having watched a number of bakers participating in Amy's Weekly Bake Off I was suitably inspired to purchase the book when I saw it, having seen the success that other people have had with various of the recipes.
And I've not been disappointed! The book is full of basic (but solid, reliable) recipes - the ones every baker should have in their repertoire - Victoria Sponge, Cupcakes, Coffee and Walnut Cake, Banana loaves and many, many more. It's my kind of baking - simply, straightforward and down to earth. The decoration isn't usually piled high and OTT, but is suited to the cakes in the book and many of them lend themselves to sharing with work colleagues, which is usually where most of my cakes end up! There are also lots of twists on classic cakes too - I would recommend this handy little book!
So it makes sense that the random reaching of my hand found this book - it has been close by for a while now. And the page that was opened was for Iced Apricot Fruit Loaf, on page 90-91. As is sometimes the nature of random choices I didn't want to use the fruit specified and so adapted the recipe slightly. It is still Mary's recipe so I won't be reproducing it here, but will note for my reference that the 75g of cherries specified became 60g and the 100g of chopped ready to eat dried apricots and 150g sultanas morphed magically into 100g dried cranberries and 100g raisins and the specified self raising flour was replaced with 175g plain flour and 1 3/4tsp baking powder.
I am always dubious when I see recipes stating that a 2lb loaf cake will be cooked in 40 minutes or so, and was relieved that Mary's instructions are to bake for 1hr 10 minutes, by which time the cake was cooked. You might want to check at an hour though.
I was really pleased with the way this cake turned out. It was juicy and moist (I had been worried by the picture that accompanies the recipe as it looks a little dry to me) and perhaps most surprisingly tasted quite strongly of glace cherries. Given that only 60g had gone into the whole cake, and I'm sure there wasn't a bit in each mouthful, the taste was quite prominent. I hasten to add that this wasn't a problem at all - I like glace cherries! So with all of my red fruit substitutions this isn't quite Mary's recipe, but it turned out well. I'm not quite sure that it's a birthday cake, but I hope you enjoy this submission anyway Dom!
I'm sure there will be more cakes from this book appearing in my life (and probably this blog...) quite soon.
Your cake looks great. I'm so pleased Mary Berry has had a big revival, I started using her books in the early 1980s and 'Fast Cakes' is still my go to book for those standards such as you describe. Nice substitutions too.
It does look rather wonderful. Glacé cherries are quite perfumed aren't they? I imagine they permeated thru the whole cake which sounds rather divine if you ask me! I do love a good loaf cake, as you say they make a great sharing cake. Thanks so much for entering and celebrating my 2nd blogaversary xx
Looks delicious. I love how your fruit has stayed evenly distributed throughout the cake. Lovely mix of dried fruits too
I really like dried red fruit - just right for a slightly different take on a fruit loaf. There are some interesting mixes in the shops, although the one I bought from our newly opened Sainsbuy's wasn't there second time around.
This is exactly my sort of cake! Looks absolutely begging for a cup of tea.
Looks lovely- could fancy a slight right now with a cup of tea x
Looks lovely - am I a bad person for imagine a slice slathered in lovely butter?
Janice - yes, I think Mary Berry was due for a revival. I wasn't introduced to her recipes until recently - my mum always used Delia's recipes when I was younger.
Dom - thanks! I do love glace cherries - I think it's genetic - my mum does too.
Katie - it's always pleasing when the fruit doesn't sink isn't it :-)
Suelle - yes, I'm a fan of dried red fruits in general and in the same vein dried blueberries are lovely, but so expensive!
Foodycat - I'm very fond of fruit loaves like this - so easy to make and eat!
Emma - it would be perfect with tea!
CC - absolutely not. It's a similar cake to a teabread and it's absolutely right to slather butter onto that. Why should this be different ;-)
Your cake looks delicious. Mr Glam loves a glace cherry. Loaf cakes are always great for taking into work or sharing. There always seems to be enough to go round. GG
Lovely-looking cake. I like the sound of the cranberries and raisins but I admit to struggling with the idea of glacé cherries. I think I might have been frightened by one as a child.
Lovely cake, Caroline, particularly the last photo! I like that the cakes in your life get shared with all of us, thank you! :)
GG - yes, loaf cakes do seem to stretch quite well!
Phil - well you could easily leave the glace cherries out, it would be just as good without, but a bit different!
Celia - thank you! I wish I had more time to share, getting more and more behind at the moment.
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