Fig, raspberry and ginger cake

A great fig should look like it’s just about to burst its skin. When squeezed lightly it should give a little and not spring back. It must be almost unctuously sweet, soft and wet. Yotam Ottolenghi I was rewarded for a chilly early morning visit to the markets this weekend with a bounty of fresh…

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Almond and vanilla cake

There are many appalling things that were done with and to food in the 1970s – for a comprehensive overview I recommend following the 70s Dinner Party on Twitter, but for a sampling consider salad in aspic and grapefruit prawn cocktail as two examples that had plenty of traction in the era of tight, tight…

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Pistachio and walnut crumbly cake

I first had a ‘crumbly’ cake at an afternoon tea hosted by a friend whose brother lived in Norway, and she made a traditional Scandinavian cake that was not too sweet and had a unique slightly crumbly texture. I loved it and have been trying for some time to create my own version from that…

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Gingerbread cake with blood orange caramel

“Oh my dear. When has cake ever been for hunger? It’s for flavor, and, in this case, comfort.” Meena van Praag This cake is very dark and rich, spicy and sweet, and with a slight undercurrent of bitterness from the use of treacle and rapadura sugar, a dark brown, unrefined sugar from Sri Lanka. The blood…

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Tangelo cake

  “I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors.” – Five Go Off in a Caravan This is a perfect springtime cake. It is buttery and deliciously citrus-sy, but it’s not a fragile edifice that can’t travel in a picnic basket to…

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Lemon pound cake (and the delights of New York City)

Last month I went on a grand adventure with two friends to New York. We attended the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and then spent a week exploring the city. It was an amazing experience in all respects and I grew very quickly to love New York – the city scape (look…

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Lime drizzle cake – the cake to make when you really want cake

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you flour, butter, sugar and eggs, preheat the oven.  One of the advantages of occasionally working at home is that at lunchtime you can decide that the time is right to make a cake, get up from your desk, and get started. I was thinking this…

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Chocolate cake for serious chocolate lovers

Chocolate cake speaks to me of home – birthdays, happy smiles on children’s faces, and the comfort of good conversation with a well loved, old friends. I suppose the first cake I ever made was a chocolate cake and my love affair with them has continued ever since. This cake is both fudgy and rich, but not…

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Cranberry and almond loaf

Scrumptious is the word I would use to describe this cake. It is rich and buttery but not heavy or stodgy, and the lemon and almond give subtle but distinctive flavour overtones. Cranberries are one of my favourite dried fruits because although they are sweetened they still have lots of tang. The cake keeps well and…

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Lemon friands

Friands are buttery, almondy and rich. Traditionally baked in a special oval shape, they have a completely different texture to other more traditional small cakes or muffins and are just a little bit glamorous.  I first started making friands when one of my children was diagnosed with coeliac disease because they can also be made…

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