- Saturday was a day that I’d been looking forward to for a very long time. No, not 6 numbers coming up on the lottery – do you seriously think I’d be sitting here typing? – but the inaugural meeting of the Helensburgh and District Cake Club. Yes, a place for like minded people to indulge in one of the things that just makes life a little better. You can keep your drink and drugs, I’m a cakeaholic, and I’m proud of it.
All the brainchild of the lovely and talented Melanie, who is a professional cake maker and the proprietoress of the award winning Craigard Tearoom in Helensburgh – a must if you ever visit the town – and held in her own house.
I had only met one of the other ladies before Saturday so it was really good to meet so many like minded people. 14 ladies showed up with an amazing assortment of delectable deliciousness. From a gluten free Chocolate and Raspberry cake, to Lemon Meringue, via Victoria Sponge. I think you’ll agree that we did ourselves proud, and the proof of the cake (to paraphrase wildly) was in the eating. We had to have doggy bags all round, but I’ll tell you one thing – I’m not allowing my dogs anywhere near it. Far to good for them.
Now, a bit of background to my cake that I took with me. I posted the poll and gave you the choice as to what cake I should take. Coffee and Walnut was by far and away the winner, garnering 50% of the votes, right? So on Saturday afternoon, you could have found me lining sandwich tines, creaming butter and sugar, oh doing the whole she-bang, and, even if I do say so myself, the end result was well worth the effort.
Apparently Lucy, my cat, also thought it was worth the effort.
Have you ever seen a coffee and sugar fuelled cat before? Highly amusing if it’s someone else’s cat, not so much when it’s your own and she won’t sit still. Thankfully, she didn’t come to any harm, but I think she might have had a bit of a headache the next day. Well, I hope so. Maybe that’ll teach her not to eat my cakes.
Thankfully, I had also made another cake at the same time. One of my friends was supposed to go to the meeting as well, but she’d been threatening to BUY a cake. Yes, you read that right!!!!! Couldn’t allow that, so I thought I’d make one, manfully wrestling the offending cake from her and substitute the home made one . With me so far? Good. So what happens? She wasn’t well and had to cancel. Yippee. Err, I mean, too bad. So, long story short, I had a half pound cake to take to the meeting with me. And my beloved sooper-dooper daughter saw how upset I was when I saw the state of the Coffee & Walnut, that she made me another cake to take with me while I was upstairs getting changed. Can’t go covered in flour, now, could I? So, I’ll give you the recipes for the Half Pound Cake, and leave the Coffee & Walnut cake and Katherine’s Blueberry and Lemon Drizzle cake recipe till next time. Next meeting is in 2 months so that should give me time to regain my sanity and my appetite for cake. As it is, I’m all caked out at the moment!!!!!
Half Pound Cake.
- 225g sugar
- 225g butter
- 225g plain flour
- 225g sultanas
- 225g mixed currants and raisins
- 4 eggs
- 100g glacé cherries
- 1.5tsp mixed spice
- 1tbsp brandy or rum or whisky – NOT all 3!!!!!
- pinch of salt
- 50g walnuts
Pre-heat your oven to 150C.
Place everything except the walnuts into a large mixing bowl and go in with an electric whisk until everything is well mixed. Grease and line a 20cm/8inch springform tin and pour the batter into it. Smooth the top and then scatter the walnuts over it. Bake in the centre of the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. It’s ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes and then release the cake from the tin and leave to cook on a wire rack.
And why is it called a Half Pound Cake? Because the main ingredients are added in half pound amounts, and it sounds a lot better than calling it a 225g cake.
Oh, and this is the ‘Evil One’ sleeping it off.