Emma Bridgewater's 'Pattern' book, it caught my eye.
In my usual way, I decided to try to make the recipe a little bit healthier. I know it is still cake but I always try to see if I can reduce the amounts of fat and sugar in cakes and after my Chocolate Beetroot cake bakeover turned out so well before, I keep trying in the hope of further successful bakes.
This time it wasn't 100% successful. The texture and moistness were perfect. It rose sufficiently well too. But I think adding so much bicarbonate of soda was my error as it gave the cake a peculiar taste. As I had reduced the amount of self-raising flour and egg in the recipe and switched the plain flour for wholemeal, my fear was it wouldn't rise and so I over-compensated by adding far more bicarb than I needed to. So that will be my main lesson for next time.
I adapted the quantities in the recipe to make a smaller cake and switched a few ingredients like swapping the caster sugar for a smaller amount of honey instead.
So here is the recipe I used once the changes had been made but do take note that the bicarb did affect the flavour of the cake so next time I will be using less!
225g mixed dried fruits (I used a mixture of what I found at home which was mixed dried fruit, dried apricots, dried cranberries and glace cherries)
1 and a half tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg - beaten
50g self-raising flour
63g wholemeal flour
1. Pre-heat the oven to 130C (fan). Grease and line an 8inch cake tin.
2. Chop all the dried fruit to a small size (i.e. I chopped the larger dried apricots and glace cherries to match the size of the mixed dried fruit pieces).
3. In a pan, mix together the dried fruit, water, bicarb, honey and stork. Place on the hob and bring to the boil. Stir regularly and boil for 10 minutes. Then leave to cool.
4. Once cool, add in the egg and then sift in the flour. Mix together then pour into the cake tin.
5. I baked it for an hour. Check with a skewer to see if cooked through.
As I mentioned, the texture and moistness of this cake were perfect. It was just the bicarb that changed its flavour enough that the kids didn't enjoy it but me and Richard happily polished it off.
As for the book, despite not having any particular interest in the field of pattern and design (I still think my bottle design was more luck than skill), I found I really enjoyed reading the stories behind the Emma Bridgewater patterns. The more books I am reading, the more I am finding that I enjoy biographies and similar books that tell of real life people and their real life stories. I hadn't expected to find recipes in this particular book so that was a bonus too.