Gastronomically Terrific

January 14, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Traybake with chocolate topping

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , , — thinkingdan @ 11:11 pm

Another “cake club” recipe, this vegan cake was a lot more challenging than the sultana and orange traybake.  My intention was to make a chocolate traybake, but it came out just a little too crumbly and, well, “cocoa-ey” for my tastes, so I added a cherry jam layer and a sweeter chocolate topping.  I broadly followed this recipe, and this for the topping, but I was afraid of the warnings that the main cake would be too sweet (so reduced the sugar) and too oily (so reduced the oil).  The consistency I ended up with was perfect for a pudding, but not that practical for a working cake session!  Still, I think it tasted pretty good.  Perhaps a little more oil would be wise.


For the cake:

  • 175g plain flour
  • 200g Demerara sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2/3 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 150ml water
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 2/3 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling and topping:

  • Cherry jam (for the filling)
  • 100g sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 75ml water


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius, grease a 9×9 inch (23x23cm)  traybake tin and line with greaseproof paper
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer/knife comes out clean.  Wait for the cake to cool.
  4. Slice in half, generously smother one half with jam, and place the second half on top of the jam.
  5. To make the frosting, Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cocoa in a medium sauce pan, add the water slowly. Heat over medium until it gets thick and starts to boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes.  (“Make sure you don’t boil too long, or it will set like taffy”.) Remove from heat and stir in oil and vanilla.


The frosting was a pain.  I added just a little too much water and had to boil it a little longer; still, it did not set like frosting but was slightly gooey (in a good way!).  Obviously this is a very delicate thing to do, and if you have vegan margarine/vegan buttermilk substitutes there are easier frosting recipes out there!

Who made it: Dan

Recipe: Modified from this recipe, and this for the topping.


Sultana and Orange Traybake

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , — thinkingdan @ 10:36 pm

This simple fruity “cake club” recipe was well received, and it is very flavour-filled when fresh. When a little older it loses its charm a little so eat it up! I think it comes recommended by our expert tasters, although you’d be advised to reduce the amount of orange zest as I found it left a tang for quite a while afterwards!


  • 6oz (150g) margarine
  • 6oz (150g) caster sugar
  • 7.5oz (200g) self-raising flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 4oz (100g) sultanas
  • 2oz (50g) raisins
  • 2oz (50g) dried apricot, finely diced
  • grated rind of 2 oranges (try 1 big, or 1 1/2 small?)
  • Demerara sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius, grease a 9×9 inch (23x23cm)  traybake tin and line with greaseproof paper
  2. add all ingredients except the sugar to a large bowl and mix well
  3. pur into the tin, and bake for 15-20 minutes
  4. sprinkle the sugar over the top and return to the heat for 15-20 minutes or until cooked


I didn’t put the sugar in early enough and it didn’t melt into the mixture but sat on top.  This was OK but I think a crispy sugary layer would’ve been better!  I adapted the recipe from a 12x9in recipe, hence the odd amounts.  the apricot was my own addition as I rather like the subtle flavour it gives the cake when you get a piece.  I found the sultanas sunk a bit – to fix this, you can try sprinkling half of them on top  instead of mixing them in.

Who made it: Dan.

Recipe: Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book, page 79.

August 29, 2010

Blueberry and lemon drizzle cake

Filed under: Cake — Tags: , , , , — thinkingdan @ 10:39 pm

I can’t recommend this cake strongly enough.  It is enough to turn even the most staunch chocolate lover.

The wicked witch would get a lot more takers if she was peddling this stuff. But she would no longer be wicked, she would be loved as the queen of all things beautiful.

I guess there isn’t anything too special about the ingredients of this.  Its simple, right?  A nice fluffy sponge, a lot of blueberries, and some lemon drizzle.  What is there to say?


That is all you can say when you’ve had a bite of this traybake.   Somehow, it just works amazingly well together.

It helps that golden caster sugar is used instead of white.  It helps that the lemon flavouring is very, very intense.  It really helps that the drizzle is golden lemon flavoured.  It helps that the blueberries don’t all sink because a portion are dropped on top rather than mixed in (a great tip, by the way).  It helps that I gobbled nearly all of it on the day it was baked, although to be fair that was a compulsion rather than a strategy.

I just really like this cake.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: “The daily cook book” by Love Food, June 19th.

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