A Forkful of Cake continued…..

In this section, you will find copies of recipes (usually cakes!) which Friday Group members have made and brought along to sustain us whilst working hard in the garden on Friday mornings.  This is a continuation of a collection of recipes put together by the group in 2015 and back by popular demand.

23rd June 2017

Spanish Almond & Orange Cake

I found this recipe by Norma MacMillan on the website allreceipes.co.uk.  I’ve been asked to include it here as it is gluten and fat free.

Serves: 10


2 oranges, about 280g in total, scrubbed and roughly chopped (with skin)

5 eggs – separated

200g caster sugar

225g ground almonds

2 tbsp flaked almonds

Sifted icing sugar to decorate


Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Line the bottom and sides of a 23 cm (9 in) springform cake tin with baking parchment. Finely chop the oranges in a food processor or blender, or with a large knife.

Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks. Gradually whisk in half the caster sugar, then whisk for 1 minute.

Using the same whisk, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining caster sugar in another bowl for 2–3 minutes or until pale and quite thick. Whisk in the finely chopped oranges, then carefully fold in the ground almonds.

Stir in 3 spoonfuls of the whisked egg white to loosen the mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites with a large metal spoon. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and level the top. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.

Bake for 50–55 minutes or until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Check the cake after 20 minutes and again at 30 minutes, and cover lightly with foil if it is browning too quickly.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then turn it out, peel away the lining paper and transfer to a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar before serving. The cake can be kept in an airtight tin for up to 2 days.


These simple but delicious savoury biscuits were made for some of us by the ladies at East Ruston Old Vicarage gardens.

Cheesy Biscuits


227g plain flour

227g strong cheese – grated

227g block of hard butter

Pinch of salt

Mustard or poppy seeds

Beaten egg


Pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 6.

Mix all the ingredients together and knead well.

Roll out the pastry and cut out.

Brush each biscuit with egg wash.

Sprinkle with the cheese and seeds

Bake until golden brown – about 10 minutes.


31st March 2017

These delicious muesli bars were made for us by Jane and the recipe was taken from the hummingbird bakery cookbook.  (A bit of advice from Jane:  ‘A word of caution is needed – the volume of the ingredients was such that the only item large enough to hold the mixture was a VERY large casserole dish. I would suggest people make half the recipe quantity!’).

Muesli Bars (makes about 24)


320g unsalted butter

240ml golden syrup

250g soft light brown sugar

250g rolled oats

200g desiccated coconut

125g dried apricots, finely chopped

60g dried dates, finely chopped

125g cornflakes

125g sunflower seeds

60g dried cranberries

125g shelled walnuts, chopped

125g raisins


33 x 23 x 5 cm baking tray, lines with greaseproof paper

Put the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat and heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.

Put all the other ingredients in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is evenly mixed. Pour in the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until everything is well mixed and the dry ingredients are evenly dispersed.

Press this mixture into the prepared baking tray, using a tablespoon to flatten and compress it. Cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper, then a tray covered in jam jars or tins to apply pressure on the cake and compress it even more. Leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight.


27th January 2017

Boiled fruit cake (Gluten free) – This lovely rich cake was baked for us by Ann and taken from the website allrecipes.co.uk


250ml (8 fl oz) water

900g (2 lb) dried mixed fruit

225g (8 oz) caster sugar

170g (6 oz) butter

230g (8 oz) plain flour (can be GF)

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon of mixed spice

2 eggs, beaten


Prep: 10min  ›  Cook: 1hr 30min  ›  Extra time: 10min cooling  ›  Ready in: 1hr 50min 

Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas mark 2. Grease 2 900g (2 lb) loaf tins, and line with baking parchment.

Combine the water, dried fruit, sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, and boil gently for about 10 minutes.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice into a large bowl. Pour in the boiled mixture, and stir until well blended. Mix in the eggs.

Pour into the greased loaf tin.

Bake for 90 minutes in the preheated oven, until a skewer or knife inserted into the top comes out clean.

Cool cake in the tin for at least 10 minutes before removing.


This actually tastes better a day or so after baking.


Quick Apricot, Apple and Pecan Loaf Cake – This wholesome cake is taken from Delia Smith’s Vegetarian Collection.

Equipment and peparation: You will need one bread loaf tin 900g/2lb with a base measurement of 9x16cm/3½x6½in lightly buttered.

For the loaf cake
175g/6oz ready-to-eat apricots, each chopped in half
175g/6oz cooking apple (1 medium apple), cut into 1cm/½in chunks with skins on
175g/6oz pecan nuts
pinch of salt
1½ level tsp baking powder
2 rounded tsp cinnamon
110g/4oz plain flour
110g/4oz wholewheat flour
110g/4oz butter, at room temperature
175g/6oz soft brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp milk
For the topping
4 cubes demerara sugar, roughly crushed
¼ level tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
When the oven has preheated, spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and toast them lightly for about 8 minutes, using a timer so that you don’t forget them.
After that, remove them from the oven to a chopping board, let them cool a bit, then chop them roughly.
Meanwhile, take a large mixing bowl, sift the salt, baking powder, cinnamon and both flours into it, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing and adding the bran from the sieve. Then simply add all the rest of the ingredients except the fruit and nuts.
Take an electric hand whisk, begin to beat the mixture on a slow speed, then increase the speed to mix everything thoroughly before folding in the apricot, apples and pecans.
When it’s all mixed add some more milk if necessary to give a mixture that drops easily off a spoon, then pile the mixture into the tin, level the top, sprinkle on the crushed sugar cubes and cinnamon, and bake in the centre of the oven for 1¼-1½ hours or until the cake feels springy in the centre.
After that remove it from the oven, let it cool for about 5 minutes in the tin, then turn it out on to a wire tray and let it get completely cold before transferring it to a tin. The storage tin may not be needed if there are people around, as this loaf tends to vanish very quickly.


January 2017

Nigella Lawson’s Rosemary Loaf Cake (How To Be a Domestic Goddess) – This delicious cake was made for us by Hilary.

250g butter at room temperature, diced

200g caster sugar

3 large eggs

210g self-raising flour

90g plain flour

splash vanilla extract

leaves from a 10cm stalk of rosemary, chopped small with scissors

4 tablespoons of milk

1-2 tablespoons caster sugar, extra.

Preheat oven to 170C and grease and line a 23cmx13x loaf tin.

In bowl of electric mixer cream butter and add the sugar after the butter is very pale then continue creaming until smooth and light.

Beat in eggs one at a time, folding in a heaped spoonful of flour after each addition, and after this is mixed add the rest of the flour, then the vanilla and rosemary [Ms Lawson recommends using a rubber spatula for this job].

Add milk, then scrape into tin.

Sprinkle over the extra sugar then bake for 50-60 minutes/until a skewer comes out clean.

Place tin on wire rack and when cold unmould and wrap in foil until you are going to eat it.


Friday 13th January 2017

This wonderful cake was made for us by Sally.  It is one of Claudia Roden’s recipes and Sally found it on the Guardian website.

Almond Cake (Gluten free)

This is a splendid cake which is normally made in a wide cake or tart tin and comes out low, but it is equally good as a thicker cake.

Pilgrims and tourists who visit the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, where the relics of the apostle Saint James are believed to be buried, see the cake in all the windows of every pastry shop and restaurant, decorated with the shape of the cross of the Order of Santiago. I have watched the cake being made in many sizes, big and small, over a pastry tart base at a bakery called Capri in Pontevedra. This deliciously moist and fragrant homely version is without a base.

When I suggested to a man associated with the Galicia tourist office that the tarta was a Jewish Passover cake, he dragged me to a television studio to explain all. The presenters liked the idea. The Galician city of A Coruña is on the Jewish tourist route. There is a synagogue and an old Jewish quarter there. Jews from Andalusia, fleeing the Berber Almohads’ attempts to convert them, came to Galicia in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Serves 10
blanched almonds 250g
eggs 6, separated
caster sugar 250g
orange grated zest of 1
lemon grated zest of 1
almond extract 4 drops
butter to grease the cake tin
flour to dust the cake tin
icing sugar for dusting the cake

Grind the almonds finely in a food processor. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a pale cream with an electric mixer, then beat in the orange and lemon zest and almond extract. Add the ground almonds and mix very well.

With a cleaned mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff and fold into egg and almond mixture – the mixture is so thick you need to turn it over quite a bit into the egg whites. Grease a spring-form cake tin around 28cm in diameter (preferably non-stick) with butter and dust with flour, then pour in the mixture.

Put the cake into an oven preheated to 180C/gas mark 4 for 40 minutes or until it feels firm. Let it cool before turning out. Dust the top with icing sugar. If you like, cut the shape of a Santiago cross out of paper and place it in the middle of the cake before dusting with icing sugar. Then remove the paper shape.


The next cake was made for us by Vicky and she also found it in the weekend Guardian.  It is one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s creations.

Spiced apple cake

Serve this just as it is, slightly warm or at room temperature, or as a pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Once made, it’s best eaten the same or the next day. Serves 10.

130g unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
150g caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly whisked
2 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
⅓ tsp salt
200g soured cream

For the apple topping
2 large bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1.5cm-wide wedges
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1.5cm-wide wedges
130g demerara sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground clove

Heat the oven to 160C/320F/gas mark 2½. Brush a 23cm round cake tin with a little oil, then line with greaseproof paper (the oil will help the paper stick).

Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on a medium speed until light and fluffy, then add the eggs and vanilla a little at a time, beating them in until well incorporated. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt into a bowl, then add to the cake mix in a couple of batches, alternating with the soured cream. You don’t want to overwork the mixture, so turn off the motor as soon as everything is amalgamated. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and set aside.

Put all the apple wedges in a bowl, add the sugar and spices, and toss to coat. Spoon the apples on top of the cake batter, then bake for an hour, until the mixture has risen up around the apple and the top is crisp, firm and golden-brown. The skewer test won’t work with this cake: the apples are wet, so it won’t come out clean. Instead, test that the cake is ready by giving the tin a little shake: if the top doesn’t wobble, it’s cooked.

Leave the cake to cool for about 30 minutes, then remove it from the tin. Serve either slightly warm or at room temperature. When cutting the cake, use a serrated knife, otherwise the apples might tear.


A weekly account of the activities of the Friday Gardening Group at the Garden House in Brighton

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