I'd had too much wine one Saturday night and these days that means I fall asleep almost instantly and have a wonderful deep sleep (or perhaps coma) for about 5 hours and then I'm wide awake. Actually, I think what woke me in this case was maybe more to do with spontaneously remembering I'd forgotten to get kidney beans in Morrison's, since I woke up in something of a panic - but blame that or the wine, either way I couldn't get back to sleep and I boshed out these two recipes before Mike had even woken up!
Through the kidney bean induced panic I somehow remembered I'd got all the ingredients for a scrumpy and cinnamon cake, and that was all I needed to get me out of bed. This cake smelt absolutely amazing as it baked and the house smelt a bit like Christmas - the sweet smell of cider mingled with a hint of spice. Sadly, it wasn't a great recipe - the texture was a bit 'off' and the taste just didn't stand up to the mouth watering smell. In fact, it didn't really taste of all that much at all.
Here's the recipe, should that glowing review tempt you into making it yourself....
100g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
100g self raising flour
100g wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarb
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Heat the oven to 180c and grease and line the base of a 17.5cm round cake tin.
Beat the marge and sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs, adding a tablespoon of the flours if it starts to curdle.
Fold in half the flours with the bicarb and cinammon. Fold in the cider and remaining flour.
Tip into the cake tin and bake for 35-45 minutes.
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with icing sugar to serve.
While I was making the cake, my beady eyes spotted another recipe on the same page for 'hunky chunky bread' and I realised that I had all the ingredients in for this too. I've been wanting to make bread for ages but was apprehensive as I'm not sure how I feel about mucking about with yeast and proving and all that malarkey, but this recipe looked really simple. It certainly was simple to make. I'm not entirely sure whether it turned out like it was meant to - in the picture it looked lovely and fluffy and white inside, whereas mine was quite doughy and a bit yellowy in colour. So it sort of seemed both overdone and underdone. But it tasted great toasted and slathered with Marmite and I'd definitely make it again for one of those super quick 'oh look at this fresh bread I just casually and spontaneously threw together' type moments.
Hunky chunky bread
450g plain flour
1 tsp salt
Heat oven to 220c and lightly grease a baking tray.
Sift together the flour, salt and bicarb into a large bowl.
Add the butter and rub in with the tips of your fingers, until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre and all the milk, stirring until you have a soft mixture.
Dust the work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Pat into a round shape about 2.5cm thick.
Carefully transfer onto the baking tray and score a deep cross onto the dough with a knife.
Bake for 35 minutes until golden, and it sounds hollow when you tap the underside.
Both recipes are from BBC Good Food, August 2011.