1916 Trench Cake – Recipe

As this coming Sunday is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1, I decided to make, what is known as, a “Trench Cake”, made from the original recipe from 1916.

Whilst men were fighting overseas, they longed for pieces of mail from home, and it soon became a tradition where the women back home would bake a cake that would not spoil quickly…  They would wrap it up securely, and the soldiers would often share the cake with the rest of their regiment.

Here’s how to make it:


8oz plain flour

4oz butter

3oz dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, dried cherries, etc.)

1/2 tsp bicarb of soda

1 tsp vinegar (malt)

1/4 pint milk (full fat)

2 tsp mixed spice powders (nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, etc.)


  • Preheat your oven to 180C (160C for fan assisted ovens).
  • Grease and line your cake tin (I used an 8 inch tin).
  • Rub the butter and the flour together with the tips of your fingers, until the mixture resembles crumble.


  • Add the fruit, sugar and powdered spices, and continue mixing together with your fingertips.


  • Measure out the milk in a jug, and add the vinegar.
  • Add the bicarb of soda to the milk and vinegar, then quickly add the liquid to the dry mix and beat well.


  • Pour the cake mixture in to your greased and lined cake tin, and place in the centre of the oven for anywhere between 1 and 2 hours – A big difference, I know, but you can tell that your cake is ready by inserting a skewer in tot he middle of the cake, and if it comes out clean, it’s ready.  My cake was ready after just 1hr 5mins.


  • Carefully turn the cake out on to a wire cooling rack, and allow the cake to cool fully before slicing and enjoying.

As you enjoy this cake, give a little thought to all of those who fought, and lost their lives in the Great War.  Lest We Forget.


Lemon Drizzle

A great recipe that costs pennies to make.

I made a bit of a booboo with the recipe, but overall, it turned out great.  Afterall, making mistakes when baking makes some of the best recipes known to man.  I also burned my finger rather badly when taking the tin out of the oven, so please, please, please, be careful!


2 eggs

3oz self-raising flour

3oz caster sugar

3oz butter

1/2 tsp baking powder

Lemon zest from 1/2 lemon

For the drizzle

2oz caster sugar

Juice from 1/2 lemon


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C for fan assisted ovens.
  2. Line your loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  3. Combine the eggs, flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and lemon zest in a large bowl, until creamy.
  4. Pour in to your lined tin.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and springy to the touch.
  6. Remove from the oven, and whilst it’s cooling, measure out your sugar for the drizzle, and stir thoroughly with the juice from 1/2 a lemon, until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  7. As soon as the sugar is dissolved, pour the mixture over the top of the still warm cake, and spread all over with the back of a metal spoon.
  8. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.
  9. Slice up and enjoy!



Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart

This, was rather an easy make, and I am VERY impressed with how it turned out.  For one full tart, it cost me about £3 to make…  I suppose you can say that this was a frugal make, because the richness of the chocolate and caramel meant that you can only have a small piece!  Ha ha.

I had my little Gning help me make this…  He broke up the chocolate for me, and because the final result had lots of chocolate, he loved eating it afterwards!

Pastry Ingredients

225g plain flour

100g butter

pinch salt

2-3 tbsp water

Caramel Ingredients

210g caster sugar

112.5ml (or there abouts) water

112.5ml (or there abouts) double cream

70g butter

1tsp salt

Chocolate Ingredients

112.5ml (or there abouts) double cream

120g dark or milk chocolate (dark works best, but it’s up to you)

Sea salt crystals


  1. Make your pastry by sifting the flour in to a large bowl.  Add the butter, and rub in with your fingertips, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Stir in the salt, then add a little water at a time to mix in to a firm dough.
  3. Knead the dough slightly, on a floured board, wrap in cling film, and place in the fridge for half an hour or so.
  4. Roll out the dough to a size to fit your tart tin, and about a pound coin thickness.  Place in your greased tin, with a slight overhang on the sides…  Don’t bother to trim, as the pastry will shrink a little when in the oven.
  5. Lightly prick all over the bottom of the dough with a fork, and line with baking / greaseproof paper.  Add baking beans, and “blind bake” on 170C (fan assisted) for 20 minutes.  After this time, remove from the oven, remove the beans and paper, then return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the pastry is a golden colour.
  6. Wait until the pastry has completely cooled before turning it out on to a serving plate.  Place this out the way…  You won’t need it for a little while now.
  7. To make the caramel, add the caster sugar and water to a heavy-bottomed pan, and slowly bring to the boil – WITHOUT STIRRING.  When the sugar water has started to boil, turn the temperature down a little, and “swirl” the pan around – still without stirring.
  8. Now it is time for a fair amount of patience…  You have to wait for the sugar water to turn in to a caramel colour…  This can take 10-15 minutes.  Do not stir!
  9. When the sugar water has turned in to a lovely golden colour, remove from the heat, and stir in the cream.  Return to the heat for a further 2 minutes, constantly stirring.  Be careful at this point, as the mixture will bubble up and may “spit” when you add the cream.
  10. Remove from the heat again, and stir in the butter until fully melted.
  11. Allow to cool slightly (about 5 minutes), before pouring in to the pastry that you made earlier.
  12. Place the caramel tart in the fridge for about 3-5 hours, or so, until the caramel has ‘set’.
  13. When your caramel has set, it’s time to make the chocolate!  Break the chocolate up in to a bowl, and leave to one side.
  14. Place the cream in a heavy-bottomed pan, and slowly bring to the boil.  Allow to simmer gently for about 2 minutes or so…  You don’t really want to ‘cook’ the cream, so don’t have a high temperature.
  15. Pour the cream over the chocolate, and leave for about a minute.  After a minute, stir the cream and chocolate together…
  16. Allow to settle slightly, then pour over the top of the caramel tart.  You may need to scrape, and smooth out the chocolate.
  17. Return to the fridge for a further 1-2 hours, or until set.  Please be aware that the chocolate will NOT fully set.
  18. Before serving, sprinkle a small amount of coarse sea salt on the top of the tart, and serve any which way you like.  Good enough to eat on its’ own, or with a strawberry and mint leaf!






Golden Syrup Sponge

After contemplating our finances, and wondering what we can do to keep our outgoings down, I decided that the cheapest way we can all have our cake and eat it too (literally) would be to make our own treats.

Here’s a gorgeously light and fluffy cake, that takes about 40 minutes from start to finish, and I worked out that it cost about 45p to make.


100g soft brown sugar

200g butter or marg, softened

2 eggs

2 tablespoons solden syrup

200g self-raising flour

Vanilla essence


  1. Preheat your oven to 170C (150C for fan assisted).
  2. Grease your cake tin and line the bottom with a sheet of baking paper, or line your cupcake tray with paper cases.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, golden syrup and a few drops of vanilla essence, then pour in to the butter-sugar mix.
  5. Using a large, metal spoon, fold in the flour, a small amount at a time.  To ensure a fluffy cake, sprinkle the flour from a height.
  6. Pour the mix in to your cake tin / paper cases.
  7. OPTIONAL – Sprinkle a little more soft, brown sugar or coloured sprinkles on the top of the cake(s).
  8. Place in the preheated oven for approximately half an hour, or until a skewer (or sharp knife) comes out clean.
  9. Allow the cake to cool slightly in the tin (approximately 10 minutes) before turning out on to a cooling rack (don’t forget to remove the baking paper from the base).


Such a quick and easy recipe, and a major hit with the hubby and my Gning 🙂

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes – Revisited

Ingredients for the cupcakes

8oz softened butter

8oz caster sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

4 eggs

8oz self raising flour

Method for the cupcakes

1.  Preheat your oven to 170C / 160C for fan assisted ovens.

2.  Line a cupcake tin with cases.

3.  Using an electric whisk, cream the butter until really soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and lemon juice, and continue using the electric whisk.

4.  Add the eggs, and continue beating.  Don’t worry if your mixture starts to look “curdled”.

5.  Gently fold the flour in to the mixture, using a large metal spoon, one spoon full at a time.

6.  Add two heaped teaspoons in to each paper cupcake case.  I managed to make 33 cupcakes with this quantity of mixture!!

7.  Bake in the oven for approx 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Don’t forget to do the skewer test at the end…  The skewer should come out clean.

8.  Once the cupcakes look golden, remove from the oven, and allow to cool fully in the tin before turning them out on to a wire cooling rack.

Ingredients for the Meringues

4 egg whites

4oz caster sugar

4oz icing sugar

Method for the Meringues

1.  Preheat your oven to 130C / 120C for fan assisted ovens.  Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2.  Add the egg whites to a large bowl, and using an electric whisk, beat on a slow speed for approximately 3 minutes.  When the whites start to look like they are “forming together”, turn the speed up to maximum, and beat for a further while (could take up to 10 minutes) until the egg whites start to “peak”.

3.  Gently add the sugar combination, one spoon at a time, and fold in to the egg whites using a large metal spoon.  This allows the air to remain in the mixture.

4.  Once all the sugar has been combined, scoop the mixture in to a piping bag, and “pipe” the required quantity of meringues on to the baking / greaseproof paper.  I always ensure to make more meringues than I need because some often break when they are cooked.

5.  Pop them in the oven, and allow to bake for 45 minutes.  Once the time is up, turn off the oven, but leave the meringues in there to cool fully.

Meanwhile, whilst waiting for the meringues to cool…

1.  Cut a hole in to the centre of each cupcake.  Any excess cake can be eaten 😀

2.  Scoop in a good dollop of lemon curd (Asda’s own is yummy!!).

3.  Once the meringues are cool, pop one on the top of each cake, using the lemon curd as “glue”.



Baby it’s cold outside

Yippee do everyone!  It’s another Monday in 2014, but there are only two Monday’s left in this year (including today).

I finished work for Christmas on Friday (19th).  I’m not back in until next year (2nd Jan), and I’m really grateful for the break.  That sounds kind of funny, considering I have actually had two and a half weeks off work sick…  At least this way work doesn’t have to “check up on me” every day.  This is my time.

Yesterday was my 34th birthday.  I celebrated it by doing nothing all day, unless you count playing “Worms Battleground” on the xbox one.  Later on, we all showered, then went to Frankie & Benny’s with my mum and dad.  To say that I was stuffed by the end of the night was an understatement!!

We had cheesy garlic pizza as an “appertif”, then mum, hubby, Gningy and I had a (REALLY LARGE) sharing platter as a starter…  My dad had garlic mushrooms (I think).  For the main courses, I had spaghetti and meatballs, hubby had spaghetti carbonara, Gningy had fish fingers, mum had salmon pasta in a creamy sauce, and dad had BBQ’d ribs.  To say the meals were absolutely scrummy was an understatement.  However, there was still the cake to come…

The lights were dimmed in the restaurant, the music suddenly got louder, and happy birthday was sung to me from around the restaurant.  It’s the same with every birthday in F&B’s.  The waitress placed the cream sponge cake, that my mum had bought, in front of me.  I was told to make a wish, then blow out the candles…

I cut the cake, and gave hubby, Gningy, mum and dad a slice.  There was no way I was going to eat it.  Not after all I had eaten already, and not long being over the pregnancy sickness…

All of a sudden, hubby pulled a face.  “That’s off”, he said.  Dad agreed.

The cream cake that was bought on Friday was “off”.  I’m glad I didn’t want any…

So, happy birthday to me.  Overall it was a great day.  Shame about the cake though 🙂

Coffee Sponge Cake with Bailey’s Butter Frosting

This was made for my dad’s birthday.  It is a recipe that I’ve used before, but previously it was only used in a large batch of cupcakes.  The larger cake, however, has turned out wonderfully.

Ingredients – Cake

8oz butter

8oz soft light brown sugar

4 large eggs

50ml strong coffee

8oz self-raising flour

Ingredients – Frosting

15oz icing sugar

10oz butter

4 tbsp Bailey’s

Method – Cake

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C (160C for fan assisted ovens) and grease 2x20cm baking tins.

2.  Cream the sugar and butter together in a large mixing bowl.

3.  Add the eggs, one at a time, ensuring that each is fully blended before adding the next.

4.  Add the coffee (I used 4 tsp coffee to 50ml boiling water) and mix throroughly.

5.  Sieve the flour in, holding the sieve as high as possible to allow a lot of air to join the mixture.

6.  Spoon the mixture evenly into the two greased baking tins.

7.  Bake in the oven for approx. 40 minutes (or until cooked).  A trick I have learned here is not to open the oven door until at least 30 minutes in to the cooking time.  This ensures a thorough cooking right the way through the cake without disturbing it too much.

8.  Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for approx. 5-10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling wire.

Method – Frosting

1.  Cream the butter in a mixing bowl.

2.  Add the icing sugar gradually.  I took 7 ‘helpings’.  Ensure each ‘helping’ is mixed thoroughly before adding the next part.

3.  Add the Bailey’s (don’t forget to pour a glass for yourself!).

Method – Putting it together

1.  On one of the cakes, cover the top with some frosting.

2.  Add the second cake on top.

3.  Use the rest of the Bailey’s butter frosting to completely cover the cake.