Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tease


Sunday Afternoon Tease

After a week of lovely sunshine, it's overcast here, so thank goodness there is a little ray of sunshine in my kitchen in the form of my French Toast Sponge cake.  This is a light yet moist all-in-one sponge cake that looks like it has been at the tanning salon.  The light nutty brown colour is thanks to the addition of maple syrup and cinnamon in the sponge batter.  It's one of our family favorites; perfect for Sunday afternoon tea with some egg and cress sandwiches and a pot of Earl Grey.  This cake has a cream cheese frosting, which cuts down on the amount of icing sugar used and so must be healthy; yeah right!

My cake is adapted from a recipe for French Toast cupcakes from the wonderful Eat Me! by Cupcake Girl.  This book came into my life about three years ago, and I've tried lots of recipes.  The Banoffee Pie and White Russian Cupcakes are also firm family favourites; I love any cake that's based on a cocktail!



Freezing Cakes

The French Toast Sponge freezes beautifully, so I often bake a couple at once. I pop one in the freezer unfilled, whilst the other one is filled and topped with cream cheese frosting and devoured within 24 hours.  I tried freezing cakes for the first time about 9 months ago and so far it has been a big success.  Cakes that freeze well, either whole or in individually wrapped slices are:
  • Lemon drizzle 
  • Chocolate 
  • Carrot
  • Victoria Sponge
 It makes you look like a domestic goddess when you can produce a cake from the freezer at short notice (even though your family know you are really are Sh'mummy mummy).  Handy if you suddenly remember it's your turn to provide cakes for the school cake sale or have unexpected guests.  Individually frozen slices of cake are especially great if you don't want to be tempted to eat a whole cake at once or for putting in lunch boxes.


The Sparkle Cake above, started life as frozen French Toast Sponge and saved the day when a cake was needed at short notice for school.  A liberal application of sparkly edible bling and pink icing and job done.

For advice on freezing cakes, I highly recommend Fresh From The Freezer by Ghillie James.  I was unsure about the rules for freezing in general and this book was recommended by a friend.  Ghillie gives clear guidelines on what can be frozen and how, to save money and time and avoid wastage.  I really love this book; it's practical and family orientated.  Alternatively on-line advice on how to freeze cakes can be found here.  

French Toast Sponge Recipe

Ingredients

225 grams Stork margarine
225 grams caster sugar
4 large eggs
225 grams self'raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (truth be told, I never measure it, so this is a guesstimate)
Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon (add more if you love it or leave it out if you hate it)

Cream Cheese Frosting
110 grams margarine (or softened butter)
110 grams cream cheese
450 grams icing Sugar
A quarter teaspoon cinnamon
Half a teaspoon vanilla extract
Gingerbread men sprinkles (optional)

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4
  2. Line 2 x 8 inch (20 cm) loose bottom sandwich tins.
  3. Measure all the main cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat together until thoroughly mixed.  Divide the mix between the 2 cake tins and spread evenly.
  4. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. The top of the cakes should spring back when you gently press with your finger.
  5. Leave on a wire wrack to cool.  Turn cakes out of their tins after 5 minutes and peel off the baking parchment. 
  6. Meanwhile, make the frosting.  Beat the margarine and cream cheese together with an electric whisk.  Do not over beat as cream cheese misbehaves and gets sloppy if beaten too much.  Slowly add the icing sugar and beat until mixed in.  Finally add the cinnamon and vanilla extract.
  7. Sandwich your cakes with half the frosting and spread the other half on top.
  8. Add a light sprinkle of gingerbread men sprinkles if you wish..  
I found the teeny tiny gingerbread men in my local kitchenware shop, but you can get these sprinkles easily on-line.  They just add an extra little bit of added happiness to your cake.



Of course, you can always turn your Sunday afternoon tea into something altogether more interesting by declaring it to be 'Gin O'Clock'.

Let's meet next Sunday for more Afternoon Tease.

Gal x












4 comments:

  1. Mmmmmmm....... They'd never make it as far as the freezer in our house. Delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is one of those cakes that everyone loves, but yes, it never lasts long!

      Delete
  2. Saw your comment on the ThriftyMrs blog. You CAN make a quilt in a short time if you choose the right pattern. My friend -who has never done it before - made a cushion cover in an afternoon with this pattern [http://angalmond.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/finally-finished.html]
    If it is for a wedding, then you could embroider names/date in the centre of one of the squares. This design is incredibly forgiving if you are not an expert, accurate, experienced quilter.
    I wish you succes sin whatever you choose to make for this special event in your family life . Blessings xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Angela,
      Thank you so much for the encouragement and the link. I shall have a close look and see if I can pluck up the courage to tackle a quilt. Adding the names and dates is a lovely idea, although embroidery is also not a strong point. Thanks for taking the time to comment and the blessings.
      GAL x

      Delete

Hi, thanks for taking the time to comment. GAL x

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