Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A Traditional Sultana Cake - Sweet Teabread Type Recipe

Lemon glazed sultana cake recipe. Dense crumb and not too sweet.

"Tea ?" My grandmother lifted the old metal teapot; clad in it's warm knitted cosy; and gave the tea a swirl before pouring a steady stream into the china cup.

In my mind, I can see her now. No matter who or when visitors arrived at the door - she was always prepared and loved nothing more than having family arrive and feed them her home baked treats.

There was Sultana Cake or Belgian Loaf in the pantry in a tin. Home made coffee buns or ginger snaps in the cupboard. Caramel cake (you may know it as Millionaire's Shortbread) or tiffin bar (normally both) hidden at the back of the fridge. I've shared a few of these recipes and short really log some more.

When my Gran passed a few years ago, I was given her recipe book. It was and is in a sorry state and the pages are almost all detached. The spine is broken, the covers stained and torn. Despite this and the fact it rarely sees the light of day - it is very much loved. Handling it every now and again reminds me that through me, her recipes can live on...

As you can see - she seems to have "obtained" this recipe from somewhere back in 1962 and must have used it for around 40 years.

Personally, I've never been one for baking with margerine / Stork - but my gran seemed to and if it's good enough for Mary Berry....

Well - I gave this a go and used some Utterly Butterly which is a vegetable oil based spread instead of the butter. It turned out pretty much as I remember it. This is a fairly dense type teabread and I'm sure we used to have it slathered in salted butter. However, I figured a nice lemon glaze would work well

225g of white sugar
225g of butter or vegetable oil based spread
225g of sultanas (I soaked these in hot tea for 30mins prior to use)
285g of plain (cake) flour
55g self raising flour
6 eggs

I creamed the fat and sugar together, then one at a time, beat in 5 eggs.

Sift in flours, and mix until no lumps can be seen. Stir in drained sultanas, and follow by folding in the last egg as instructed by Gran !

Put into a lined 2lb silicone loaf mould or tin . Be sure to line way up the sides - this makes a BIG cake and the entire tin was full to the top before baking .....

I baked at 150deg C (Fan oven) for 95mins and it was perfectly done.

Remove from oven and make a glaze if desired. Remove cake from pan and stand on a wire rack. Trim paper to pan level, but leave on for now.

I used 100g of icing sugar, 50mls of fresh lemon juice and a little boiling water to make a very thick paste. Spoon (and spread) on to the top of the cake. Dont worry if it makes a mess and runs down the side a bit.

Once it starts to set, you can remove the baking paper from the lower part of the cake for a nice, tidy finish.

Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting.

This type of cake typically is best one or two days after baking - once it's stood in an airtight tin for a little while to mature. If you can wait that long....

Sarah-Jane Nash - www.siliconemoulds.com - June 2014 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Tiffany Lamp CAKE - Yes .... This REALLY is a Novelty Cake that looks like a table lamp !

structural and brightly coloured novelty tiffany lamp / table lamp cake

I'm so in love with this cake. The idea of making a cake looking like a Tiffany lamp has been in my head for almost a year.... it's taken me forever to get round to making it as inevitably something always seemed to get in the way that needed my time more. 

Certainly it's lighting me up on an otherwise dull day !

Isn't it pretty ? When finished - it really looked like a proper Tiffany table lamp !

Well - last week I tried out a new madeira cake recipe I found on the net from www.cakesbakesandcoolies.com that allows you to size up a madeira cake from 6" to 12" diameter.

I've copied and pasted their chart onto this page below so I can save it in my own personal ebook, for my own use. Should you wish to use their recipe, you may like to trot along and visit their page and print out the full recipe and instructions.
I baked two x 10" dia madeira cakes. Here you can see I wrapped some strips of damp kitchen tea towel around the outside of the tins and secured with bulldog clips. This helps stop the sides browning too much / getting crusty.

My cakes had a little bit of a dome and a small amount of cracking. I baked at 170deg C - next time, I'll bake lower and for longer...

Cake was very easy to split and had a good even crumb. I usually bake only with butter, but this recipe suggested using 50% stork / 50% butter. I must say, I was skeptical - but the results were very good as was the flavour. 

After trimming, these cakes measured 75mm / 3" high. I cut each cake into 3 layers and filled with buttercream and jam between each one. I them carved the stack into a dome shape before covering in fondant. It's a pretty big cake and on a 16"square board.

Yes - it really IS a cake as you can see in these staged shots. The board is covered in fondant and made to look like wood. The body of the lamp is modelling chocolate around moulded Rice Krispy treats.

I marked on my patterns with a modelling tool before hand painting the "glass" in. Easier said than done ! The leading is modelling chocolate, hand painted with lustre dusts.


1 bag of Wilton WHITE candy melts (melted)
118g corn syrup - warmed
gel paste colouring (if required)

For black modelling chocolate, add a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder - plus black colouring to the corn syrup. For other colours - omit cocoa

Mix the two together until combined. Transfer into a plastic food bag and allow to sit for a couple of hours to harden up a bit. Knead thoroughly and re-bag. This will be ready for use tomorrow :-)


If anyone is interested in learning how to make this cake, it can be taught as a two day class. A maximum of 6 places would be available. Cost of £225 for the two days, to include cakes and all materials.

Sarah-Jane Nash - www.siliconemoulds.com - June 2014