Saturday, 20 August 2011

Bohemian Baking: Plum, Honey & Cinnamon Cake

Another post from our Summer trip to the Czech republic. My husband's family house in the Czech countryside is lots of fun to bake (and eat) in. There's always local honey, smoked chicken, wild bore from one of the neighbours who hunts (!) and this year - lots of plums from different houses in the village. Here's a deliciously moist plum cake recipe with a sticky honey glaze and plenty of cinnamon which is found in lots of Czech cakes and puddings. The plums go lovely and jammy.

Really yellow eggs...
... in hilarious packaging!

I love delving through the baking cupboard to see what I can find - everything smells of vanilla sugar.
A trip to the larder to find some honey - these are dried slices of apple.
Although some of the jars of preserves have been there for years!
A HUGE jar of the local honey
Some lovely old scales from when my husband's Grandma used to bake.
And grease-proof paper that looks like it dates back to the 70's!
Ready for the oven

200g butter (unsalted)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp set honey
4 large eggs
4 ripe plums, stoned and quartered

For the glaze:
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp set honey
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line an 8 inch cake tin
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Beat in the flour, honey, cinnamon and eggs
4. Place the mixture in a greased cake tin and add the plum quarters. Bake for 20–25 minutes, brushing with the glaze towards the end of cooking. Remove from the oven, cool, then brush over more glaze.

Adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Cranberry and Macadamia 'In Law' Cookies

Every August we go and stay in the beautiful Czech countryside with my husband's folks, siblings and whoever else is visiting that year (my husband's mother is Czech). I love baking on lazy days - these cookies are always a favourite and incorporate two of my in laws' favourite ingredients. Perfect for after a bit of kite flying. Recipe below...


Cranberry and Macadamia 'In Law' Cookies

250g unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 cups caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup macadamia nuts
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray
2. Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy
3. Beat in all of the other ingredients
4. Chill for an hour or so
5. Roll into balls and place on the baking tray (I tend to do 12 at a time - you can keep the dough in the fridge and should get about 3 batches out of this recipe).
6. Bake for 10 minutes - your cookies should be golden brown and look a bit uncooked. Once they cool they'll be lovely and chewy. You can flatten them down with the back of a fork while they're still warm if you prefer them to be flatter.


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