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Baking doesn’t have to be exhausting, as our simple guide shows.
Here are five delicious cakes prepared in an easy way. From a cappuccino creation to a squeeze of lemon, these recipes are worth the calories!
BROWNIE BANANA BREAD
150 g dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
125g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
200 g golden powdered sugar
200 g self-rising flour
50 g cocoa powder
2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
Banana Brownie Bread
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
Place 100g of dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the butter and melt it in a saucepan of boiling water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Or microwave in 20-second bursts. Let cool.
Beat sugar and eggs until foamy. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt and mix to combine.
Stir in the melted chocolate mixture, bananas and the rest of the chocolate pieces.
Pour the mixture into the mold and bake for 50 minutes until puffed and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for ten minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
LEMON LIZIZED BUNDT
By Jane Dunn
300 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus a little melted butter for greasing
300 g self-rising flour, plus a little more for dusting
300 g powdered sugar
Zest of 3 lemons
for the drizzle
75 ml lemon juice
75 g powdered sugar
100 g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
Sponge cake with lemon drizzle
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
Grease and flour a 2.5 liter mold very generously. The best way to do this is to brush or spray the can with melted butter or cooking spray. Sprinkle with flour and then tap gently to remove excess.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour and zest and beat until combined. Pour into the can. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, make the drizzle. In a saucepan, heat the lemon juice and powdered sugar over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool.
Take the cake out of the oven, make some holes in the cake and pour the drizzle over it. Let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a rack to cool completely.
To decorate, mix the icing sugar and lemon juice until it forms a paste. Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with lemon zest.
By Eleanor Maidment
175 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 5 tablespoons whole milk
3 tablespoons instant coffee
175 g soft brown sugar
3 large eggs
175 g self-rising flour
1⁄2 teaspoon fine salt
60 g icing sugar
100 g double cream
10 g grated dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.5. Grease a 900g loaf tin with a little butter and then line it with baking paper.
Heat milk and coffee in a small saucepan until hot and stir to completely dissolve coffee; let cool.
In a large bowl, using electric mixers, beat butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the coffee mixture. Then add the flour and salt until you get a soft dough.
Pour this into the tin, smooth the top and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the tin.
Using a whisk, beat the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar until combined. Add the cream and beat until you have soft peaks (do not overbeat or it may break). Shake the top of the cake and decorate with grated chocolate.
SIMPLE NO-BAK CELEBRATION CAKE
By Jamie Oliver
1 panettone of 750 g
2 x 225 g fresh strawberries
500 g ricotta cheese (cold)
1 tablespoon liquid honey
3 heaped tablespoons lemon curd
Jamie Oliver’s Simple No-Bake Celebration Cake
Remove the panettone from its packaging and cut 3 thick slices, about 2.5cm thick (save the rest of the panettone to prepare delicious breakfasts).
Very finely grate 3 strawberries into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, then spread it over one side of each of the 3 rounds and let them soak.
Blend the ricotta in a food processor with the honey until silky smooth, then divide into rounds and mix each with lemon curd (stir the lemon curd in the jar first to loosen it).
Peel and finely slice most of the remaining strawberries (leaving a few nice ones aside to decorate later), then arrange them on top of two of the layers.
Stack the layers, using a mixture of whole and sliced strawberries to decorate the top. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
COOK’S TIP: If you feel like doing something exciting, pour a quarter jar of honey into a saucepan and place it over medium heat. Let it bubble to a dark caramel (never touch it!). Let cool for 5 minutes, then carefully dip in the whole strawberries, holding each one over the pan so the caramel drips and creates swirls of spun sugar. Place them upside down on a greaseproof surface (so they don’t stick) to set and then use them to decorate your cake. To effortlessly clean the pan, pour in 1 inch of water, close the lid and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
COOKIE CAKE AND MOSAIC CAN
By Libertad Méndez
for the cake
350 g self-rising flour
a pinch of fine sea salt
225 g powdered sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
150ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
½ tablespoon white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
For icing and decoration
200g unsalted butter (or dairy-free butter spread), softened
400 g icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk (regular or plant-based)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
300g cookies (vegan or dairy-free, if necessary), a quarter coarsely chopped and the rest cut in half if filled (I used a mixture of bourbons, custards, Party Rings and Jammy Dodgers)
Cookie Mosaic Cake
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease two 18cm round sandwich molds with oil and line the bases with baking paper.
For the cake, put the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda in a large bowl. Gradually add the oil, vanilla, vinegar and 250 ml of water until you obtain a soft dough.
Pour the batter into the two lined pans, dividing it evenly. Level using the back of a spoon. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for five minutes, then invert onto a rack, top sides down (this will help flatten them if they have risen in the middle) and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Using an electric mixer, stand mixer, or wooden spoon and some muscle, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl until pale and smooth. Add the milk and vanilla paste. Set aside.
Take one of the sponge cakes and place it on a plate or cake board, pour half of the frosting in the middle and spread it evenly. Make a dip in the middle with a spoon or spatula, dragging some of the glaze out. Place the chopped cookies in the middle and press into the frosting. Place the other cake on top.
Spread the rest of the frosting around the cake, on the sides and top, using a spatula in sliding motions. It does not need to be clean as it will be covered. Take the remaining cookies and press them into the sides of the cake, breaking some to fit into the spaces, so that the sides and top are covered with a mosaic of cookies. Store in an airtight container (or wrapped) for up to three days.