Oldies but goodies
Some good, old-fashioned baking like our mothers and grandmothers used to make is always a welcome sight, says NZ House & Garden Food Editor Sally Butters.
PINK LADY TEA CAKE
This cake was once at every little girl’s birthday party and a ladies’ tea was incomplete without one. There are many versions, and it is often made in slab form. This one was adapted from an old dry cleaners’ recipe book. If you prefer, the icing can be tinted pink and the coconut on top left white.
120g butter, softened 170g sugar 2 eggs ½ cup milk ½ teaspoon pink food colouring 2 teaspoons raspberry flavouring 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup plain flour ½ cup desiccated coconut 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups icing sugar 1 tablespoon boiling water 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice 25g butter, melted
½ cup coconut thread Few drops of pink food colouring
Heat oven to 180C. Grease an 18cm ring tin (or 20cm square tin for a slab cake) then dust with flour.
These little pastry cakes, originally from the village of Eccles in Manchester, England, are always a favourite and are super easy to make with pre-rolled pastry (Paneton flaky puff pastry is an excellent choice). You can make these cakes a little smaller if you wish, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
500g ready-rolled butter puff pastry 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten for brushing
30g butter, cubed and at room temperature ½ cup currants ½ cup raisins ¼ cup chopped mixed peel 2 tablespoons raw sugar, plus extra for sprinkling ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon mixed spice
Heat oven to 200C. Lightly grease an oven tray. Cut pastry into 10 x 10cm squares.
Place filling ingredients in a bowl and combine using your fingers. Divide
Press the chilled cake mixture into the prepared tin, levelling it as much as possible. Bake 20-25 minutes or until firm and a light biscuit colour. Allow to cool.
While the base is cooling, make the marshmallow. Place gelatin in a small bowl, add 1½ tablespoons water, mix and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
Dissolve sugar in the water over a medium heat then add the swollen gelatin mixture, stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Once cool, pour into a mixing bowl and beat at high speed until thick and glossy (about 10 minutes). Add vanilla and beat for a further minute.
Pour marshmallow over the cold biscuit base, spreading to level the surface, and scatter with freeze-dried raspberries (or try toasted coconut or chopped nuts). Chill for an hour before slicing.
Shortcake will keep for a week stored and covered in the fridge. Makes about 30 medium squares