Monday, 15 August 2011

Mini Jammy Cakes

Recipe Number Seventy Five:  Page 245.

Before I could make these cakes, I needed to visit the shop and see if I could get hold of some blackcurrant jam. I didn't feel very confident and imagined I would have to make do with some strawberry or raspberry instead. I scanned the shelves and nearly punched the air when I saw not one but two choices of blackcurrant jam – I am easily pleased! I walked home with a spring in my step. I had intended to crack on and make these little cakes on my return, but I needed to entertain my little one as Neil was busy plastering a wall. In the end I waited until our son was in bed before commencing the baking. However, I then realised that I had better feed my poor husband! I made up a veggie stew. When it was bubbling away on the hob I could finally get my wooden spoon out!

I tipped the flour into a bowl and then added a small amount of mixed spice. Even though it was a tiny quantity, it still looked a lot sitting on top of the flour. However, I had used my measuring spoons, so I knew it must be right. I rubbed some butter into the flour. I didn't need very much at all. This pleased me greatly as I am beginning to worry about what this challenge is doing to my poor heart! Once the mixture resembled a bowl of breadcrumbs I stirred in some sugar. Again I didn't need as much as I expected. In my eyes this recipe was shaping up to be a low fat treat. I broke an egg into a small glass and beat it with a fork. It took quite a bit of beating as the yolk wasn't keen on being broken; it was rather stubborn! To the egg I added a few tablespoons of milk and in the process managed to smear butter over most of the milk bottle. I always forget to measure the milk out before I get sticky hands. I poured the combined egg and milk into the mixing bowl to join the other ingredients and mixed everything together. Mary says the resulting dough should be stiff, which mine certainly was. Once I started to divide the dough up and roll it into small balls I was grateful the dough was stiff, otherwise it would have been impossible to handle. My wooden spoon became multi purposed as I used the handle to poke holes into each of the balls of dough. I think the warmth of my hands had made the dough a little sticky, as it soon started to stick to the handle. I ended up using the tip of a finger to make holes. I found this worked better, but was a messy business. I grabbed the jar of jam and also a measuring spoon. I only needed about a quarter of a teaspoon of jam. I wanted to get it right, otherwise I feared I'd probably overfill them and the jam would spill out and weld itself onto the baking trays! I had a very red forefinger by the time I had finished filling all the holes with jam! The final touch was to sprinkle with sugar and then both trays of jammy cakes could go into the oven.

While they were cooking I went up to the bathroom to freshen up before dinner. I looked into the mirror and recoiled in horror. I had what appeared to be a nasty gash above my left eyebrow. I prodded my head and very quickly discovered it wasn't blood; it was of course jam! I am often amazed by my own blondness!! When I got back downstairs I quickly took the cakes out of the oven and placed them straight onto wire racks to cool. They looked like another minute or two wouldn't have hurt, but I was worried I would forget about them whilst we tucked into our meal. We spent quite a while eating and chatting, so by the time we came to trying a jammy cake they were almost stone cold. This was a shame as Mary states that they are best served warm. The outside of the cakes was surprisingly crunchy and sweet. The texture does remind me of a rock cake and I happen to love rock cakes! We both thought they could have done with just a little more jam, but I would be worried about adding more in case it spilled out. I could taste a hint of mixed spice, so thankfully the amount I'd added must have been right!

These mini jammy cakes are in the child section of the Baking Bible so are not really made with adults in mind. I am still a child at heart, so they appealed to me and I could really imagine them laid out at a child's party. Also, as they do not contain much butter, I wouldn't worry too much about these been gobbled down by little ones, while surely the jam is part of their five a day?! These cakes were very easy to make and quite good fun too. I expect children would have great fun making them and only need a little help from mummy or daddy!

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