Thursday, 3 May 2012

Treacle Spice Traybake


Recipe Number One Hundred & Ninety One:  Page 184.

This traybake easily won the Facebook Poll but, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure if it would be something I'd enjoy. I'm not overly keen on treacle, and the title suggests that it features heavily in this recipe.

I woke up bright and early in the morning and felt sorely tempted to roll over and go straight back to sleep. Sadly that wasn't an option! I'd spent most of the night awake and only managed to drift off a few hours before our alarm clock went off. Isaac is a very reliable alarm clock – 7 o'clock on the dot! The morning seemed to drag but a trip to the park helped break the day up. Due to the chilly breeze I did feel a little more alert! After pushing Isaac on the swings and following him around the play area while he carried out his usual inspections, we headed to the shop. I'd only ventured inside to get butter for the traybake. However, when I arrived at the till I also discovered broccoli, apples, bananas and tinned fruit in my basket. At least they were all healthy – which is not normally the case!! Once home it was time for Isaac's lunch. I decided to make a start on the cake as soon as he had finished. If I'd taken the opportunity to sit down there would have been a danger that I wouldn't get up again!

I was so pleased to see that this was yet another of Mary's easy and quick traybake recipes. They really are so simple and straightforward. I popped the mixing bowl onto my kitchen scales and weighed in my first ingredient. Obviously the fridges at the shop do not run at a very cold temperature as the butter was already super soft and we’d only been home about half an hour! For some reason I'd expected to use a dark sugar, such as Muscovado. I was glad to be using caster sugar. Muscovado and treacle would have made for a very rich and dark cake. The next task was to dig a packet of self-raising flour out from the bottom of the kitchen cupboard. I weighed 225g into the bowl, buried the packet back into the depths of the cupboard and then reached for the baking powder. I checked through the list of ingredients again and realised that I hadn't added enough flour. I had read it wrong; it should have been 275g. I had another dig around in the cupboard and retrieved the flour for a second time. My reflexes were put to the test when I lost my grip on the bag with one hand and masterfully caught it with the other. It was a shame that a large quantity of flour managed to escape and covered the front of my trousers. Trying to brush it off made things worse! If only I had read the recipe correctly in the first place!

To give the mixture a kick I sprinkled in a couple of teaspoonfuls of mixed spice. I could almost feel my tongue burning at the mere thought of all that spice!! I retrieved the bottle of milk from the fridge and found a tablespoon to measure the milk into the mixing bowl. I had expected to use the tablespoon for the treacle too. As it turned out, I would be adding quite a bit more than just a few tablespoonfuls. Over 200g of treacle seemed an awful lot to me! It was a shame that the smell of the sticky treacle made me feel more than just a little queasy. This did not bode well for the cake! I checked and then rechecked the recipe to see how many eggs I should include. I was left confused when I saw no mention of them. I wondered what sort of texture this eggless cake would have.

Once all of the ingredients were in the bowl I made use of my electric whisk. Mary says to beat for two minutes or until the mixture is well combined. As I started whisking, the mixture rose up from the bowl, quickly working its way to the top of the beaters. My poor hand held mixer ended up smothered in cake mixture!

The lack of eggs meant that I could have a taste of the uncooked batter. Rather annoyingly on this one occasion I didn't really fancy it. However, it would have been rude not to try it. If it had not been for the overwhelming kick of treacle it might have been alright; it was very strong! As I spread the mixture into my lined traybake tin it soon became clear that I had barely enough to cover the bottom of the tin; spreading it took me longer than making the actual cake! It was going to be as thin as a pancake if it didn't rise in the oven!

I placed the tin into the oven and hoped for the best. I then decided I would risk having a sit down, bliss! The thirty-five minutes soon passed and I went back to the oven to check on the cake. As I opened the door I thought the cake smelt and looked like a dark gingerbread. The middle was still very soft, so I put it back into the oven for another ten minutes. By this time it appeared to be cooked through. Mary says not to worry if the cake sinks a little in the middle as it just means that there was a bit too much treacle added. I was annoyed to see a dip in mine as I had been so careful to weigh the treacle accurately!

I left the cake to cool in the tin and then tipped it out on to a wire rack to cut into pieces. Although the edges had made a vague attempt to rise, the middle had offered only a pitiful effort. It really was as flat as a pancake! To try to prettify the situation, I followed Mary's suggestion and dusted some icing sugar over the top. I was pleasantly surprised when I finally took a bite. The treacle wasn't as strong as I had feared; it seemed to have mellowed a little in the oven. It had a vague toffee flavour. The best part for me was the texture of this traybake. It was dense and a little chewy but, at the same time, it almost melted in my mouth! It was very different to what I am used to! I can imagine that it would go very nicely with a warm bowl of custard. I wonder if it might work better as a dessert than a cake!
Shame the smell made me feel a bit squiffy!!


5 comments:

  1. There is obviously a printing error in the book for this recipe. I have just baked it and added four eggs as in the other tray bake recipes. It turned out very well. Without eggs, as you have found, you end with something that resembles biscuit rather than cake.

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  2. I have posted a comment before regarding the lack of eggs in this recipe - don't know what happened to my previous comment! Here is the reply from Mary Berry & Daughter Ltd about this recipe after I emailed them to ask if there was a printing error:
    "Thank you for your email. Our apologies you are absolutely right, there is a print error and the recipe should say 4 large eggs. We have told the publishers of the error and they have corrected it."

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  3. Hi and thank you so much for your message. Well done you for emailing Mary Berry & Daughter Ltd! The lack of eggs did seem odd and the resulting cake had an unusual texture. Leaving 4 large eggs out of a recipe is quite a big error!!! xxx

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  4. I'm just making this cake right now, thought it was odd that there were no eggs in it so Googled it and found your page. Thanks! I'll go and put the eggs in now. Glad I trusted my instincts before I put it in the oven!

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  5. Hi I am just making this cake right now and thought it was odd for there not to be any eggs in the recipe so I Googled it and found your page. So glad I trusted my instincts before I put it in the oven, I'll go add the eggs now. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete