Hazelnut tray bake

I love traybakes, so I've treated myself to a new tin - the Wilton 'Biscuit/Brownie' pan [28x18cm]. Now I'm fired up to try it out!
I bought some hazelnuts in Waitrose recently, so thought I'd make something using them.
This recipe is adapted from one that was in a magazine some time ago. I like the idea of a crumble base and then the cake mixture on top of it.

300g plain flour
175g butter cut into pieces
350g demerara sugar
200ml creme fraiche
2 eggs
3 tspns baking powder [level]
150g hazelnuts chopped in half

preheat oven 180C/gas4
Grease and line the tin with baking parchment.
Sift flour into a bowl and rub in the butter. Stir in the sugar. Sprinkle 350g of this mixture into the tin and press it down.
Beat the eggs and creme fraiche together and stir in the rest of the crumble mixture and baking powder.
Pour this over the crumble mixture. Arrange the hazelnuts on top, pressing gently.
Bake in middle of the oven for about 45 mins. I found that the nuts were getting too brown, so I covered them with parchment.
Now comes the fiddly bit! You need to get the bottom crumble crisp, so put a piece of parchment over the cake and put a baking sheet on top. Invert the cake onto the sheet. Take off the lining paper and put the cake back in the oven for about 10-15 mins.
To put it on a wire rack you need to invert the rack over it to get the cake the right way up. It's worth the effort, honestly!

This is what the finished cake looks like. When Bob had a look at the camera, he deleted the good photos!


Hop Pickers' Cake

When I was in town yesterday, I found a Bank Holiday bric a brac market. I love browsing in case I find old cookery books. To my delight, there was a stall selling nothing but cookery books. Heaven!

I bought 'The National Trust Book of tea-time recipes' [1991], an old red 'Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book', 'Good Housekeeping's Picture Recipe Book [1954] and 'The Baking Book' [1996] by Linda Collister and Anthony Blake. I like Linda Collister's recipes - she wrote the book that went with last year's 'Great British Bake Off'.

I decided today that I want to make some more British cakes, so decided on a 'Kentish Hop Pickers' Cake' from the National Trust book.

I lived in Kent for many years and visited hop farms. This is a lovely photo from an old calendar I had many years ago.

I've adapted the recipe to suit our likes in spices and dried fruit.

275g sr flour
1 tspn ginger
1 tspn cinnamon
175g soft margarine or butter
100g soft brown sugar
100g raisins
100g mixed fruit with peel
400ml milk
1 tbspn black treacle
1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
1 tspn cream of tartar

Preheat oven 160C/325F/gas 3

Grease a 900g loaf tin

Mix the flour and spices together then rub in the fat.
Add the sugar and the dried fruits and mix.
Warm the milk and the treacle and add to the flour mixture a bit at a time.
Beat this well, then pour it into the tin.
Bake for 1-11/4 hours.

The cake was the texture of my Granny's 'Bread pudding'. All the fruit was at the bottom in a layer. It was a very runny mixture when I put it in the tin. Maybe it's meant to be more of a pudding than a cake? Perhaps it needed more cooking? There are no photos in the book, so I can't tell how it's meant to look!

I've been doing a bit of research, and I found another recipe for this cake on a traditional British cakes site; it says that the cake is much like a lardy cake in texture, so maybe my cake is OK. It tastes good anyway!

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