Ginger log

This week was the turn of your faithful web editor, and a monstrous turn it was too. Pen rolled out an old family recipe for ginger log, and scaled it up to proportions appropriate for the feeding of a hungry Cake Club. It doesn’t contain any added sugar or butter, but probably isn’t very good for you. Her report follows.

Ingredients from the motherland
1/2 pint double cream
8 oz ginger biscuits (or as long as you want it!)
sherry or similar
crystallised or stem ginger for decoration

Ingredients used by the daughter
1 litre cream
100 Griffin’s gingernuts (5 packets)
A generous dollop of Kahlua
Chocolate buttons and walnut halves for decoration

Put small amount of booze in a bowl. Whip half cream until it is fairly stiff. Careful not to turn it into cheese! Dip biscuits one at a time into alcohol (only briefly or they will disintegrate) and stick together with stiff cream until you have a long caterpillar on a serving dish. One fruit spoon of cream per biscuit is about right. Put in refrigerator overnight (or for as long as you’ve got). Next day whip remaining cream and cover biscuit roll completely. Decorate. The more the merrier. Cut diagonal or straight slices from loaf.

The hungry caterpillars were served facing each other on a handy rimu plank. There may now need to be a new cake club award for Longest Dessert.

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 18:11  Leave a Comment  

New York Chocolate Cake

Last week, Kat made a seriously calorific chocolate cake which went down very well indeed. In fact, she made two and dared us all to eat both, but even the appetites, determination and weekly perserverance of the Cake Club was not enough to defeat this one. Kat’s report follows.

New York Chocolate Cake

480 g dark/bittersweet chocolate
500 g butter
250 mL espresso (or other strong coffee)
1 c brown sugar packed
8 large eggs

Pre heat oven to 180°C and butter a loaf tin.
Chop chocolate and place in a large heatproof bowl.
In a saucepan bring butter, espresso and sugar to the boil and simmer briefly. Pour the butter mix over the chocolate and allow to sit for a few minutes. Stir gently to help chocolate melt.
Beat the eggs, then add the chocolate mixture and whisk thoroughly.
Pour batter into the prepared cake tin, then place in a large roasting pan (or other large dish) and half fill with hot water (reaching halfway up the sides of the cake tin).
Bake for 1 hour.
Remove cake from waterbath and chill overnight.
The next day remove the cake from the tin, if you find this difficult, place the tin in hot water for a couple of minutes.

Raspberry sauce

1 kg frozen raspberries (thawed)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp sugar

Puree the thawed berries and their juice with the lemon juice and sugar, pour the sauce through a sieve and chill for up to two days. Serve with the cake.

I used Whittakers 62% chocolate.
I used 1 t instant coffee + 250 mL water, ‘cos I don’t have a coffee machine!
I only used half a kg of raspberries, with 1 T lemon juice and 2 T sugar.
You really only need to make half the recipe, as this recipe filled two normal sized loaf tins!

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 18:03  Leave a Comment  

Café Gandolfi Lemon Tart

In another rapid fire updating of the Cake Club blog, we have Shona’s Lemon Tart from 2 weeks ago. This was deliciously sticky and greatly enjoyed by a rather depleted crowd, who were pleased at the low turnout because they got to eat more cake. Hoorah! Shona’s report follows.

Here’s a wee gem of a recipe from one of my fave restaurants in Glasgow – Café Gandolfi.

HOT BUTTER SHORTBREAD PASTRY CASES (makes one 28cm tart case)
50g sugar
125g butter
175g plain flour

Pre-heat oven to 140°C.

Melt the sugar and butter in a bowl then stir in the plain flour. Keep stirring until it forms into a ball, then let it cool slightly before pressing the mixture into a loose bottomed tart case.

Bake in a low oven until lightly golden. This takes about 10-15 mins.

Zest and juice of two large lemons
250g caster sugar
200ml double cream
6 eggs
Jar of good lemon curd

Pre-heat oven to 140°C.

The filling is best made the day before and left to settle in the fridge.

Beat together the eggs and sugar, then stir in the cream followed by the lemon juice and zest.

Keeping the tart case (above) in the time, pour in lemon mixture while it is sitting on the middle shelf of the oven. It’s impossible to move a full tart into the oven without spilling it.

Bake in the oven for approx 25mins. When you remove the tart from the oven it should not move when you give it a gentle shake. The top will look a bit bubbly and brown in places.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool. As soon as it is cold, dollop on a few tablespoons of lemon curd and spread gently over the top in a thin layer.

Serve with greek yoghurt.

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 17:58  Leave a Comment  


Another record breaking turnout today at Cake Club, but fortunately Chris had risen to the task in style, providing a large chocolate brownie. He declared that it had no sugar or butter, or indeed, any calories in the recipe, but cracked up before he could be shown the door and then confessed that in fact it was the least healthy cake to cross the threshold of the tea room in recent months. He was right. It was delicious. His report follows.


1 cup melted butter
1.5 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
2-4 Tbsp hazelnuts

Mix the butter, vanilla and sugar, add in eggs one at a time.

Sift cocoa, flour, hazelnuts (optional, of course) and salt together in a separate bowl.

Mix together, and prepare for a workout if you stir by hand.

Bake in oven at 175°C for 35-40 min. I baked these for about 45 min.

We also have a bonus photo today, depicting Olivier demonstrating quite how powerfully sugary this brownie mixture was.

Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 21:47  Leave a Comment  

Moroccan Honey and Mint Cake

Nic’s comment that it was about time we had something that wasn’t chocolate flavour was met with howls of derision, but the crowd conceded that the cake looked delicious despite the lack of cocoa beans and the mild fear of a sweet cake with the word “mint” in the name. It took some effort (mental and physical) to slice this one into the necessary 25 pieces for a cake club widening at the member list as well as the waist line*, but it was well worth it. Nic’s report follows.


160g butter
310g sugar
1.5 tsp fresh chopped mint
6 eggs
230g dessicated coconut
210g self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 150°C
Beat butter, sugar and mint until they begin to change colour (don’t cream until light and fluffy as you want the cake to be quite dense).
Add small quantities of egg, coconut and flour, beating well between each addition. Repeat until ingredients are used up.
Line a cake tin (spring-form 20cm) with baking paper. Pour in batter, bake for 1-1.5 hrs until a skewer comes out clean from centre. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 mins.


While cake is cooking make syrup. Place 200ml water, 180g sugar and 1.5 cups chopped mint into a saucepan. Bring to the boil while stirring.
Remove from heat and cool for 30-45 mins. Strain through a sieve.
While cake is still in the tin prick loads of holes in it with a skewer. Pour over the mint syrup evenly and allow to soak in.

Turn the oven up to 170°C.
Put 75g butter, 180g honey and 180g flaked almonds in a pan and heat gently until they are melted together. Remove from heat and immediately spread over the cake.
Put the cake back in the oven and cook for ~15min until the topping is lightly browned (take care it doesn’t burn). Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the tin for 20-30 min. Take the cake from the tin and remove the paper while it is still warm.

* Mathematical modelling shows that as the member list gets longer, the slices of cake get thinner, and the rate of increase of waistlines slows proportionately. This can be avoided by recruiting two bakers per week, or by grabbing seconds before latecomers arrive in the tea room.

Published in: on July 5, 2010 at 21:47  Leave a Comment  

Brandy Alexander Pie

In the second of the winter cake updates, we have Andrea’s Brandy Alexander Pie. This came pre-sliced, and shockingly had to be photographed using a mobile phone, as the usual artist was away and the photographer de jour was ill-prepared. Nonetheless, the word came back to your diligent blogger that this was a pie deserving of high praise and accolades, and was greatly enjoyed by all present. Andrea’s recipe follows.

3 packets Griffins Afghan biscuits
180g butter
Blend in food processor
Press biscuit mixture onto bottom and up side of shallow 20 to 25 cm diameter pie or flan dish

175g butter
225 g icing sugar
120 g plain chocolate, melted
3 tablespoons brandy (or rum or whisky)
150 ml whipped cream
Cream butter and icing sugar in food processor
Add melted chocolate and brandy to creamed sugar/butter mix and whizz in food processor again
Whip cream
Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture

Spoon mixture onto biscuit crust
Decorate pie with chocolate curls
Refigerate at least 1 hr before serving

Serve with whipped cream or fresh fruit or both.

Published in: on July 5, 2010 at 21:33  Leave a Comment  


Perhaps due to the frost of midwinter slowing down the typing fingers of cake clubbers, recipes have been oozing in at a gentle pace of late. However, a flurry of catching up is upon us, starting with Tom’s excellent Lebkuchen. This was a large cake, and although delicious, it even managed to defeat one of the best turn outs of the Cake Club so far. Tom’s report follows.

1.5 cups of Sugar
4 eggs
500g Honey
4 tsp baking powder
4 cups of flour
250g Ground Hazelnuts
250g Ground Almonds
100 Almonds (Silvered)
1 Lemon rind

Spice mix
4 tsp Cinnamon
4 tsp Cloves
3 tsp ginger
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cardamom

Heat and mix, butter, sugar and honey in a large pot.
Add spice mix and lemon rind when warm, stir and allow to cool.
Add eggs first and then flour, while stirring (it takes a while so a mixer might help).
Add nuts and mix.
Spread mix into a relatively low baking dish (about 5cm high, it doesn’t rise much).
Bake for approx. 15 mins (this seems to vary – test with a knife).

Note. This makes a very big Cake and you could easily halve it if you didn’t have a whole Cake Club to feed!

Published in: on July 4, 2010 at 21:27  Leave a Comment