Date Cake

Caroline’s first offering to Cake Club was a delectable delight indeed, with moist date sponge covered in crispy coconut. It’s a fine line to walk, dancing between the scrumptious yet healthy feeling date cake and the sheer sugary-ness of the topping, but she hit the mark with both hands full of cake and left everyone wanting more.

Date Cake

1 tspn baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1 cup chopped dates
Leave to soak while the butter and sugar is creamed

50 gm butter
1 cup sugar
Then add 1 egg

1 tspn vanilla essence
1 ½ cups flour
1 tspn baking powder
Add date mix to above

Bake in a round greased, paper lined spring form tin (or ring tin) at 190OC for 35 mins or until cooked.

Topping: Boil for 3 mins while stirring to prevent burning
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut (desiccated or shredded or a mixture of both)
4 Tbspn milk
100 gm butter

Remove cake from oven but do not remove from baking tin. Pour the topping over the cake and then place under the grill carefully. Topping will bubble and caramelize under the grill. Stay and watch as it can burn easily.

Allow the cake to cool and topping harden before removing from the tin.

Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 20:20  Leave a Comment  

Rhubarb and Blueberry Cake

Robyn’s rhubarb and blueberry cake was the order of the day last week, and a rather beautiful cake it was. Robyn says it is all down to the shape of the cake tin, but Cake Club knows she has magic in her fingertips – did she not win the Cake-Off 2010 Aesthetics prize? But good taste was there in abundance as well, and the cake club almost resorted to licking the crumbs off their plates as well as their fingers at the end of the tea break.

Rhubarb and Blueberry Cake

1.5 cups self raising flour
1.25 cups caster sugar
1.25 cups coconut
125 g butter, melted
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup finely chopped rhubarb
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 tbsp demerara sugar

Combine flour, caster sugar and coconut. Stir in the butter, eggs, milk and vanilla essence. Spoon half of the mixture into a greased ring tin. Scatter with rhubarb and berries, then top with the remaining mix. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and bake for 1 hour at 180°C. Stand in the tin for 5 minutes, then cool on a rack.

NB The original recipe used raspberries, and you could leave out the berries altogether.

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 19:09  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: Possum Pie

The third cake to be tasted and tested in Round 3 of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Pen’s Possum Pie. The inspiration arose from a conversation about what Large Sculpture ought to adorn the small town in which Cake Club abides, to rival Rakaia’s Big Fish or Cromwell’s Giant Fruit. It came down to a choice between a Monster Possum or a Hhge Hillyers Pie. Pen proceeded to make a Monster Possum Pie. No animals were harmed in the making of this cake.

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, had this to say about the creation:

Lovely sponge. Good butter icing – even not being a fan of icing, I could eat that. Very tasty.

Other comments from the assembled tasters mostly revolved around a concern that the pie might collapse under its own gravitational field, but also included grunts of delight.

Vote for Pen’s Possum Pie in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 3 Poll.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 20:35  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: Giant Lamington Trifle

The first cake to be tasted and tested in Round 2 of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Kat’s Giant Lamington Trifles. In her own words, “They were bigger in my mind.” Based on the Lamington sponge, which is quite Kiwi, and the trifle, which is quite Christmassy, it seemed appropriate to combine the two ideas with the aid of much jelly and custard, careful layering and some freezer fun-times.

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, had this to say about the creation:

Sponge light, delicious and fluffy. A fresh fruit burst, with a bit of freeze from the jelly. An interesting twist on the usually dull Lamington – very nice.

Other comments from the assembled tasters included “I like the lightness, especially given that we’re eating so many cakes,” and, “Yum! Very inventive.” The chef added, “And it wasn’t still frozen, it would be perfect!” to which the reply was heard, “But there’s nothing worse than runny jelly.” ‘Nuff said.

Vote for Kat’s giant Lamington trifles in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 2 Poll.

Published in: on December 14, 2010 at 19:45  Leave a Comment  

Caribbean Chocolate Rum Cake

Hot on the heels of previous chocolate cakes came Amy’s boozy rum cake. Described by the cook as “a ripper cake,” this contender for New Zealand’s hottest work baker went down in double quick time, to a calypso beat tapped out with spoons on the table, by dozens of Cake Clubbers hungry for seconds. Amy’s report follows.

Caribbean Chocolate Rum Cake

115 g butter
0.25 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas
2 Tbsp desiccated coconut
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 cup self-raising flour
3 Tbsp cocoa
0.5 tsp baking soda

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, then add bananas, coconut and sour cream. Fold in flour, cocoa and baking soda. Bake in a ring tin at 180°C for 45-50 mins. Turn from tin and leave to cool completely.


0.5 cup castor sugar
2 Tbsp dark rum
50 g chocolate

Syrup: Gently heat sugar and 4 Tbsp water in a pot, stirring continuously until sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly for two minutes and remove from heat. Stir in rum and chocolate until mixture is smooth. Carefully spoon over top and sides of cake. Decorate with tropical fruit and chocolate shapes or curls.

The recipe is from The Chocolate and Coffee Bible. Because I am lazy, I made the entire cake in the food processor but I’d recommend putting the sugar in before the (softened) butter or you end up with 0.5 cm of butter stuck in a solid layer on the bottom of the whizz! The syrup made enough for two cakes but it is also good on ice cream (or porridge if you need help getting started in the morning).

Published in: on August 26, 2010 at 04:26  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  

Date Cake

It was a two dessert week this week, and a good thing too as morning tea saw a record turn out of 17 hungry cake clubbers. After a quick rearrangement of the tables to accommodate the ravenous throng, Sam served up a tasty looking date cake with crunchy coconut topping, which was an instant win. Her report follows.

1 cup chopped dates
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp baking soda
125 gm butter

1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 beaten egg
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder

Put first 8 ingredients into saucepan. Heat and stir until dates are soft.
Cool, then sift flour and baking powder into saucepan mixture.
Bake 30 minutes at 180°C.

Cake Topping
1 cup brown sugar
50 gm butter
3 tbsp milk
1 cup coconut

Mix and heat topping ingredients in saucepan.
Pour over cooked cake (leave cake in tin) and then grill approx 2 minutes until lightly browned.
Cool before removing from tin.
Serve hot or cold, with cream or ice cream, or both!
Suitable to freeze.

This is an old family recipe from Sam’s mum – full points awarded from this cake club!

Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 20:15  Leave a Comment  

Indian Yoghurt Banana Cake

At the inaugural meeting, Kat presented an Indian Yoghurt Banana cake to the hordes of hungry mouths (who were not quite so hungry after devouring Pen’s delectable dessert). It had been trialled previously and was a very dense but tasty success.

Indian Yoghurt Banana Cake
Based on a recipe from Bake your cake and eat it too by Tamara Milstein (R&R Publishing)

80 g dessicated coconut (toasted)
125 g ghee
150 g caster sugar
40 g brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 medium bananas (ripe)
200 g thick plain yoghurt
250 g self raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice

200 g sour cream
100 g icing sugar

Preheat oven to 190°C
Line the base of a 22-24cm cake tin with baking paper
Grease the tin and pour in the dessicated coconut. Tip the tin to coat the greased sides with the toasted coconut, and reserve the excess coconut for the cake batter.
Beat ghee and sugars in a bowl until thick and creamy, then add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Meanwhile mash the bananas.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, add the mashed bananas, yoghurt, flour, cinnamon, mixed spice and remaining coconut and combine with a wooden spoon until there are no floury bits left.
Spoon mixture into the prepared cake tin and gently smooth the top.
Bake at 190°C for 55 minutes (or until firm and ‘springy’ when pressed in the centre of the cake – Kat did 50 minutes at 150°C in a fan oven, which tasted nice).
Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove from tin and cool completely.
When cool, place on a platter and ice.

To make icing mix together the sour cream and icing sugar until thick, then spread onto the cake.


To make your own ghee, take 200 g of butter and melt in the microwave on high power in a glass jug. Mix gently until all of the butter has fully melted, and then leave to settle for 15 minutes. Skim off the top layer of clarified butter (ghee), and place in another container. Place in fridge (or freezer) until hard enough to beat together with sugar.

Crème fraiche may work better in the icing. The sour cream did not become thick despite extensive mixing.

Published in: on March 11, 2010 at 20:59  Leave a Comment