Monday, 25 March 2013
Latte Sponge Cake and Olive Oil Scones- Updated Oldies-No Pictures
Latte Sponge Cake and Olive Oil Scones
I had to bake a cake recently and wanted something simple and quick, a quick browse in a book I always keep handy for such occasions, ‘Full and Plenty’ by Maura Laverty a gem of a cook book from the 60’s commissioned by the Irish Flour Millers Association, gave me up these two recipes, the first originally called ‘Hot Milk Sponge Cake’ in her book, I've just added the coffee to the original recipe and called it Latte Cake. The second, while waiting for the cake to bake I retreated to the book and came across ‘Salad Oil Scones' new to me -at 500 pages and only a few pictures there's always something new in it.I liked the idea and gave them a go, I replaced the 'salad oil' with Olive Oil, (she had probably intended to use olive oil in her recipe but wanted to save you a trip to the chemist, just about the only place you’d get olive oil for sale in those days) She describes the scones as ‘extra rich and tender with a delicate crust top and bottom’.They are baked in a very hot oven, and bring the full fragrance of the olive oil out. Bake the cake first then turn up the heat and give the scones a go.
From the foreword of ‘Full and Plenty’ by Maura Laverty
‘Good ingredients are more readily available in Ireland than any other country in the world. An American agricultural expert once told me that we should go down on our knees and give thanks for those easy-going ways of ours which economist bewail. Thanks to the fact that our soil has not been worked to dust, we enjoy better-flavoured meat, more succulent vegetables, creamier milk, richer butter and cheese and more nourishing wheat.’
Prescient words considering in the sixties we'd be led down the supermarket aisles of pre-packaged food.Thankfully we are starting to turn the cycle back to appreciating what good foods we have to offer from our own land and the satisfaction of home cooking.
Latte Cake (Hot Milk Cake)
The original recipe used vanilla and lemon extracts for flavourings, and there no reason this one can’t be changed to use ‘Hot Chocolate’. I decorated mine with a simple coffee butter icing (50g soft butter beat with 100g icing sugar beat well with a teaspoon of coffee dissolved in a teaspoon of water as a simple topping).
6 tablespoons/ 90ml of Hot Milk
2 teaspoons Instant coffee
6oz/175g Self-raising flour - sifted
Separate the egg yolks and whites.
In a bowl beat the yolks- use an electric hand mixer, and then add the sugar and coffee beat well adding the hot milk slowly until the mix is light and creamy. Fold in the flour, then beat the egg whites until stiff and fold in to the rest of the mix.
Bake in a buttered 8” 20cm cake tin at 325°f; gas mark 2,165°c in a pre-heated oven 25-30mins or until the cake starts to shrink from the side of the tin.
Turn it on to a wire rack to cool.
Olive Oil Scones (Salad Oil Scones)
I like to add a little coarse sea-salt and dried rosemary to the surface of these before baking,
Like all soda breads these taste great split and toasted the next day.
8oz/227 Self-raising flour
Good pinch fine sea-salt
2 oz/56g olive oil
6 oz/176g buttermilk
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and butter milk, stir in with a fork until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. This dough will be wet and sticky, but we don’t want to add extra flour when kneading and shaping instead use a sheet of parchment paper or cling-film to work the mix on.
‘turn the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper or cling-film; lift paper/film by one corner and fold over in half, press down firmly, pull paper/film back. Repeat with other corners of paper /film until dough looks smooth.’
Cover with another piece of parchment/film and press flat to ½” 12mm thick, at this stage try to get it rectangular in shape and cut into small rectangles with a knife and place onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 mins, in a very hot oven 475°f/ 250°c/gas mark 7
For more info on Maura Laverty follow this link.