21st October 2012
Sunday afternoon, back from a very muddy dog walk and with everybody curled up on the sofas in front of the television watching a very old James Bond movie, I thought I’d escape to the kitchen to do a little bit of baking. The kitchen was lovely and warm, the oven had been on for quite a few hours slow roasting a gorgeous shoulder of pork we bought from Hollington Rose Pigs and Pork the day before. The reason we had been visiting them is that they are soon to go on a few days holiday and myself, my husband and a couple of good friends are going to look after their pigs for them whilst they are away. Very muddy, but they are so friendly and cute – even the big mammas and very, very big papa!! Can’t wait!
Anyway, cakes were required for eating in front of the television. Under the Baking with Children section I came across these quick Mini Jammy Cakes, which looked quite interesting, to I decided to bake them.
The oven was put on to preheat – my cake oven – I didn’t want them tasting of pork and two baking trays were greased. This was a surprise in the recipe for me – having read ‘cakes’ in the title, I automatically assumed they would be cooked in cupcake or muffin cases, I wasn’t too sure about putting them directly onto a baking tray, but having read a bit further on in the recipe (which I really should do before I start!), it appeared that this would be more of a dough than a cake mixture.
Into a bowl went the flour and then the mixed spice. This is where I nearly had a complete catastrophe! I had picked the small jar of spice out of the cupboard – my spice/herb cupboard is absolutely heaving with different jars and I saw ‘spice’ on the jar and assumed it was mixed spice. It wasn’t … I had taken the lid off, put the spoon in and filled it up and taken it out ready to sprinkle over the flour. It was only at this point I realised the smell wasn’t quite what I was expecting – a quick spin round of the jar revealed that is was in fact Chinese Five Spice, eeek, I don’t think the cakes would have tasted too good if I had actually put that into them. The spice was quickly tipped back into the jar and this time the correct jar was taken out of the cupboard and the correct spice was added to the mixture. The third ingredient to go in was the butter. This was rubbed into the flour and spices until it resembled fine breadcrumbs. The caster sugar was added and then stirred in – well actually it was mixed in with my hands, much easier.
One egg was then put into a bowl and into this you had to add 3-4 tbsp of milk. Reading through the recipe I saw that not all of this mixture would necessarily be needed, so I only put 2 tbsp of milk in, as I recently weighed the eggs from my chickens and although I thought they laid large eggs, they do in fact lay extra large eggs, so I thought myself slightly smart in only putting half the milk in. This was given a quick whisk together and then half of it was poured into the dry mixture. I did end up using all that was left (but did not have to add the other 2 tbsp of milk) in order for the mixture to come to a stiff dough.
The dough then had to be divided into 24 pieces. Each piece had to be rolled into a ball, which I placed onto the two baking trays. They looked quite tiny and I wasn’t quite sure how 1/4tsp of jam was going to fit on each of them. However, the next stage was to use the handle of a wooden spoon and make a small hole in the top of each ball, this slightly flattened them too. It was into this hole that 1/4tsp of jam had to be placed. Mary did say to use blackcurrant jam but as there wasn’t any in the house, I used some of my homemade strawberry jam. They were to be ‘open’ cakes!
That was it, or so I thought, into the oven they went, but were removed immediately as I remembered I hadn’t sprinkled the tops of the cakes with granulated sugar. A quick sprinkle, although I think more sugar went over the baking trays than on the actual cakes themselves and back into the oven they went for ten minutes.
After ten minutes they had started to take on some colour, so they were removed from the oven and placed on the cooling tray. Mary does say to eat these warm, so after 5 minutes I took them into the family to enjoy. And enjoy them they did, by the time I served dinner up, there were only 3 left – I must admit they were very easy to make, very tasty and one I will do again.