This recipe makes a flat sponge which is sandwiched together with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. I’ve used the recipe for my book Food Preparation Task
100 g caster sugar
100 g self raising flour
40 g raspberry jam
250 ml double cream whipped
200 g raspberries + 1 fresh fig
Sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C/ Gas 6.
- Line a cake tin 20 x 30 cm with baking parchment paper.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar for about 10 minutes until the mixture is thick and creamy and you can leave a trail in the mixture. This forms a foam.
- Sieve in the flour and fold in gently with a metal spoon.
- Spoon into the tin and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and the cake springs back to touch.
- Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack. When cool, cut in half.
- Make the filling – whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and stir in 20g icing sugar.
- Mix the cream with a few raspberries.
- Fill the middle of the cake with some of the cream and raspberries.
- Warm the jam and brush over the top of the cake.
- Decorate the top of the cake with the rest of the cream, sliced fig and the raspberries. Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.
The science bit – see my Food Science You Can Eat book
Eggs and sugar whisk to a foam. Albumen is the protein in the egg and this extends and traps the air bubbles.
On heating the air expands and pushes up the egg, sugar and flour mixture.
Flour contains gluten which is a protein which sets when heated.
The egg protein denatures, coagulates and sets with the gluten and forms the sponge structure.
The cake changes colour as the starch changes to dextrin and the Maillard reaction takes place.
Nutrition analysis – using Nutrition Program
Choux pastry – 14 small buns
Eclairs, choux buns, profiteroles and cheese puffs are made with choux pastry.
Choux pastry is not rolled like other pastries – it is a dough of flour, fat, eggs and water.
50g butter or margarine, plus extra for greasing
75g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
For cheese puffs, mix 100g grated cheese to the dough, fill with low fat cream cheese.
For profiteroles use 150ml whipped double cream and dust with icing sugar.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7 and grease a baking tray or line with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan with the water then bring to the boil.
- Add the flour quickly into the boiling water and beat the pastry mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon until it’s smooth and leaves the bottom of the pan. This takes about 5-10 minutes.
- Cool for 2-3 minutes then gradually beat in the eggs to make a smooth, shiny paste.
- Using a dessert spoon, put spoonfuls of the mixture on the baking tray.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C/Gas 4 and bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffed up, golden brown and with a crisp bottom.
- When cooked, pierce holes in the top to let out the steam and bake for 2 minutes to dry out.
- Leave them upside down on a cooling rack to dry completely.
The science bit
When the eggs are beaten into the flour dough, they trap air which helps the pastry rise.
Beating the mixture stretches the gluten which helps form the structure.
When the mixture bakes, the liquid from eggs and water in the dough turns to steam and puffs up and raises the mixture leaving the centre hollow.
The egg protein denatures, coagulates and the gluten in the flour sets forming the structure.
Starch in the flour gelatinises as it cooks.
The hole is made in the choux buns to let the steam out and stop the buns from softening.
Coagulated egg also glazes the crust to give a golden colour.
Pizza is another invention that came after my 1970 classroom recipes so we never made it with a yeast dough.
Nowadays ready made pizza bases make life easy but here’s a home made recipe.
200g strong, white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt 3g
1 x 7 g sachet dried yeast
2 tsp sugar
150ml warm water.
Passata or tomato paste – about 100g
100g grated cheese or mozzarella
2 tbs olive oil
Ideas for topping – Slices of aubergine, onion, yellow and red pepper, black olives, mixed herbs, mushrooms
- Preheat the oven to 250C/ Gas 9. Prepare large baking trays for the 2 pizzas by lining them with non stick paper.
- Put the flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl or food processor and work in the water until the dough forms. Use the blades in the machine to work the dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes by stretching, pulling and pushing the dough to make it smooth and springy. This kneading helps stretch the gluten which forms the structure when baked.
- Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a cloth or clingfilm and leave in a warm place until double in size 20-30 minutes.
- Prepare the ingredients for the topping – you can roast or fry the peppers, sliced onion and aubergine.
- Grate the cheese and slice the mushrooms.
- Divide the dough in half and rub with a little oil and pat and roll out to form a large pizza shape. Repeat for the second dough and place on the 2 baking trays.
- Spoon on a layer of passata or tomato paste to the edges of each pizza then drop on the vegetables, mixed herbs and top with grated cheese. Place some olives on top.
- Bake 7-10 minutes until the pizzas are golden and crispy.
High energy oat bar – Makes 16 squares
Adapt the recipe by adding seeds and fruit to add crunchiness and colour to the recipe.
Ingredients for basic recipe
2 tablespoons golden syrup (60g)
80g brown sugar
100g margarine or butter
200g rolled oats
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4 and line a 22 cm square tin with baking parchment or non stick paper.
- Heat the tablespoon in a cup of hot water to help measure the tablespoons of golden syrup.
- In a saucepan melt the sugar, margarine or butter and golden syrup.
- Stir in the oats and pack down into a 22 cm square tin and smooth down.
- Bake for 30 minutes – a bit longer if you want it crunchy.
- Take out of the oven and mark into 16 squares. Leave to cool and take out of the tin.
200g white SR flour
3g baking powder
100g grated cheese
20g sesame seeds
30g pumpkin seeds
30g sunflower seeds
milk – approximately 130ml
Glaze – beaten egg mixed with small amounts of each seed
- Preheat the oven at 230°C/ Gas mark 9.
- Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter.
- Stir in some of the cheese, sesame seeds, pine nuts and sunflower seeds and mix to a stiff dough with the milk. Knead until smooth.
- Pat out onto a floured surface until roughly 16 cm in diameter. Place on a baking tray and mark into 6 equal segments. Brush over the glaze and sprinkle over some seeds.
- Bake for 16-20 minutes on the centre of the top shelf until the scone ring is firm underneath and thoroughly cooked. Test to see if a skewer comes out clean.
- Place on a wire rack to cool.
Makes 10 – 12 standard muffins.
Ingredients Basic recipe
250g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
80g caster sugar
90ml corn oil – 3 tablespoons
- Prepare the tins with paper cake cases. Preheat oven 200°C/ Gas mark 5-6.
- Mix the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt, sugar.
- Mix the wet ingredients – egg, milk and oil.
- Pour the wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir for 20 seconds. Do not beat. The muffin mixture should drop in globs off the spoon. If overstirred the gluten in the flour will develop and the muffins will be tough with holes. Fill the muffin cups.
- Bake 20-25 mins. Mini muffins take 15-20 minutes. Muffins are cooked when the tops are lightly browned and spring back when touched.
- Muffins are best when they are freshly baked and still warm. If not,they should be frozen.Flavours you can add
Raisins, currants, chopped dried fruit, chocolate chips, apricots, bananas, bran, cherries, cheese.Flours to use
Plain flour is best.
Strong flour has too much gluten and will make the muffins tough.
Self raising flour is OK but you need to know how much baking powder to add.
Wholemeal flour adds colour and fibre.
Sugar – granulated, finer caster sugar or brown sugar can be used.
Oils – you need to choose one that has a good flavour, but not too strong. Olive oil is too strong.
Milk – you can use semi-skimmed, skimmed to lower the fat as well as whole milk.
Eggs improve the texture, lightness and nutritional value of the muffin.
Extra nutrition and fibre – add some wheatgerm or bran
Blancmange is made by mixing blancmange powder, which is made from cornflour and flavouring such as cocoa powder, with milk and sugar and heating it. It needs to set for several hours before it is turned upside down.
Ingredients Serves 4
Sachet of blancmange powder (36g)
- Mix blancmange powder, sugar and 3 tbs milk to make a smooth paste.
- Heat remaining milk in a jug in the microwave or in a saucepan.
- Add a little warm milk to the paste and stir.
- Return to a jug in a microwave or a saucepan and heat and stir until thick.
- Pour into a mould, cool then put in the fridge and leave to set for 3 hours.
- Turn upside down and serve chilled.
The science bit
Heating cornflour and liquid makes a thick sauce. The liquid enters the starch granules, they swell and a gel is formed. The blancmange thickens by gelatinisation.