Glühwein Bundt

Going to Clandestine Cake Club does strange things to me. It makes me have weird ideas for cakes. In October 2012 Derby CCC celebrated its 1st birthday and the theme was travel. As I had spent some time living in Berlin I decided to go a German cake. First cake to come to mind was a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, but this is too much like the cake I made for the first Derby CCC meeting so back to the drawing board.

Unbelievably I don’t own a German cookbook and I also wanted to make a bundt cake. Any excuse to use my new tin. While looking on the internet for cake inspiration I stumbled across a Glühwein Cake. Glühwein is a type of German mulled wine, something I associate with the colder months.

I have an irrational dislike of recipes written in cups. For me it messes with my analytical mind. I like to be accurate with my baking and I believe with cups I don’t give you that. As the only recipe I could find was in cups I converted to grams then paired down the recipe to fit my tin. I was going to say this is a chiffon sponge, I don’t think it is, but it uses a similar method.

Life is hectic here at the moment. I was glad to plan a cake that I could quickly throw together, bake (albeit I overbaked slightly) and quickly decorate with a drizzle of icing. This is one of the reasons why I love bundt cakes. No fancy icing required.  I did mess up the icing on one bit as I was rushing, but we’ll ignore that. The chocolate letters were a last-minute addition. The initial plan was to simply write ‘happy birthday’ in German until I remembered it’s not as simple as that.  ‘Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag’ is frankly a bit of a mouthful so settled for Heimlich Kuchen (secret cake) Geburtstag (birthday). Apologies for any shocking German grammatical errors.

I like how the cake unintentionally looks like it comes from a cookbook circa 1980 with its brown tones. Taste wise it’s like a delicate gingerbread with out the stickiness you get in British style gingerbread cake. You can’t taste the wine as such, but it does bring depth to the cake. I made my gluhwein for the recipe with some wine briefly steeped with a mulled wine sachet.

Glühwein Bundt
1lb Bundt tin
Based on Glühweinkuchen

2 eggs

140g caster sugar

90 ml vegetable oil

90ml glühwein

190g plain flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp cocoa powder

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground mace

60g dark chocolate chips


for the glaze

90g icing sugar

2 tsp rum

2 tsp glühwein

pinch of cinnamon

1) Using an electric whisk beat together the eggs and sugar until they have tripled in size. With the whisk still beating, slowly pour in the oil and glühwein.

2) Fold in the remaining ingredients taking care not to beat the air out the fluffy eggs.

3) Grease tin with oil (I’m a big fan of Dr Oetker Cake Release) then pour in mixture.

4) Place tin in oven and bake at 180°c for 20-25 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean.

5) Allow cake to cool completely in tin before turning out.

6) To make the glaze, mix together icing sugar, rum, glühwein and pinch of cinnamon until it is of a good pouring consistency. Drizzle over cake and leave to set.


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Toad in the Hole

There are many reasons I married my husband. Apart from the bloomin’ obvious, he’s an Engineer (engineers are handy people to know), he’s not scared of mice and enjoys cooking. We’ll brush over the first meal he cooked me; I turned up to his student house for our 3rd date, impressed I’d managed to bag a man who could cook, to be served a Vesta Chow Mein. Look, if I can still marry a man after being cooked that, it must be saying something.

As we left our student palettes of value chicken kievs, crinkle cut oven chips and beans with pasta (ok the cupboards were bare and it was the end of term) I began to realise that the man I was destined to marry really could cook. He has natural intuition in some aspects of cooking that I don’t have and he always makes better Yorkshire puddings, pancakes and toad in the hole than me. Don’t ask me why. We both use the same recipe, but his always turn out better.

Now in the photo above they are normal sized sausages, not the chipolatas that the crowning batter suggests. Hubs uses various tricks to get the batter to raise as well as it does. You can see his tips here. The sausages are from Chantry Farm Shop near Melbourne. By far best sausage makers locally. I’m sure I could spot Chantry sausages in a taste test.

Hubs could quite happily tuck in to this with just a good dousing of onion gravy, but the woman in me insists we have to eat it with at least one veg. The old adage of always making sure you have three colours on the plate for a balanced meal sits strong with me. No, taupe, beige and brown does not count as three colours.


Toad in the Hole
Serves 2 greedy guts or 4 normal people

4 large eggs

230g plain flour

pinch of salt

300ml milk

2 tbsp rapeseed oil (Hubs swears by Mellow Yellow)

6 sausages
1) Place the eggs, flour and salt in a bowl and whisk together until well combined. Gradually whisk in the milk. Don’t worry if you have the odd lump.

2) Allow the batter to chill for 30-60 min.

3) Preheat the oven to 200°c. Put 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil in the bottom of a 8×10 inch tin, the add the sausages and cook for 10 minutes.

4) Pour the batter into the tin, ideally not over the sausages. Then place tin back in the oven and bake for a further 20 min until sausages are cooked and the batter is risen and golden.

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The (macro) Garden Update – Oct 2012

Who would have thought when I wrote the last garden post in June that the weather would dramatically change. Earlier in the year Derbyshire had been declared a drought region then Mother Nature decided to turn the season on its head and bring us rain, lots of it. Consequently this year has been possibly the worst harvest for us. The first tomatoes refused to grow then all the replacement plants from a garden centre got blight. Nearly everything photographed in the June post got decimated by pests. With floods, hail, pests and frogs all we needed was a plague of locusts.

The grapevine produced a couple of grapes but they were tiny and not edible. This year the vine is best for giving the garden a bit of colour and for macro photos of raindrops.

However in amongst all the failed crops we managed to sucessfully grow sweetcorn the first time. We’re yet to harvest it, but it grew, it grew! While taking photographs for the post this morning I spotted a little white gem out of the corner of my eye. There, in between unseasonal delicate flowers were a handful of white alpine strawberries. These had seeded themselves from last year’s crop.

The odd weather we’ve had has changed some things in the garden. While the strawberries are still fruiting and flowering my fuchsias that looked dead all year have sprung into life. I’ve never seen such bright fuchsias so late in my garden and they neighbours have the same. It’s strange, yet beautiful, seeing an autumn garden alight with flowers in coral and blush.

 How has your garden grown this year?

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Strawberry Mille Feuille by Stephen Crane

One of my favourite types of patisserie is a mille feuille, literally translated to mean million layers. Who can resist layers of light pastry sandwiching creams, custards and fruit? If I’m out and have a choice of cream cakes it will always be a mille feuille. Recently Great British Chefs approached me asking if I would like to recreate the Strawberry Mille Feuille recipe by Stephen Crane  recipe at home. Any excuse for me to get out the ice cream maker again. This dessert is elegant (if you ignore my rushed quenelle!) and surprisingly easy to construct. While there is a few parts to the recipe all can be made in advance and just assembled before serving. Although the strawberry season is drawing to a close the Scottish strawberries you can buy at the moment are perfect for this because of their small delicate size. I image this recipe would also work well with both raspberries and blackberries. The glazed strawberries should have been macerated in more mint, but Hubs decided to dramatically cut back the monster mint plant leaving me with just two tiny freshly sprouted leaves. Even without the proper amount of mint it worked well.

I will admit I have a bit of a fear of boiling sugar, I don’t always trust myself with it although I want to conquer my fear and master sugar. The tempting thing about playing with sugar is to dip your fingers in because it doesn’t look hot. Just ask Hubs, who tried to retrieve a dropped spoon from a pan of caramel, yes sugar does get rather hot. While coating the almonds I was pleased that I managed to get the sugar to long thread.

The creamy layer is a lightly set vanilla custard that tastes very like a panna cotta. Hubs was rather pleased to see I had a few spoonfuls of this beautiful cream left over. We had these for pudding late last night after a rather filling chicken roast dinner. I’m still trying to work out the most elegant way to eat a Mille Feuille. I kind of go for the deconstructed layer approach whereas Hubs goes for the squish and eat method. Not something to eat on a first date.

I’ve followed Great British Chefs on twitter for a while (I highly recommend a follow they are lovely!) and their website is full of recipes that are step up from my usual online recipe haunts. I now have Bharwan Grilled Paneer and Gin & Tonic Granita in my sights and will certainly make the mille feuille again for special occasions.

This post has been sponsored by Great British Chefs but in true Butcher Baker fashion all words, opinions and ramblings are our own. 

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Giveaway: Pair of tickets to Cake International – NEC


After last week’s jaunt down to London for the Cake & Bake Show I’m pleased that the well renowned Cake International - The Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating & Baking Show is coming back to the NEC, Birmingham 9th – 11th November.

If you want to learn, show or buy anything to do with cake and sugarcraft this is your place. I’m going for the first time this year and can’t wait because I’ve heard so many good things about it. With the popularity of baking at the moment I know Cake International at the NEC is always a popular show, especially for us Northern/Midlanders.

Friday 9, Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 November 2012
Open Friday and Saturday 09.30-17.30, Sunday 09.30 – 17.00
Ticket Prices:
On the Door:
Adult £12.00 (£10.00 advanced price when ordered by 5pm Mon 5 November)
Senior £11.00 (£9.00 advanced price when ordered by 5pm Mon 5 November)
2 Day Ticket (advance only) Adult £16.00 Senior £14.00 (Needs to be ordered by 5pm Mon 5 November)
3 Day Ticket (advance only) Adult £22.00 Senior £20.00 (Needs to be ordered by 5pm Mon 5 November)

For more information please visit Book tickets online or phone Ticket Hotline
01425 277988.

I have one pair of tickets to give away.

Win a pair of Cake International, NEC Tickets

To enter:

  1. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (If you’re reading this via email you will need to click through to blog)
  2. There is one main way to enter the competition and other ways to get bonus entries.
  3. Open to UK entrants aged 18 and over.
  4. Competition closes on 26th October 2012
  5. Please follow the Rafflecopter instructions and read the terms and conditions below. Entries will be verified. If an entry cannot be verified they will be disqualified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Confetti Cake

This isn’t a fancy birthday birthday cake, just a simple colour flecked sponge with a good dose of chocolate. Given it was my sister’s last birthday before the big three-zero I decided she needed a colourful cake, reminiscent of the birthday cakes we used to have as children that were magically conjured from under a large Tupperware box .

Snowies remind me of going to the sweet stall in the market when we were kids. These giant snowies are available from various companies. Mine are from Silver Spoon that I picked up on the Sainsbury reduced counter. One thing I will say is once they are set on the cake with chocolate they are not the easiest to cut through.

A confetti or funfetti cake is essentially a sponge cake baked with sprinkles in the batter which cause flecks of colour in the cake when cut. When I made this cake I experimented with two different types of sprinkles. The traditional hundreds and thousands and the bigger flatter sprinkle disks. For this cake to work you must use the sprinkles that are of solid colour, like these. The sprinkles that are coated (like hundreds and thousands) don’t work because the small amount of colour on them rubs off when it is stirred in to the batter.

I cocked up a bit when baking this cake. I was very busy on the day I was making it and in my infinite wisdom decided it would be quicker to bake a cake in one tin rather than two separate layers like I usually do. Of course it isn’t quicker. This explains why the cake is slightly darker than usual on the outside. Where possible I always bake my cakes in separate layers. For speed, gives a more even bake and it gives you the option of which is the prettiest cake to use as the top layer.

Confetti Cake
Serves 12 

The key to this sponge is to weigh the eggs, in their shells, at the beginning. You will then need the equal weight of flour, sugar & butter. So if your eggs weigh 250g you’ll need 250g flour etc.

4 large eggs

self-raising flour

caster sugar

butter, softened

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2-3 tbsp of solid coloured sprinkles

200g white chocolate

chocolate snowies

around 200g Raspberry jam

1) Line the bottom of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment. Preheat oven to 180°c.

2) Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy then beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined. Before adding the fourth egg add a spoonful of the flour into the mix to help stop the mixture curdling.

3) Stir in the vanilla extract then fold in the flour and sprinkles. It needs to be of dropping consistency (in other words it drops off the sponge easily). If not, add a small amount of milk to help loosen the batter.

4) Share the cake batter between the two tins then bake for around 30 minutes until the cakes are risen, golden and a skewer comes of out the cake clean.

5) Allow the cake for rest for a few minutes for the cake to rest before turning it out of the tin and removing the baking paper. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

6) Sandwich the two layers of cake with raspberry jam.

7) Melt the white chocolate then pour over the cake. Allow the chocolate to set for a few minutes before adding the snowies or they will slide straight off.

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Fig & Banana Loaf

We all have those times when we have odd foods in the cupboards that need using up quickly. Earlier this week we had a rapidly ripening banana, an opened bag of dried figs (that according to the packet had to be eaten within 7 days), and some left over prune juice. Don’t ask me why I bought prune juice, I don’t even like the stuff from the murky colour to the sweet taste. However prune juice is great for soaking fruit in for cakes.


Hubs has a sweet tooth, a very sweet tooth. We go through mountains of fruit every week due to his habit. However, sometimes fruit just doesn’t kick it for a sugar hit. Although I bake lots here cake is a treat. We both visit the gym & swim many times a week but our 30-something metabolisms are nothing like they used to be as teenagers so for everyday lunchbox baking I prefer for it to have something good in it. This is what is good about this fruit loaf. There is no added fat and most of the sweetness comes from the dried fruit and juice. Of course this is still sugar, but sugar with benefits. Dried fruit still counts as one of your 5-a-day and is packed with fibre and other good stuff.

Fig & Banana Loaf
Makes a 2lb loaf

250g dried figs
300ml prune juice
1 ripe banana, mashed
450g self-raising flour
2 tbsp marmalade
1 egg
1 tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp soft dark sugar
honey, for glazing

1) Chop the figs in to pieces then oak the figs in the prune juice overnight. Don’t drain!

2) Preheat oven to 170oc and line a 2lb loaf tin. In a large bowl mix together the figs, the remaining juice, flour, mashed banana marmalade, egg, ginger and sugar. Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean. If the top is browning too much, cover with foil.

3) Once cake is baked, allow to sit for 5 min before removing from the tin, then brush with the honey to get a shiny glaze. Allow to cook fully before slicing.

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