Baking and I have had a mixed history. It is something that I really like to do, but haven't always done or been able to do. I generally make a Christmas cake each year and a birthday cake for hubby, possibly with a few other birthday cakes thrown in through the year for other people as well.
Just over two years ago I inherited a Kenwood Chef mixer - like a Kitchen Aid but English - and since then I have done slightly better with my baking efforts. It is so easy to use, I keep the mixer out on the bench and the attachments right there in the bowl so that it is to hand. The stainless steel bowl is easy to use and to wash up by hand and the attachments go into the dishwasher - although they would be easy to wash up too. I find that the cakes it makes are far lighter and airier than they ever were when I used my hand mixer before.
For many years I coveted a mixer, either a Kenwood or a Kitchenaid and I would stroke them in department stores! So when I had the chance to inherit one I jumped on the opportunity - in probably a rather unseemly fashion I am sad to say.
Over the last few weeks I have decided that rather than buying cake I would make cake each week. Now, right now the news is telling us all the time that we are eating too much sugar, shouldn't eat sweet things and so on and so on and on and on and on it goes. Well, we don't eat dessert for the most part, if we have it once a week I would be surprised. Although we did of course have dessert twice last week with hubby's bountiful gooseberry fool! Then we had rhubarb crumble yesterday so perhaps I am overestimating our abstemiousness!!
Anyway, my point is that we don't - we really don't! - usually eat dessert so the odd slice of cake isn't too bad in my books. Plus if I am making it myself I know that it doesn't have any nasty preservatives and things in it so it is actually healthier than shop cake which, to be frank with you, we would be eating in any case.
So I have made a lemon drizzle cake - heaven! - ginger cake with real stem ginger - delicious! - coffee and walnut cup cakes - very nice, but I would make butter icing in future, not the mascarpone icing that Delia called for as we were not very keen on that - and yesterday I made some rock cakes for this week. These were also a Delia recipe.
Here are this weeks rock cakes. Also very tasty!! Very easy to make too. You can find the recipe here. I recommend them!
I can also thoroughly recommend, if you are able, getting a stand mixer, everything turns out so much better! I am not being paid to say this - I wish!!!!
Oh, but I have to disclaim here, I didn't use the Kenwood to make the rock cakes, but I did use my new handy dandy pastry cutter thingy, which was excellent! I am also not being paid to say that!