Tomorrow a friend and fellow Beirut blogger is leaving. We only met 5 months ago but made friends fast- as quick as a cake takes to bake- and despite the fact we will soon be in different places, I have a feeling our friendship will last- as long as a recipe you learn by heart.
But because sometimes super-sleepless-mamas don’t have time to learn things by heart this post is for her.
I can’t literally post her any of my baking (as she suggested) but I can post the recipes instead, here, all in one place, to remind her of cappuccino and cake; of tea and treats on the terrace; and of our little girls at our feet, or climbing our knees, trying to get a taste of our coffee and cookies.
Keep-in-the-fridge-cookie-dough adapted from The Cookie Book
115g butter, softened
115g white granulated sugar
115g light muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
200g self-raising flour
150g chocolate chips (can be dark, milk, white or a mixture)
Preheat oven to gas mark 4. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Beat butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again. Add the flour and other things and mix together until just blended- the mixture will be slightly crumbly. Put spoons (size depends on you!) of mixture, well spaced on the baking tray and cook for 10-15 mins until golden brown. The mixture you don’t use can be covered in cling film and kept in a plastic box in the fridge for up to a week. Just remove from the fridge 20 minutes before you bake.
Yogurt Cake- adapted from many different internet recipes
1 pot of yogurt (I usually use plain or sometimes banana/peach/blueberry)
1 pot of vegetable oil
2 pots of sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 pots of flour (either self raising or plain plus 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
Flavours (I usually use lemon rind and vanilla essence).
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and lightly oil a loaf tin (I find the reusable aluminium ones work best). Put the yogurt in a bowl, add the sugar and oil and mix. Add the eggs and choice of flavours and mix. And the flour (and baking powder) and mix. Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for….. it really depends on your oven! Usually between 40 mins to an hour. It is done when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. I sometimes loosely cover the top with aluminium foil for the last 20 minutes or so to stop it from browning too much- but again it depends on your oven.
Chocolate Brownies- adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe
190g chocolate ( I usually use 125g dark and 75g milk)
190g butter (yes it’s a lot of butter, ‘a crime’ in my husband’s words, but it’s worth it!)
250 grams sugar
Few drops of vanilla essence
110 grams of plain flour
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and grease and line a small roasting pan. Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan then leave to cool. Beat the sugar and eggs until pale and foamy. Stir the choc/butter into the eggs/sugar. Add the vanilla. Fold in the flour and add the salt. Pour mixture into the tin and bake for between 20 and 30 minutes (depends on oven again!) until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean(ish- it depends how soft and gooey you like the brownies). Mark into pieces- as big or small as you like and leave to cool in the tin.
Carrot Cake- adapted slightly from a Mary Berry recipe
225g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
150g light muscovado sugar
1 table spoon cocoa powder (optional)
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and allspice (optional)
50g walnuts, chopped
100g carrots (about 3), grated
2 ripe bananas, mashed
150ml sunflower oil
Preheat oven to gas mark 4 and grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well blended, turn into tin. Cook until well risen and shrinking away from the sides- between 35 and 50 minutes- depending on your oven again! Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.
175g full fat cream cheese
50g butter, softened
100g icing sugar, sifted
A few drops of vanilla essence
Beat together until smooth and spread over the cake and then decorate with walnut halves.