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Summer cakes and tray bakes

COOK Rebecca Hedley, who features in our Taste lead story today, has just won two Great Taste awards for her Proud to be Ginger Nut biscuits and her Sugar Plum Fairy Christmas pudding.

Summer cakes and tray bakes

COOK Rebecca Hedley, who features in our Taste lead story today, has just won two Great Taste awards for her Proud to be Ginger Nut biscuits and her Sugar Plum Fairy Christmas pudding.

Rebecca runs her cake and biscuit baking business, Scarlett and the Spotty Dog from the kitchen of her farmhouse home near Otterburn.

Here she shares recipes for some of her sweet treats with Journal readers.

Granny’s Apple and Almond Tray Cake

Rebecca says: “My gran and my mum make this delicious cake regularly for tea. The apples are layered across the top and sprinkled with demerara sugar, so the contrast between soft, slightly tart apples and crunchy sugar is amazing. This cake is great as a pudding too – serve it when it’s still warm from the oven with double cream.

Makes 10 pieces

150g self-raising flour

150g soft brown sugar

150g butter, softened

50g ground almonds

3 eggs, beaten

3 small red-skinned dessert apples, cored but not peeled and cut into half moon slices approximately 0.5 cm thick

1 tbsp demerara sugar

1 tsp almond essence

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C, 350F, gas 4.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add the beaten egg gradually until fully combined.

4. Sift the flour and stir into the mixture, followed by the ground almonds and the almond essence.

5. Pour the mixture into a cake tin, 7 by 10 inch, lined with greaseproof paper, and spread evenly. Arrange the apple slices so they overlap and sprinkle with sugar.

6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden and firm and the apples are soft and cooked through.

Stem Ginger and Lemon Shorties

“I love this recipe for these absolutely gorgeous shortbread bars flavoured with stem ginger and lemon zest,” says Rebecca.

Makes 16 bars

280g plain flour

60g rice flour

230g salted butter softened

110g soft brown sugar

110g crystallised ginger, chopped into small pieces

Grated zest of a lemon

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C, 350F, gas 4.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until well combined. Sift the flour into the bowl then add the lemon zest and ginger. Mix together until the mixture forms a soft dough.

3. Press the dough into a greased 7 by 10 inch cake tin until it is evenly spread. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden.

4. Cut into bars while still warm (but not hot).

Peanut Butter and Brown Sugar Crumblies

Rebecca says: “I love peanuts and am always drawn to biscuit recipes with them in – the salty/sweet contrast makes them so moreish!”

Makes 18 biscuits

125g unsalted butter, softened

175g soft brown sugar

½ tsp vanilla essence

1 egg, beaten

225g crunchy peanut butter

150g plain flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas 4.

2. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.

3. Gradually beat in the egg and peanut butter. Sift in the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Chill for an hour.

4. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into 18 balls and place them on greased baking sheets.

5. Flatten each ball with a fork to give a pretty pattern and bake for 15 minutes until golden.

6. Place on a wire rack to cool.

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