Browsing Tag


Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe

Delicious Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe from Housewife Confidential

We have a plum tree in our garden which periodically gives us a crop of plums. This year we have a crop and after the children have gorged themselves on what they can scrump I might have a few plums for my favourite plum cake.

Delicious Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe from Housewife Confidential

It may horrify you to know that I can take or leave cake most of the time but not his one. This cake is deliciously light with the sharp fruit cutting through the buttery flavour. The nuts add a toasted crunch which you didn’t know you were missing until this beautiful cake.

Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe from Housewife Confidential-8

Delicious Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe from Housewife Confidential

Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe

150g butter, softened

150g caster sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

75g self raising flour

100g ground almonds

70g blanched hazelnuts roughly chopped

6 – 7 small plums, stoned and thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 180°C


  • First toast the hazelnuts until lightly browned and set aside to cool.
  • Prepare the plums then butter and line a 20cm cake tin.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Sieve the flour into the wet ingredients and gently fold into the mixture.
  • Fold in the ground almonds followed by the hazelnuts.
  • Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and flatten the top gently.
  • Lay the sliced plums across the top, I like to arrange them in a circle but do bear in mind they will sink in so you don’t need to expend too much energy.
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes and test with a skewer.
  • Cool for ten minutes in the tin before turning out onto a rack to cool.

Plum and Hazelnut Cake Recipe from Housewife Confidential-17

I’ve adapted this recipe from one in Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries (an absolute must read).

Chocolate Pavlova Recipe

Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlova Recipe from Housewife Confidential so easy!

I’ve been called upon to make quite a few puddings recently. Puddings are not a frequent occurrence around here so it has been fun trying some new things. I managed to sign up to make not one but two pavlovas for our pre-school’s quiz night. I decided to mix it up a bit and make a chocolate and raspberry pavlova alongside them traditional white meringue and strawberries.

Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlova Recipe-6

The chocolate meringue expanded more during cooking and had a more cracked exterior but it was incredibly more-ish. Having been asked for the recipe by a few friends I figured it couldn’t be too bad. If you keep some frozen berries on hand you can whip this up with a few store cupboard ingredients and a tub of cream from the local shop. If they are available, fresh raspberries go very well with the deep chocolaty marshmallow of the meringue.

Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlova Recipe

Chocolate Pavlova

6 eggs, whites separated (use the yolks for pasta!)

330g golden caster sugar

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

25 – 50g dark chocolate, finely chopped

500ml of double cream

A large punnet of raspberries or mixed red berries

Preheat oven to 180°C, cover a large tray with baking parchment

  • Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (as in the picture above).
  • Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking until the mixture is shiny.
  • Add the vinegar and gently fold through the meringue.
  • Next sieve the cocoa powder over the meringue a little at a time gently folding it into the meringue with a metal spoon.
  • Once the cocoa is combined, fold in the chocolate and turn out the meringue onto the baking sheet making either a square, oblong or circle (depending on how you want to serve it) shape that’s even across the top and has a bit of space left around the edge.
  • Gently place the tray in the oven and turn down the heat to 150°C. Leave to cook for 1 hour and twenty minutes.
  • Open the oven and check the outside is nice and crispy then turn off the oven, leave the door open a little (if safe to do so) and leave the meringue to cool in the oven for a few hours, overnight if you can.
  • Whip the cream until it is soft yet firm, spread it over the top of your meringue leaving space around the edge. Then arrange your fruit on top either willy nilly or in neat circles depending on your temperament.

Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlova Recipe-8

Making Sourdough Starter and Bread


Today I’m over at Violet Posy’s Thrifty Christmas talking about making sourdough starter and loaves to give as gifts this Winter. While we don’t celebrate Christmas we do give gifts as part of our tradition and last year we gave sourdough.

How to make a sourdough starter:

What you need:

-Warm water – spring water is ideal but if you are using tap water boil it first and leave it to stand overnight (gets rid of the chlorine)

-Organic flour. I use unbleached bread flour but many people use rye flour or a combination of the two.

-A jar or glass bowl – scrupulously clean so nothing else gets into the starter.

-Non-metallic tools as the metal can give your culture a weird taste.

Day one: mix 50g warm water and 50g flour in the bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm but away from hot spots.

Day two: stir in any liquid which has formed on the top. Mix in 50g warm water and 50g flour.

Day three – seven: normally you would throw out half of the starter at this point but as we want a large quantity we won’t. Mix in 100g warm water and 100g flour.

You will start to see bubbles form in your mixture and notice a smell. It can be yeasty but it is also not unusual for it to smell alcoholic or a bit like pear drops. So long as it doesn’t smell rotten you’re all good.

How to make a sourdough starter the easy way:

Buy a San Francisco Sourdough Starter £4.99 but you can be up and running within a couple of days, make unlimited quantities and it has a delicious flavour.

Feeding instructions:

Your starter is hungry fellow, if you keep it out of the fridge most likely it will need feeding daily. If you haven’t made any bread give it 50g of flour and 50g of water but if you have made bread you’ll want to give it a bigger feed of 100g flour and 100g warm water.

In the fridge he can go a few days without feeding but revive and feed 24 hours before making a loaf.

Making a loaf:

175g starter (which has not been fed for 24 hours, feed the remaining starter)

500g strong bread flour

Approx 200-300ml warm water

1 tsp salt dissolved in the warm water

  • Mix the starter and the flour together in a bowl.
  • Add the salted water a little at a time, mixing through until you have a supple and elastic dough. It may be slightly wetter than a regular dough and that is fine.
  • Oil the surface (don’t use flour), turn the dough out and knead for 10 minutes.
  • Put the dough in a glass bowl, cover and leave until it has risen by half (depending on the temperature and atmosphere this could be a couple of hours to overnight).
  • Once risen, take it out, gently shape it and place it in a well floured proving basket and leave until risen by half again.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 220°C then turn down the oven to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes. You can add a tray of water to the oven to create steam which will improve the flavour.
  • The bread should sound hollow when you tap the bottom and smell delicious! Cool on a wire rack wrapped in a tea towel.

We currently make one loaf each day and it is so rewarding and nourishing I hope we never go back.