Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Kentish Cake

Hands up, who loves adventures? I LOVE adventures and I'm pretty lucky to have had a few in the last six weeks since I finished placement and came home to wait for the start of my final year. This cake came out of one of those trips so it's that little bit extra special to me. 
Trains will always signify adventures to me. I don't know why - maybe it is a little bit of the child still in me. Mum is the same. It's with my wonderful mum that I've had several of my adventures lately. We've been off exploring different market towns and what they have to offer, being attracted mainly by the antiques stalls because we both have a bit of a thing for old crockery. I blame this blogging thing. Vintage plates and tea cups look so pretty in pictures and I do so like pretty things. I'm all for the functional aspect but what is wrong with wanting something to look good while it does it's job? This is a regular discussion I have with one of my friends in connection to lab coats funnily enough.
This cake is one which came out of one of those adventures with Mum. We were wandering around Chesterfield antiques market when I came across a stall selling old recipe books. Some of them were really old and the one which caught my eye turned out to be published in 1921 when I researched it later that day. It's called The Pot-Luck Cookery Book and after a detailed perusal of the cakes section, naturally, it was this Kentish Cake which demanded that I make it ASAP.
Kentish Cake - a truly vintage recipe perfect for afternoon tea. Flavoured with ground almonds, coconut and chocolate.
It's a very interesting cake and I mean that in an honest way, not a I'm-trying-to-put-a-positive-light-on-it kind of way. The crumb is soft and close, like your favourite cosy cushion but not dense in the slightest. Vanilla undertones pair with butter highlights amongst the almond infused sponge, speckled with coconut and a subtle sweetness from slivers of chocolate. The topping is rustic yet charming, a simple melted chocolate and icing sugar concoction that you simply have to trust - no bitterness or toothache sweetness exists as each component tempers the other.
Kentish Cake - a truly vintage recipe perfect for afternoon tea. Flavoured with ground almonds, coconut and chocolate.
 Determined to do this true vintage recipe justice I stuck to the recipe as much as I could. The ingredients are all the same although I will admit I changed the method slightly, using updated knowledge to keep as much air in the cake as possible instead of knocking it out like the book suggests. This  cake is the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea - a wedge of this and a golden hot drink will really set off your afternoon. Experience allows me to highly recommend it. And yes, I suspect there will be more vintage baking adventures soon. 


print recipe

Kentish Cake
A true vintage recipe yielding a soft cake flavoured with ground almonds, coconut and chocolate. The speckles of chocolate creat a pretty pattern throughout. (Note the quantities are in ounces to keep true to the recipe source - The Pot-Luck Cookery Book.)
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 4oz softened butter
  • 4oz granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4oz plain flour
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1oz ground almonds
  • 1oz dessicated coconut
  • 1oz dark chocolate, grated
For the icing:
  • 4oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp water
  • 2-4oz icing sugar
  • Dessicated coconut, to finish, if you wish
Instructions
1. Set the oven to 170 C/150 C fan and grease/line a 7" round, deep loose bottomed tin.2. Beat the butter until creamy then add the suagr and cream together until light and fluffy. Whisk the eggs with the vanilla and mix into the butter and sugar a spoonful at a time. If the mixture threatens to curdle, mix in a spoonful of the measured flour.3. Sift together the flour and baking powder then fold into the creamed mixture in batches along with the ground almonds, coconut and grated chocolate. Transfer to the tin, level the top then make a shallow dip in the centre with the back of a spoon to help minimise peaking.4. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely.5. For the icing, put the chocolate and water into a bowl and set over a pan of simmering water making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir until melted and smooth then quickly mix in the icing sugar. It will become very thick very quickly so you may not manage to mix in all the icing sugar. I only managed about half and it tasted delicious! Spread over the cake before it sets completely. Finish with a sprinkle of coconut if you wish.


The name of this Kentish Cake makes it ideal for AlphaBakes this month where the random letter is K. Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker hosts this month, alternatively with Caroline from Caroline Makes.
I'm also sharing this recipe with Love Cake, run by Ness from JibberJabberUK. Her September theme is Back to School - Something New. It might be from a very old book recipe book but it is new to me!

16 comments:

  1. Oh this does sound like a rather lovely cake! :) Me - I love adventures. I've a whole blog category dedicated to them. Adventures make life worth living, imho.

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    1. Exactly! They really give you something to look forward to, even the simplest ones.

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  2. Brilliant...... I love the idea of a recipe (and a book) which is nearly 100 years old. What a delight!!!

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    1. I can't wait to try more recipes from it =)

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  3. What a great find on that cookbook! And your cake is beautiful! Thanks for sharing it with us at Foodie Fridays!

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  4. This sounds like a delicious cake and a fantastic cook book. I just pinned it to try!

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    1. Thank you Holly. Let me know the results if you do get to give it a go =)

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  5. I love old cookery books! I haven't had a good nosey around Chesterfield. One of my favourite plates came from a charity shop in Chesterfield. You can't go wrong with this combination in a cake. Thanks for linking up.

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    1. I really enjoyed Chesterfield. There are some really good stalls on the market =) I can't wait to explore the recipes in that book more.

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  6. Sounds like a great adventure especially when there's cake like this at the end of it! Thanks for entering AlphaBakes. Gorgeous pics as always.

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  7. It sounds like we like to do similar things, I love walking around markets trying to find different bits and pieces. I love old books, they often contain yummy recipes like this one. It sounds lovely. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

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    1. You can find such gems if you simply take the time to look can't you? =)

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  8. wow that cake look amazing - so full of my favourite things - can't wait til make it - it looks so beautiful on that vintage plate too

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    1. Thank you! I love my mums crockery for food photos and always raid her displays when I go home. I'm starting to build up my own collection now too.

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