J is for Jammy Cakes
Well, for this week's A-Z baking challenge I turned to the master of all home bakers, Mary Berry & have made her jammy cakes. This recipe is from page 64 of her book, '100 Cakes and Bakes' which is basically a collection of Mary's favourite recipes. It's a great little book & has everything you need from the basic scone recipe to the classic Victoria sponge, all sorts of celebration cakes & favourites such as shortbread and brownies.
I took some jammy cakes to my girlfriends last night to have with a cuppa after dinner. They described them as looking like mini donuts & indeed that is a good description of them. They are little round cakey treats with a small dollop of jam in the centre which, once baked, goes a bit chewy. They are really easy to make & although I was tempted to use some of my rhubarb jam in the centres, I decided to stick with Mary's suggestion & use blackcurrant jam. I think any jam would be nice really, I might try raspberry jam next time. These little cakes are perfect to have with a cuppa if you are in that 'I feel like I need something else' mood that I often find myself in after dinner!
Now, I have to be honest - I felt that my cakes turned out a fraction dry & this will be because when you make the mixture, you have to carefully add only enough of the milk & beaten egg until you end up with a stiff dough. My mix ended up a little too wet so of course I committed the cardinal sin & added a sprinkling more flour...tut tut. So there's the reason why they are a tad dry. I used a wooden spoon to mix in the liquid & actually I think it would be better to get stuck in & mix it all up with your hands. For those of you who watch The Great British Bake Off, you'll know that Paul Hollywood is a great fan of mixing doughs with his hands. He's not afraid to roll up his sleeves & get stuck in. But he makes a good point, if you mix doughs with your hands you get a more accurate idea of how the mixture is feeling & how much more liquid you need to add.
One other thing, Mary's recipe says it makes 24 jammy cakes & to achieve this you need to keep dividing the mixture up. Sounds simple enough but I think because my mixture was too wet, it was a rather messy job so I gave up once I reached 20! I think if you aim for lots of around a heaped teaspoon of mixture, you'll end up with 20-24.
Right - on to the recipe!
225g self raising flour
1/4 level teaspoon of ground mixed spice (I used all spice, I suspect it's the same thing)
50g softened butter
100g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
3-4 tablespoons milk (Use 4 tablespoons & you can always keep some of the milk & egg mixture back)
A little blackcurrant jam
Some granulated white sugar for sprinkling (I took granulated sugar to mean just your usual white sugar as opposed to the finer caster sugar)
What to do
- Heat your oven to 200C static or 180C fan.
- Prepare two baking trays by lining them with non-stick baking paper. I also lightly sprayed the paper with some cooking spray just to be on the safe side!
- Place the flour, all spice & butter in a bowl & rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Stir in the caster sugar. TIP: I picked up a great trick from Mary Berry on her Great British Bake Off Masterclass the other day. A quick & easy way to soften butter if it's straight from the fridge is to chop it into cubes & place it in a bowl of luke warm water for 10 mins to soften before draining off the water. This works brilliantly & you can be getting everything else ready while you wait for the butter to soften.
- Mix the egg & milk together & stir into the mixture (or if you are following my advice, about now is when you're washing your hands, rolling up your sleeves & getting ready to mix in the liquid with your hands!).
- Add only enough of the liquid to make a stiff dough. Now, for my mixture I think the right amount would have been 3 tablespoons of milk so don't add the liquid all at once. Just see how your mixture is coming together.
- Divide the dough into 24 pieces (or thereabouts!). Roll each piece into a smooth ball & place on the baking tray.
- Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make a hole in each ball of mixture (don't make the hole right through though, just indent it enough to put the jam in).
- Place about 1/4 teaspoon of jam into the centre of each ball & then sprinkle the tops with a little granulated sugar.
- Bake for around 10 mins or until the cakes are a light golden colour. Remove from oven & cool on a wire rack.
Mary suggests that the jammy cakes are best eaten while they are still warm from the oven.
All that's left for you to do now is go & make that cuppa to have with your jammy cake - enjoy!