Last night was a really beautiful still night. I went for a walk down to the shore and listened to the waves breaking over the small ridge of pebbles that have gathered along the tide line on Sandside Beach. It was a lovely sound. I could hear the curlews and other shore birds calling too. The lights from Stromness were reflected in the water and reached across to the “Bar Buoy”. It was a lovely peaceful evening and not at all chilly.
Today is a marked contrast – it has been wet, windy and cold. Added to that we have had two prolonged power-cuts which have been a real nuisance as today should have been a work day for me. So I shall now have to reschedule my work for the week which was already looking pretty busy.
However at least the power outage appears to be sorted – it seems there were some cables down somewhere on the island and the electricity board had to send out engineers on the boat to fix the problem. Not sure what caused the cables to come down as, although it is breezy, it’s not *that* windy. But perhaps they had been weakened by earlier storms.
Anyway I always have a battery radio to hand and spent the afternoon lazing on the sofa reading and listening to the radio. I was able to heat up water in a saucepan so at least wasn’t deprived of my hourly cup of tea – and after my baking at the weekend I have a plentiful supply of CAKE. Normally I'd enjoy such an afternoon but when I know I have lots of work to do it takes the edge off the enjoyment.
Anyway – here’s the recipe for the orange and sultana tray bake – it’s the first time I tried the recipe and I was really pleased with the results.
Orange & Sultana Tray Bake
8 oz soft margarine or butter
8 oz castor sugar
10 oz self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
10 oz sultanas
Grated rind of 2 oranges
1. Preheat oven to 180 Centigrade. Grease and base line a roasting tin (size 12 x 9 inches/30x23cm – though I used a 9 inch square tin which was about 2 inches deep)
2. Measure all the ingredients except the Demerara sugar into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.
3. Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes then sprinkle the top with Demerara sugar and return to oven for a further 10-15 minutes or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin and springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips. Leave to cool in the tin.
Note: While the cake is in the oven eat the two oranges – see I knew if I tried hard enough I’d make Cake healthy!
For me the ratio of effort to reward is about right – it’s really easy to make and provides a decent amount of delicious Cake! So if anyone has any similar cake recipes they’d like to share I’d love to hear about them……