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Monica's munchables


At the Caravan Big Weekender in September 2013, Monica and Rowland Rivron agreed to put their culinary skills to the test on-site.

Monica's given us a taste of her favourite cakes as featured in Caravan. Below, you'll find simple recipes for apple, or cappuccino, or strawberry meringue treats.

We can't wait to see what else is on offer at the next event!

Apple cake

This cake is a great cake of picnics, I think it actually improves as it sits in the tin for a few days.....if it lasts that long!

75g butter
100g caster sugar
1 egg
225g plain flour
1 level teaspoon of baking powder
100g chopped walnuts
4 stewed apples (try to get nice crispy sharp apples)

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 4/180c and prepare a loaf tin.

First stew the apples by peeling them and chopping them up into nice little chunks. Put them in a pan with 100ml water, 50g sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a knob of butter. Gently bring the water to boil, let the sugar dissolve and stir the apples around the pan. You want the apples to retain some firmness with a nice golden syrup. This should take about five minutes.

Cream the butter and the sugar, add the egg and whisk. Next tip in the stewed apple, the flour, baking powder, and walnuts and fold in the mixture. It will take on a batter like consistency, pour into a loaf tin and cook.

This cake will take at least an hour. Check that it is cooked by putting a knife down the centre of the cake and if any of the mixture sticks to the cake it needs a little longer. Mine usually take 1 hour 15 minutes but it will depend on the exact shape of the tin and your oven.

Cappuccino cake

If you like coffee you'll love this cake. It's moist, rich and delicious and very easy to make...

200g butter
200g caster sugar
4 eggs
200g self-raising flour
100ml of cold strong coffee [make using three teaspoons of instant coffee and 100ml of boiling water].

150g butter
200g icing sugar
100ml of strong coffee

Glace icing
200g icing sugar
2 tablespoons of boiling water

Pre-heat the oven 180C/Gas 4 and prepare the tin, I use an 18cm tin, as I think it looks lovely if the cake stands proud and tall.

Cream the butter and the sugar until it lightens in colour, add the eggs taking care the mixture does not curdle, with four eggs it is a good idea to have the sieved flour to hand so you can add a little flour with the eggs. Then add the flour and the coffee and fold in. Tip into the tin and bake, it will take about 30 minutes. To check whether it is cooked through, gently press the cake at the center. It should spring back.

When the cake is completely cool, cut it in half around the equator.

To make the icing you cream the butter and the icing sugar, I throw a clean tea towel over the mixer when I'm making butter icing to stop the icing sugar cloud. Then mix in the coffee. Sandwich the cake together with the lovely coffee cream.                                                                                                
Pour the icing over the cake and let it settle and harden, then sprinkle with drinking chocolate powder to give the cappuccino effect.

Strawberry meringue cake

This cake is a real family favourite; it looks and tastes of summer – perfect for a beautiful day.

You start by making the sponge. Prepare a round tin for a three-egg sponge cake and pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

150g butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
150 self raising flour

Cream the butter and sugar, carefully add the eggs, I always lightly whisk the eggs first and then fold in the sieved flour. Bake for 25 to 30 mins in the oven, until it springs back to the touch.

Now you make the meringue. This is really simple. You grease and line a flat baking tray with grease proof paper and pre-heat the oven to Gas 2/140C.

Meringue ingredients
175g caster sugar
3 egg whites

Whisk the egg whites until they are soft peaks, carefully start whisking in the sugar little by little. You will notice that the sugar takes on a lovely deep shine and when you have strong peaks the mixture is ready to cook.

Spread onto the baking tray, it doesn't matter what shape, as you are going to crush it, but it needs to be about 3cm thick. Cook for an hour in the oven, then turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven until it is cold. 

When the meringue and sponge are cool, you construct your cake. 

Finishing touches
200ml double cream
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
200g strawberries

Prepare and slice the strawberries into pieces – maybe a quarter if they are large or half if they are small.
Whisk double cream and add in the Greek yoghurt. Tip the strawberries into the cream mixture, then break the meringue into pieces and mix together to create Eton Mess.

Slice the sponge in half around the equator and sandwich the cake together with a generous amount of the Eton Mess. You want the cake to stand tall. Sprinkle icing sugar over the top and serve. De-lish!


Caravan magazine Big Weekender

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