Monday, 6 February 2012

Thinking Time

I often find myself either in the garden or the kitchen when I have a decision to make and today is no different.  Two months ago I took the decision to leave behind a career of 17 years with the same company - time to move on and I haven't regretted my decision.  Now I have the offer of two new jobs to consider, so, as it's too cold for me in the garden it must be the kitchen for pondering my choices...

...and whilst in the kitchen what better than a bit of baking.  It relaxes me and allows thoughts to mull around in my head.   And the resulting cake will ensure that I take some time to sit with a coffee and do some more thinking.

So what's a tempting about some ginger slices or little jammy oat squares or how about both!  These little bakes make a good addition to a lunch box (for the Handyman) or to morning coffee (for me).  So two recipes today, starting with...

crunchy and plummy

Jammy Oat Squares
3 ozs soft brown sugar
5 ozs self-raising flour
8 ozs oats
4 ozs butter
10 ozs jam (I used Holly Grove Victoria plum jam)

In a large bowl rub the butter into the flour and oats until you have a mix like fine breadcrumbs - don't do  this in a food processor as it will chop up the oats.  Add the sugar mix thoroughly.  Add 2tbsp cold water and mix together.  Press half of the mixture (it will be very crumbly) into an 8" x 12" baking tin.  Spread the jam evenly over the base.  Now cover with remaining oat mixture, pressing down evenly and gently.

Bake at 200C for 25 minutes.  Allow to cool in the tin then cut into squares.  Store in an airtight tin.

...followed by...

soft and sweet

Sesame and Ginger Slice
4.5 ozs plain flour
half a tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
quarter tsp mixed spice
2 eggs
5 ozs soft brown sugar
4.5 ozs unsalted butter, melted
2 ozs chopped crystallised ginger (I used stem ginger as I didn't have any crystallised)
2 ozs of sesame seeds, toasted

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, mixed spice together, add quarter tsp salt.  Beat together the eggs and brown sugar until thick and creamy.  Add the melted butter to the egg mixture, then gently fold in the flour mixture.  Add the crystallised ginger and 1 oz of the sesame seeds and mix together gently.

Put the mixture into greased and lined 8" x 12" baking tray, sprinkle over the remaining sesame seeds.  Bake at 180C for 20 minutes.  Leave in the tin for 10 minutes then lift out and finish cooling on a wire rack.  Cut into squares to serve.


Sylvie said...

Lovely cakes and I hope you'll feel happy with whatever decision you make!

Susan@Holly Grove said...

Hi Sylvie, decision made, time will tell if it's the right one, but at this point I feel I've made the right choice. And the Sesame and Ginger Slices helped the thought processes!

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