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The other day, I asked a couple of Facebook groups if anyone had a Robin Cake recipe.  I wasn’t disappointed with the results and recorded over half a dozen different methods/processes.  Today, I set to and baked two cakes, following two of the many recipes offered.

IMG_1984

But, first of all: What is Robin Cake?

Sadly, I cannot find a definitive answer, other than it seems to be fairly local to me, in and around Huddersfield.  My mum used to cook it all the time.  There was always some robin cake in one of her cake tins.  Other tins might have had iced buns in them, made from a similar recipe.  The robin cake itself however, was never iced or decorated in any way.  It would be made one day and then kept for what seemed like ages (perhaps a week), towards the end of which time a bit of butter on your slice wouldn’t go amiss. 

Mum is beyond telling me how to make it now, but it seems that she gave Sharon a recipe some time ago.  This was the first of the two I have made today.

I make no apologies for the use of lard, or for employing imperial weights – these are old, traditional (family?) recipes, so they are what they are. Some of the other recipes, not cooked today, use all butter or all margarine, so – it’s your choice.

Recipe 1 (Mum’s/Sharon’s)

12oz self-raising flour,
10oz sugar,
3oz lard, 3oz margarine,
4 eggs,
2 t’sp BiCarb,
pinch salt,
‘some’ milk.

The METHOD for this cake used the creaming method. I creamed the sugar and fat together and then add the eggs one at a time, beating well each time. I then added the dry ingredients (which had been sifted together). I added enough milk during this process to leave a fairly sloppy but not too runny mix.  It was baked at 170oc (fan oven) for almost an hour – which might have been a tad too long. It was still sloppy after half an hour and sank soon after I prodded it – so the final ten minutes I gave it might have been unnecessary.

cake-1

 

Recipe 2 (From Mandy Haigh, her Gran’s recipe Facebook)

12oz self-raising flour,
7oz sugar,
3½oz lard, 3½oz margarine,
2 eggs
pinch salt,
‘some’ milk.

The METHOD for this was to rub the fat and flour together and then to add the sugar.  I added the sugar early because it helped to more easily distribute the higher fat to flour ratio. Then I added the beaten eggs.  At this point it became obvious that the mix would be too stiff – so I added about the same volume of milk (as egg). The mix was slightly stiffer than recipe 1, but it soon sorted itself out in the oven.  This cake was also baked at 170oc (fan oven) for about 40 minutes. It was a much more confident bake than recipe 1.

Cake-2

Of the two cakes I have cooked today, the second recipe has worked the best.  They both taste ok, but recipe 2 was closest to what I remember (still not ‘quite’ right though – so I will have to try another recipe next time).

 

Also see:
https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Look,+learn,+taste+and+buy+at+museum+bake-in%3B+Buns+and+biscuits+great…-a0264153390

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