I had a lovely book for Christmas called The Grand Central Baking Book by Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson. I have been desperate to get on and make something from it and finally got around to it yesterday. I made their recipe for Cranberry Orange and Pecan Bread, but as usual changed it to fit what I had (Seville oranges and walnuts). It is an American Quick Bread baked in loaf tins. It made up a large quantity – two 9×5″ loaf tins and it’s one of those cakes made with oil and buttermilk. I’m becoming more and more interested in cakes made with oil, buttermilk or soured cream, as they stay so moist. Anyway, you start by mixing the granulated sugar and oil together, giving you a mixture like grainy ice – I was a bit dubious at that stage, but once the eggs were added it all emulsified nicely. Even while they were baking I wasn’t convinced they would turn out well, but wow, the taste was amazing! The crust managed to be crisp yet chewy at the same time and the sponge was light and moist. Add sharp cranberries and orange with crunchy nuts and you can imagine the rest. What is almost unimaginable is the amount me and my eldest son manged to pack away yesterday… hence the need for a long walk first thing this morning. I need to burn off a LOT of calories now.
Having said that there is something about these breads that don’t feel that unhealthy – yes, I know there’ s oil and sugar and flour, but the eggs, low-fat buttermilk, cranberries, orange and nuts aren’t too bad, are they? My sons have it in their lunch boxes today and I think it would also make an ideal picnic cake.
I’m now thinking I might include a section on my website on these ‘breads’ – they are so yummy! My creative juices are in over-drive – lots of flavour combos are popping up in my mind – apple and cinnamon (maybe with nuts), raspberry and pistachios, summer berry, rhubarb and ginger – hmm, I need to get baking! Trouble is, someone’s got to eat it all!