Monday, 15 October 2007

Cob On

Thanks to the generous cob nut tree in my street and the bags of nuts left tied to the kind owner's gate every few days for us to collect, my cob nut collection is growing ever bigger. Last year I made the mistake of storing a batch unopened in a tight jar which was left too long. Damp caused mould and I lost a few. This year I'm not risking it so I've cracked them all, roasted them for 20 minutes in a hot oven and then stored them. Happy days.

A lovely thing to do with a few roasted cob nuts is to blitz them finely and then fold them into a cake. The aromas of any cake baking is pretty special at the best of times. Imagine the smell of a cake baking packed with nuts. It is sensational. The only problem is that smell is a certain giveaway that something heavenly is growing in the oven. And my daughter can sniff out a cake a mile away.

This cake is sweetened using some local honey from a bee keeper here in East Boldon. Freshly potted from the hives, the bees have fed themselves on brambles and pine and the dark aromatic caramel-like honey reflects this. Lemon juice and zest work fantastically in a cake, and with a little hot syrup made from more honey and some juice, it stays very moist.

The only problem with making this cake was the distribution. It was one of the best cakes I have made this year. My parents were round so they had some. Wife and daughter had large slabs each, and I also thought it would be a good thing to give a piece to the kind lady who gave me the nuts. So not much left for me. As Billy Bragg once said, that's the price I pay for loving you the way that I do. Cakes and nuts. Love 'em.

Cob Nut, Honey and Lemon Cake

100g cob nuts or hazelnuts, roasted and ground
200g butter
150g self raising flour
150g honey
3 eggs
Zest and juice of one lemon

1 - Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C, GM4. Butter and line a 20cm removable base cake tin.
2 - In a large bowl, cream together the honey and butter.
3 - Break in the eggs one at a time and whisk in thoroughly. This may curdle but don't worry.
4 - Fold in the flour, ground nuts and zest and juice of the lemon. Pour into the cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 30-40 minutes until a knife inserted comes back clean.
5 - Make a simple lemon syrup using a the juice of one lemon and same quantity honey, warming up in a pan. Just before serving, drizzle some over and serve with creme fraiche, yoghurt or whipped double cream.


Joanna said...

I think if you gave your neighbour this recipe he'd stop giving you his cobnuts .. lovely ... not sure how we will be able to resist this in our low cholesterol household! Flora not butter will help, and, of course, nuts are fabulously good for you ... can you hear me trying to convince myself/ ;)

Thanks David,
Joanna x

William Leigh said...

glad you're back champ. I'm gonna try and find me some cobnuts unless you want to post me down a few!

Celia Hart said...

A fantastic cake recipe to make evryone happy! And made with local seasonal produce too - that honey sounds so gorgeous.


Amanda at Little Foodies said...

WOW David! This sounds fantastic!
I'm planning on visiting the North East over Christmas. Does it freeze?! If so please make more. I like weak, nursery style tea with one sugar please. Perfect with cake. Especially very good cake. ;)

Anonymous said...

I would worry about a child that can't sniff a cake a mile off. Its an essential survival skill.
Beautiful cake recipe.

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

What a lovely neighbor to have, and what a clever daughter! Sensible priorities already firmly in place, I see. Can't wait to try this, David. Fabulous as always.

Julie said...

This looks and sounds delicious.

KellytheCulinarian said...

Looks delicious. I don't know if I've ever had cobnuts, but I'm intrigued.

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