The Euro Cake

Euro cake (4 of 4)

Great Britain is pondering leaving the European Union. The British currency is the Pound. I was thinking of making a pound cake. To hell with that. I refuse to promote the currency of a nation that may leave Ireland swinging in the cold wind of European island isolation. No, I will modify the traditional pound cake recipe and make instead a Euro Cake

Here’s the maths. Given the relative strength of the Pound (damn them) and current exchange rates, my euro cake will only be 0.74 the size of a traditional pound cake. The pound cake recipe calls for a pound of each butter, flour, sugar and eggs. The British version has a nip of vanilla essence added too. We must steer clear of that. So the Euro recipe calls for a bit of maths as I convert from pounds to grammes. First I must apply the 0.74 to get us well away from their currency and into the less valuable Euro. I then have to convert the pound to grammes. One quick calculation tells me I need to use 335.6584 grammes of each main ingredient. Tradition tells me I am free to add a few European ingredients too. This will help with the Eurofication of my cake too.

I did as best I could to get the grammage correct as you can see from the photos.

Not an eggsact measurement. But, close enough.

Not an eggsact measurement. But, close enough.

Unlike in the currency markets, I allow a little bit of margin for error.

The butter will weigh less without the foil.

The butter will weigh less without the foil.

I used self-raising flour. If we want the Euro to rise, it will need all the help it can get.

Close enough, I think.

Close enough, I think.

I went a little lighter on the sugar, not that you would notice.

Exact measurement of the sugar. I'm getting good at this.

Exact measurement of the sugar. I’m getting good at this.

My Eurofacated (yes, there is such a word) ingredients included a couple of handfuls of raisins (European of course) soaked in Marsala wine. I also used a couple of generous handfuls of walnuts (European too).

They had been soaking in wine for more than 24 hours. Very European.

They had been soaking in wine for more than 24 hours. Very European.

The Euro Cake doesn’t suffer the difficulties and complex construction of other European institutions. Putting it together is pretty straightforward. First, beat the butter. I let it get to room temperature before starting. Then slowly add the sugar.

The mixture starts to come together. A sort of European harmony in process.

The mixture starts to come together. A sort of European harmony in process.

Add the eggs one at a time. Then gradually add the sifted flour. I changed over to a K hook at this stage. Add the sultanas and walnuts.

It's difficult to not eat the mixture raw. It's very tasty.

It’s difficult to not eat the mixture raw. It’s very tasty.

Place the mixture into two loaf tins. I used two silicone ones, wiped with loads of butter.

These are pound sized tins. Plenty big enough for the Euro Cake.

These are pound sized tins. Plenty big enough for the Euro Cake.

I put them into a 180º oven for about an hour. I used a skewer to test them for doneness (Stick it in the middle, if it comes out clean, they’re done). Let them cool down for about 15 minutes before trying to extract them from the tins. This for two reasons. One, they will probably fall apart. Two, they will undoubtedly burn you. Just like the Brits will get burned when they exit the EU.

The cakes look like great Euro value altogether.

The cakes look like great Euro value altogether.

When you have braved the hot cakes, let them cool off completely on a wire rack.

“Pretty cool cakes” I hear you think. Yes, I can hear what you think.

Stay away until the cake is completely cool. This will be difficult to do.

The plump sultanas and walnuts add a lovely bit of Euro taste.

The plump sultanas and walnuts add a lovely bit of Euro taste.

Now, all that’s left to be done is to slice the cake, butter a slice and serve it, with some nice coffee, to a British politician or two. They will like the cake so much, they will want to stay Eurofied (yes, there is such a word too).

Lovely Euro cake. Perhaps we should let them go. More for the rest of us!

Lovely Euro cake. Perhaps we should let them go. More for the rest of us!

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  • Ahah! You’re a Kenwood man. I’d be lost without mine… but then, cake features a lot more in my cooking life than in yours, I think. In fact, I can’t remember the last time you posted one… This is a very tasty sounding job – g’wan now, give it to the perfidious Brits; any country so totally and terminally confused as to use miles and kilos in the same breath deserves a good pasting.

    • The Kenwood is nearly as old as I am and a lot less worn out. I don’t do a lot of dessert stuff though I love eating them. We get a lot of what are referred to as “swimmers” over here. They are second hand UK cars. They come in with the spedos in MPH. As a a result, second hand car ads are a confusion of some with miles and others with kilometres on the clock. Some in the motor trade, of course, thrive on the confusion….

  • Cleverly gusto-political. I usually use bourbon for the soaking the fruit, but then I am from the States. What are those gramme thingies you are talking about?

    • Hi Anne,
      I love the concept of gusto-political. If I thought I could get away with presenting recipes in our parliament, I would be in there doing my best to earn a state pension and benefits.

  • Cake sounds tasty, and what gorgeous pictures!

    • Thanks Tanya,
      I enjoyed this one. The cake was pretty easy to photograph. Even easier to eat, unfortunately for my waistline.

  • I’m very happy with the pound (especially at the current exchange rate), though it might surprise people to know that it is a European weight and currency introduced by the Romans. Sometimes you can still see strawberries for sale in Paris (in season), sold by the livre and not the kilo 😉

    • I can understand your delight with the Pound. The Romans introduced it but, they obviously got sense over the centuries and changed back. Working out how much flour to use in a cake based on the number of soldiers in a quadrangle was never going to hold up long term. I am also a bit surprised that you hold the French up as examples. We all know they are mad. They still show Francs on their till receipts!

      • How do you buy your eggs?

        • .5 of a dozen 😉

          • Yes, in twelves, that’s Roman too 😉

          • But what about my .5?

          • Ha ha – six is still half of twelve regardless 🙂

          • Damn it. You are right.

          • There are quite a few throw back anomalies throughout Europe.
            In actual fact schools in Britain have been teaching metric since about 1969, so I’m fluent in both, which is very handy when visiting America or reading Saveur magazine. There’s also something to be said for measuring in cups, which probably goes back to people using their hands. A lot of artisanal bakers measure that way 🙂

          • I was taught in yards, pounds and pounds, shillings and pence. My kids laugh when I tell them of 240 pence in a pound.
            My 85 year old Mum makes beautiful brown bread and had never used a measure. She puts in “enough” of everything. Perfect every time. I must try that…

          • That’s experience – I bet she does make good bread too! Most professional chefs have terrible trouble trying to write a recipe book because they make everything to taste.

          • So, what are you saying about my 296 posts, all with recipes, some in both decimal and metric? 😉

          • Most definitely not – there are plenty of conversion sites all over the internet. I seem to remember them including those in cookbooks too 😉

  • Made me laugh out loud, thanks, and a lovely-looking cake too. I’d take a punt on that. 🙂

    • Touchée my dear. We might all end up back with the Punt if you guys leave. There is a very serious line of thinking that suggests that when (if) ye leave us, we should float a Punt again and tie it to Sterling. That could be fun…. The cake was tasty, in case you think I have gone geo-political.

      • I think we’d be bonkers to leave but hey, British politicians … maybe they should put this on the menu in the House of Commons.

        • I thought that was all just suet puddings and old Gentlemen’s Club fare served there. Or, perhaps it’s me caught in a time warp, not them.

          • Don’t know, I’ve only ever been to the bar. 😀

  • Conor, this is hilarious. Everything about your spiteful Euro cake is just perfect. I hate to think my beloved pound cake might take a turn for the lighter side, but this looks fabulous. Beautiful photos and such great ingredients. Enjoy it. I know I will!

  • Euro back to your usual punny self! Damn fine looking cake, too.

    • Thanks Kathryn. A tasty cake to do it with!

  • Simply magnificent, Conor. A triumph of economics. I know of a Dept. of Finance job going, if you’re interested. Never mind the Brits. Seeing as you started out with less than a pound and yet ended up with double the cake, do you not think your nation needs you?

    • Of course the Nation needs me. Not only to bake cakes but to direct us towards Celtic Tiger 2. I see myself baking my way to becoming as loved a creature as David Drumm.

  • So, you admit to just loafin’ around in the kitchen, eh Conor? 😀 These look lovely! Be well.. ^..^

    • Funny Barb. I’m writing a post on that very topic. More anon.

      • Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. I always look forward to your posts. ^..^

  • #Freedom Cake Conor!

    • Not freedom from the kitchen, I’m afraid.

  • Hi Conor, I did see this post but somehow never actually read it. I’m glad that I did, as it is a gem of Conorness. Very clever and very funny. Is this a ploy to get the campaign for the ‘stay in the euro vote’? The Dutch way of baking this type of cake, for which the Dutch word is simply “cake” (clearly not really a Dutch word, but you’ll find it in the dictionary) is 80 minutes at 160C. Keeps it more golden and moist.

    • I will have to give the Dutch way a go next time I make it. It was surprisingly good.

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