Monday, April 19, 2010


I recently heard on the radio that cinnamon (and turmeric) are the new super foods - at last a super food I love!! (Actually that's not really true, I'm very fond of blueberry muffins:-}})  This cake is all about the cinnamon, so I'm thinking health food (!)

I was invited to my sister's friend's house - actually I angled for an invite,  the reasons for this (rare, I hope) lack of manners:  firstly I'm very fond of  F. and think she's just the best craic,  and secondly her house is soon to be on T.V.  on a  "interior designer does up your house" type programme.  I had vicariously lived through the "will we be picked, won't we be picked" stage and then the ups and downs of having a T.V. crew in your home, along with the painters, decorators and carpenters (low stress stuff, I don't think), AND continue to live family life at the same time - and I was really looking forward to seeing the results.

Anyway the house was FANTASTIC, a beautiful, practical family home, but with extra - extra welcoming, extra practical, extra coordinated, extra elegant and extra gorgeous.  Can't wait until the programme is aired.

I wanted to bring something nice along when I visited, and decided on this cinnamon cake,  I knew it was quick and easy, which was important as I had to make it before breakfast. 

Cinnamon Cake

1 1/2 cups     flour
1 cup            sugar
2 1/2 tsp       baking powder
1 tsp             cinnamon (scant)
1/3 cup         vegetable shortening*
1/4 tsp          salt
1/2 cup         milk
1 egg            beaten

Preheat oven to 180 C.
Prepare a 20x20cm tin (normal brownie size)

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, shortening, cinnamon and salt and leave to rest (overnight is fine, or however long suits).
After resting (or not) add the milk and egg.
Pour mixture into prepared tin and then cover with:

1/4 cup      butter - softened
1/2 cup      sugar
3/4 tsp       cinnamon

Combine and then spread/sprinkle/spoon over the top.

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes - until golden and a skewer comes out clean.

*Just a quick note on the shortening - it is an ingredient that I have avoided through the years - it just seems a bit yuuk (great vocabulary!!)  But I took advice from people who know alot more than I do and was promised that it is essential for perfect pastry, and they are probably right.  Anyway the pastry has acclimatised me to shortening and so I used it in this recipe with barely a quiver (!) and it tasted really good.  The girls were full of praise, and F told my sister that she finished it off within 2 days (has to be a good sign!)



Saffy said...

I'm with you on thinking of shortening as yucks, but if you say it's good I'm willing to give it a shot :) I read that cinnamon is good for blood sugars. Awesome - maybe it'll cancel out the rest of the cake - kidding! It sounds like it's going to be a super-fast, handy recipe to have around. Thanks.

Lucie said...

I can almost smell this cinnamon! looks lovely.

La Bella Cooks said...

This must have smelled heavenly while baking. I will be giving this recipe a go very soon.

Coby said...

Oh I can never have enough cinnamon too BG:) Sweet or savoury, it's one of my favourite spices:) Consider vegetable shortening as far better than the only option around these parts - meat based shortening! Well, FAT. Still, these ingredients DO make a world of difference:) Exciting about the tv show - F is very fortunate such a great friend in you, delicious eats and a home reno!:)

PS I love turmeric too:)

Melanie Heavenly said...

Yum! Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices. No wonder I'm a massive fan of Cinnabon buns.

What exactly is vegetable shortening? Is it like vegetable lard, white in colour? I remember my gran using a block of something white to make pastry with.

Anonymous said...

I think I heard the same programme the other day. After listening I went out and bought the book, Patrick Holford's 'The 10 Secrets of 100% Healthy People'. I had read his Optimum Nutrition Bible before and liked his ideas.

Brownieville Girl said...

That's the one Lily, I've been eating berries, cherries and plums ever since!!

Yes Melanie, that's the stuff. White and very unappetising looking!!

Coby, I know many people use animal suet in Christmas Puddings - makes me shudder!!!!
I love turmeric as well!

Saffy, I take that to mean that I'm fine with my cinnamon danishes!!!

Bridgett and Lucie, it really did smell fantastic - real challenge to bring it out of the house untasted!!!

By the way the top was lovely and crusty, with an almost crumble like texture - yumm!

Jutta said...

BG I have always steered clear of recipes containing shortening of any type, probably because mostly I just think fat and secondly I don't know exactly what fat it contains.

My BIL is an acupuncturist/chinese medicine practioner and has told us that you should add tumeric to warm milk and drink it when you have a cold or flu and it works wonders. Yes, it goes against the idea that dairy is mucus producing (which supposedly has no scientific proof anyway). Worth trying I think next time I have a cold or flu. My MIL has tried it and highly recommends it too.

Brownieville Girl said...

Great timing Jutta, I'll give that a go now!