Sunday, 1 April 2012

You Have to Check This Out!

DSCF0005I am trying to cut down on cake baking sessions – because having made them, we eat them, and that means more calories. I have started portioning them before I freeze them, though – that way we don’t pig out and eat them too quickly.

[The picture above is Mary Berry’s 3-in-1 recipe, details here]

bundt tinIndividual cakes in paper cases are fine, but like many of you, I often make larger cakes in a tin. Usually simply round tins, but sometimes more elaborate ones.

Here’s my Bundt Tin – a charity shop find from Cromer when I was at Cornerstones last summer.

The problem is [often with the fancy tins] that the cakes stick and it is hard to turn them out in their entirety without a little damage.

cake release

You can line the tin with paper – old fashioned greaseproof, or more recently silicon-type parchment,  from a roll or pre-cut.

Martha Stewart is a great advocate of Silpat Sheets – ideal for cakes and biscuits baked on flat sheets, and also cut into shape to line tins.Then there’s the traditional method is to grease-and-flour the pan, which makes a barrier between the mix and the tin.

Lakeland sell ‘Cake Release’ – highly recommended by my friend Gwen [who makes fabulous cakes]

I’ve recently come across a new product which is quite intriguing – Faralla Sponge Oil


The faralla tree grows on the lower slops of the mountains east of Almaty, in Southern Kazakhstan. It produces a fruit quite similar in size and shape to an olive. The oil from these fruits has been traditionally used by the ethnic Kazakh women for cooking purposes. Like canola [rapeseed] oil, faralla is low in saturated fat and has a beneficial Omega3 profile.

clip_image002[10]But the big difference between faralla and the other oils you may use in cooking, is this – if you replace just 25% of the fat in any sponge cake recipe, you will end up with a sponge which is not only healthier, but also it with release from the tin in perfect shape with amazing ease – no poking about with a spatula, no shaking or banging of the tin – it just slips out neatly, perfectly formed, onto the cooling rack. I want some Faralla Sponge Oil

As far as I am aware, there is absolutely no connection between Faralla Sponge Oil and the American artist/sculptor, Richard Faralla  [1916 – 1996] who was famous for his ‘assemblages’ of wood like the one shown here.

At the moment, it is nigh on impossible to buy Faralla Sponge Oil in the UK, but once it gets mentioned by one of the celebrity chefs on TV, I expect the market to be flooded!


Finally, a picture is from the Greenpeace Website. It seems appropriate today, which is [among other things] Palm Sunday, to remind you of the concern surrounding world-wide consumption of Palm Oil.

Remember the name Faralla Sponge Oil


  1. Hmmmm! Is today's date in any way significant I wonder?

  2. How very interesting - I grew up near Cromer xx

  3. I like anagrams! ;-)

  4. Next time you see a bundt tin like that in a charity shop, please call me.
    I will try to remember the Faralla oil but I don't hold out much hope, I have enough trouble remembering what's on the shopping list that I forgot and left on the kitchen table.....!!

  5. Hi Angela , I thought your cake! tin looked like one for Blancmange .

  6. Good for anagrams as well, I can see... :-)
    Lynn P

  7. I knew that some of you would work it out! I just couldn't resist.

  8. Pretty good - I actually Googled the stuff, wondering if it were available here. Then it hit me. :)

    P.S. I have a Silpat and I love it. It's an investment, but a worthwhile one.

  9. This is outrageous. I've been to several shops now looking for this 'wonder oil' and people just look at me like i'm some kind of raving loon. Angela, where can I get this wonder grease?


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