MARMITE IN BAKING, LOVE IT OR HATE IT…

Marmite love it or hate it that’s the question? Well, according to The Telegraph there are some fascinating facts that you might not know about.

Marmite may boost brain power and could even help stave off dementia, research suggests. A study has shown that those who ate just a teaspoon of the yeast extract each day saw changes in the electrical activity of their brain.

Researchers from York University said the high concentration of Vitamin B12 in Marmite increases levels of chemicals which are thought to protect against neurological disorders.

The study found that those who consumed a teaspoon a day for a month showed a 30 percent decrease in their brains’ response to visual patterns, compared with those who were given peanut butter.
Marmite was thought of as an essential food for a healthy diet. So essential in fact that it was included in soldiers’ ration packs during World War One and has subsequently been used to treat conditions ranging from malaria to malnutrition.
It can help you sleep better, add it to two slices of wholemeal toast in the morning (each of which will provide around 8pc of that RDI) and you’ll be well on the way to sleeping well come nightfall.
Marmite is packed with B vitamins (not just B3) that are essential for good health – containing so much per serving that you can probably do away with taking expensive B supplements. It’s high content of Vitamin B1 could also be highly beneficial for preventing cardiovascular disease, particularly among diabetics.
Marmite can also help you with a hangover. Alcohol consumption depletes your body’s store of B Vitamins, which can leave you feeling low and anxious, and so a teaspoon of Marmite on toast can help replenish your body’s supplies in no time. If you can’t stomach the thought of solids, try the Sri Lankan hangover cure: apparently they dissolve Marmite in hot water, before adding lime juice and a sliced fried onion.
A study published by the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggested that niacin (of which Marmite is plentiful) can help the body fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA.
As for using it in cooking, there are lots of recipes online using Marmite including Chocolate Cake with Marmite Caramel Butter Cream. , Marmite Popcorn, and even Marmite Sausage Rolls.
There is also a gene test you can now take called The Marmite Gene Project, the study commissioned by the Unilever brand gives weight to its long-time marketing slogan, “Love it or hate it”. DNAFit, the genetic testing centre behind the research, has published a scientific white paper detailing how people are genetically more likely to be lovers or haters of Marmite.

GIN AND PINK GRAPEFRUIT TONIC LOAF CAKE FROM GOOD HOUSEKEEPING…

I am sure by now that my readers know that I love making my loaf cakes and the easier the recipe the more the cake is made. Last week I held a fund-raising coffee morning for Cancer Research and made two Soggy Orange Loaf Cakes and some homemade biscuits for the everyone to enjoy.

I had so many people asking for the recipe for the Soggy Orange Loaf Cake that I was told I should have printed the recipe off and charged for a copy of it and that way I could have made more money for the charity. I will remember that next time.

The recipe I am covering today was one a friend send me the link to on Facebook as she knows how much I love making my loaf cakes. Its’ a Good Housekeeping recipe and is available from their website but also on their Facebook page where you can also watch it being made. As like all my others, it’s very easy to make.

GIN AND PINK GRAPEFRUIT TONIC CAKE…

Ingredients

  • 200 g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
  • 200 g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 200 g (7oz) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Finely grated zest 1 pink grapefruit
  • 75 ml (3 fl oz) gin

FOR THE SYRUP AND TOPPING

Ingredients

  • 75 g (3oz) caster sugar
  • 75 ml 1 pink grapefruit tonic water, we used Fentiman’s Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water
  • 3 tbsp gin
  • 100 g (3 ½oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • Red or pink food colouring

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Grease and line base and sides of a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with baking parchment, making sure that the parchment comes up at about 4cm (11/2in) higher than the sides of the tin.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with a handheld electric whisk until light and fluffy, about 3min. Gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition.
  3. Fold in flour, baking powder and grapefruit zest (reserve remaining grapefruit for later), followed by the gin. Spoon into prepared tin and bake for 55min-1hr or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup: Half the grapefruit and squeeze the juice from one half only. Gently heat the caster sugar and tonic water in a small pan, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil for 1min. Remove from heat and mix in the gin and 1tbsp grapefruit juice.
  5. When the loaf comes out of the oven, poke holes all over the top with a skewer and slowly drizzle over half the gin syrup mixture. Leave to soak in for 10min then drizzle with remaining syrup. Leave to cool in tin on a wire rack.
  6. Cut the remaining half the grapefruit in half again, then slice a couple of thin half-moons from one of the halves. Lay the slices flat on a board, and cut along the segment lines into small triangle shapes. Put the triangles on kitchen paper to dry.
  7. Using the tin as a guide, run a knife horizontally along the top of the loaf cake to cut off the rounded top. Invert the cake on to a serving plate and peel off the parchment. Mix the icing sugar with enough grapefruit juice (about 11/2tbsp), to make a slightly thick but pourable icing. Use a cocktail stick to add a very small amount of food colouring to the icing, to tinge it a pale pink (repeat if necessary until you get the desired shade). Spoon icing over the cake and decorate with the grapefruit triangles.To store

    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days if without grapefruit decoration (or about 3 days with grapefruit slices).