Brown Cake and Clementines.

By Alison November 29, 2006 6 Comments 2 Min Read


I haven’t baked for a Brocante lifetime. I gave it up as a bad job in favour of prawn salad and smoked haddock. For the sake of skinny thighs.

But after a night spent on my knees convincing Finley that the "hair in his mouth" was more likely to be a sore throat,  I woke up this morning  desperate for the cosy bliss of baking a brown cake, radiators on high, pink pinny tied in an extravagant bow and  the Womans Hour on the Roberts Radio. I’ve been denying my authentic needs for way too long. And plainly what this girl authentically needs is the restoration of my equilibrium, a sprinkling of cinnamon and an intelligent conversation about Virginia Woolfes claim that all women need is a "room of their own" in order to reach creative ecstasy. 

And so I baked a cake. A vintage, cosy "brown" cake. To be served with clementines and clotted cream at three o’clock- the witching hour for every woman who knows what it is like to find yourself beholden to a demanding, daft, three year old, twenty four hours a day…


1 teaspoonful of baking powder.  1/2 lb flour. 3 oz dark brown sugar. 4 oz margarine. 1 teaspoonful of ground cinnamon. 4 oz pint of golden syrup. 2 eggs. 3 tbsp cold strong coffee.


"Beat the sugar and the margerine to a cream. Sift the flour with the ground cinnamon and baking powder. Whisk the eggs, warm the golden syrup and add it, then whisk all together. Gradually stir the flour into the creamed fat, moistening the mixture with the eggs and golden syrup, and lastly the cold coffee.

Beat all together before turning the mixture into a greased baked tin and put it in a moderate oven to bake.

Who needs skinny thighs??


  1. Karla says:

    I'd much rather have cake than thin thighs, any day!
    I've printed out this scrummy looking recipe and hope to make it as soon as I can locate a bottle of Golden Syrup here in Oklahoma. I may resort to ordering on the web.
    I've never thought of it before – but Finley's "hair in the throat" description is perfect! I've got a bit of hair in my own throat today. Winter is on it's way for sure.

  2. Amy says:

    I've never heard of this but I've printed it out to do anyway!

  3. Marie says:

    I'm going to try that recipe myself! Sounds yummy. Will look for Golden Syrup here in Houston TX, but if I can't find it will just use my old standby Karo. I love tea time any time of the day!

  4. Karla says:

    I made the recipe this afternoon. Let's just say it's very appropriate for a cozy winter evening like tonight. I baked it at 350 degrees Farenheit for 35 minutes. We served it with fresh whipped cream on top.
    Thanks Alison! This is a keeper.

  5. Gill says:

    Dear Alison, I love your blog…it is great to hear an English voice out in cyberspace. With regard to Brown Cake…a pint or 4 fl oz of golden syrup???
    Happy cooking. Gill.

  6. Karla Neese says:

    This recipe suddenly came to my mind this evening and now I must find a jar of Golden Syrup again to make this lovely delicious treat. I can’t believe it’s been 7 years! Wow how time flies.

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