Stork, the UK’s best loved margarine brand, is celebrating 100 years of baking memories with the release of Stork: The Art Of Baking. It’s packed with classic recipes like Victoria sponge, banana bread, and cheese scones, all made using Stork margarine. Stork is a favourite ingredient of the Cake Queen herself, Mary Berry, and has been used by generations of home bakers to create crisp pastry and light, fluffy sponges.
The Happy Foodie team has been getting better acquainted with this classic ingredient, and trying out some truly showstopping bakes in the process. Here's how we got on . . .
Who: Stephenie Naulls, Head of Campaigns, Ebury Publishing
What I made: Lemon and elderflower drizzle cake
What I thought: I loved having an excuse to buy the biggest tub of Stork I could possibly find. This recipe is going to be my new go-to birthday cake recipe for all of my friends. It was so simple, but the flavour pay out was amazing – the elderflower really comes through! I struggled to find edible flowers (though you can get them from Ocado, I’ve since realised) so I used sugar flowers instead. The syrup made the cake so moist – it went down a treat with many cups of tea this weekend. All hail Stork!
Who: Claire Scott, Senior Publicity Manage, Ebury Publishing
What I made: Vegan Lemon and Almond Cake
What I thought: This was so easy to do. I had to hold my nerve slightly when curdling the almond milk, it looked a bit grim as I poured it in but I discovered when licking the spoon that the final raw mix was delicious! I will definitely make this again. Apart from the almond milk and the Stork, I already had everything in my storecupboard. Next time I won’t open the oven too early (slightly sunk in the middle) and I might be slightly less heavy handed with my icing but decoration is not my strong point!
Who: Jessica Lockyer-Palmer, Marketing Manager, The Happy Foodie
What I made: Marmalade Traybake
What I thought: If you love the density and layered spicing of a good gingerbread but are partial to citrusy cake too, this is the bake for you. The batter is packed with ginger, dark muscovado sugar and golden syrup, which results in the holy grail of cake texture: rich and moist but not too dense. Once it’s out of the oven, you then give it a good coating of bittersweet marmalade - the perfect pairing for the spiced molasses sponge. Best of all, this is the kind of bake you can whip up on a whim using mainly store cupboard ingredients - perfect if you have an unexpected need for cake (which is pretty much every day, in my case!).
Who: Alice King, Publicity Officer, Ebury Publishing
What I made: Vegan Pecan Muffins
What I thought: A super simple recipe, perfect for a last minute week night bake. It only took me around 20 minutes to whip all the ingredients together and then a quick 20 minute bake in the oven. I’m often nervous about vegan bakes not rising but despite my lack of muffin tray they rose really well. I also love the slight hint of spice from the cinnamon and mixed spice. After I’ve purchased a muffin tin I’m sure next time they’ll look as good as they taste!
Who: Abby Watson, Marketing Manager, Ebury Publishing
What I made: Raspberry Blondies
What I thought: This is a really easy recipe and it tastes amazing – there’s just the right amount of gooeyness for a blondie. I think they’d be especially great fresh from oven with some vanilla ice cream. Baking time suggests between 35-45 minutes, I started watching mine around the 35 minute mark to ensure they didn’t catch on top.
Who: Angel Fletcher, Editorial Assistant, Ebury Enterprises
What I made: Victoria Sandwich Cake (pictured top right)
What I thought: I love the smell of baking and really enjoyed cooking one of my favourite cakes using this iconic baking ingredient, Stork. The recipe was really easy to follow and it looks pretty while not breaking the budget. My favourite thing about the recipe, apart from the literal icing sugar on the cake, is that it’s highly adaptable - for this version, I used raspberry jam, but you can make it with strawberry or turn it into a chocolate cake (the book allows for lots of kitchen creativity, with multiple variations). Mine slightly deflated as I didn’t have the correct sized tin, so I had to make two sponges rather than cut one in half, but next time I’ll source the proper sized tin and it’ll look as good as it tasted.
Who: Anneliese Shaw, Publicity and Communications Assistant, Ebury Publishing
What I made: Blue Cheese and Sage Scones
What I thought: I consider myself very much a novice baker and was adamant that I’d somehow ruin my scones, but this recipe was really quick and easy to follow, and using Stork made me feel like I was a true professional. A classic recipe that’s easily adaptable, these scones are something everyone should have in their baking arsenal.
Who: Genevieve Halbert, Marketing Executive, The Happy Foodie
What I made: Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake
What I thought: As a self-confessed butter enthusiast, I’d never baked with Stork before and wasn't quite sure what to expect. My grandmother used to make excellent cakes and tarts using margarine, so I knew it could be done, but HOW?? Very easily, as it turns out. This cake is a cinch to make! The flavour is intensely chocolatey, and the sponge, which is made with almonds and melted dark chocolate, has a really fudgy texture. Since it's not raspberry season, I decided to decorate mine with crushed Oreo cookies.
Who: Morgana Chess, Publicity Assistant, Ebury Publishing
What I made: Vegan banana bread with Sticky Toffee Sauce
What I thought: This took a while in the oven but was definitely worth the wait - plus it makes the whole house smells like warmm banana bread. The texture was really moist and the sticky toffee sauce makes for a nice crunchy top. I will definitely be making this again, it works for breakfast, an afternoon snack or dessert with a dollop of ice cream.