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Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Simple tastes

I can't remember the last time I made a victoria sponge. Usually it ends up being fairy cakes and biscuits that I bake with the boy, but for some reason the other weekend I couldn't get the idea of making one of these out of my head. Luckily I had a friend coming over for Sunday lunch to give me the excuse to make one. I'd forgotten just how quick and easy they are to make (though it's a lot quicker if you actually have two sandwich tins unlike me). It's a basic recepie that you can find in pretty much every cook book with a baking section, but I'll repeat it here anyway:

Victoria Sponge

225g butter, very soft
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
225g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (if using a food processer)
3-4 tablespoons milk

2 x 20 cm sandwich tins, buttered and floured (this was where I fell down and had to bake 1/2 mixture twice, as for some strange I only have one sandwich tin - go figure)

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C, gas mark 4.

If using the food processor, put everything bar the milk in and whiz until it makes up smooth batter. Then add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse until the batter has a soft dropping consistency.

If not using a food processer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time and beat them in. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently with a metal spoon.

Spread the mixture between the two sandwich tins and bake for about 25 minutes. The cake is done when it has a springy texture when pushed (gently) at the top and it has come away from the edges. Turn the cake out onto a cake rack to cool.

When the cake has completely cooled, spread with the jam of your choice, add some berries (in my case strawberries) then spread on some whipped cream and sandwich the two layers together. Finish off by sprinkling caster sugar over the top of the cake.

Best scoffed quickly - the cream won't keep very long.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Welcome to the Jungle

Well, more of a wood really, but my 3 year old decided that it was a jungle - just with ducks and ponies rather than monkies and tigers! The woods in question are Burnham Beeches not far from us. I don't know why, but in the 8 years that we've been living in this area this is the first time we've actually gone for a walk there. We've definately been missing out as the photos show. It is a lovely place for a leisurely weekend stroll with the kids.