Monday, 16 June 2014

When in doubt, bake an emergency cake

On Sunday I was feeling a bit down, I was wallowing in too much to do, not enough time to do it in and wondering when the decorating will ever end. Two days of prepping the hallway walls hardly made dent in what needs doing. Then I got a phone call letting me know my favourite uncle was rushed to hospital on Sunday morning. Not really knowing what to do with myself I decided the best thing to do was bake an emergency cake and eat it. I made a classic Victoria Sponge, using the same recipe I was taught at school. I am actually mortified that 'domestic science' isn't taught in schools anymore. Knowing how to bake a cake is, in my opinion, a life skill.

Just in case you didn't learn it, or you have an emergency, here is a fool-proof Victoria Sponge cake recipe.

225g/8oz butter (room temperature)
225g/8oz caster sugar
4 medium eggs (beaten)
2 teaspoon (tsp) vanilla extract (about a cap-ful)
225g/8oz self raising flour (sifted) - I add a 1/4 tsp of baking powder to the flour
a milk bottle cap-ful of milk to loosen

Cream the sugar and the butter. Then add the beaten eggs slowly, making sure they are fully mixed into the mixture to avoid curdling. Add the sifted flour and mix until totally smooth. Add the vanilla and the milk, give it all a final mix and you're done. Really what could be simpler?

Split the mixture across two butter greased cake tins (lined with grease proof paper is better) and bake for about 25 minutes at 180C (350F/Gas 4).

Check the cakes are done by sticking a skewer into the cakes - the skewer should come out clean and once cooked leave the cakes to cool on a wire tray. I tip mine out of the tins after around 10 minutes.

When both the cakes are cool load with jam (I used Bonne Maman Raspberry Conserve) and freshly whipped double cream, sprinkle the cake with icing sugar, cut yourself a large slice, pop the kettle on, make yourself a cuppa (Twinings English Breakfast for me) and enjoy.

My uncle is in the best place and while we wait for news I will eat cake. And yes, I have stopped feeling sorry for myself.

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