Here is a true classic, the Victoria Sponge. Everyone likes this teatime treat and it is equally tasty in the afternoon with a decent cup of tea.
8 oz butter
8 oz self raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 oz caster sugar
4 free range eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Optional)
200ml Fresh cream
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 200C. Prepare two 8 inch round baking tins by lining them.
The method for the sponge could not be simpler. It is called ‘ the all in one ‘ method because all the ingredients are put into a bowl and mixed together. I like vanilla so I added it, but this is optional.
spread the mixture between the two tins as evenly as possible and place in the heated oven. They should take about 20-25 minutes to bake, depending on the oven.
When they are ready they should spring back when touched. Remove from the oven and let them cool a little in the tins. Then remove them and cool on a wire rack.
Strawberries are traditionally not used, instead the filling is simply raspberry or strawberry jam. Personally I like fresh fruit with any sponge and strawberries and cream is a combination that is hard to beat. Slice the washed strawberries so that they are flat and won’t cause the cake to become too uneven. I like some jam on this cake and I used raspberry jam, not too much – just enough to have a thin spread over the cake. Place the strawberries evenly and generously over the sponge. whip the cream and dollop it over the strawberries. Give a good generous amount of cream as the cake tastes better with a moist centre.
Next put the top layer on and sieve a little icing sugar or caster sugar on the top. You could decorate with more fruit on top or just one or two strawberries if you have any left over. Finally slice and enjoy! This cake only keeps for about 3 days.
This is a christening cake I made for my niece Gráinne in July 2013.
It is a two tiered cake, the bottom tier is vanilla sponge, made using the BBC’s recipe for ‘Easy Vanilla Cake’ which I would highly recommend. The top tier is a chocolate moist sponge.
I covered both with sugarpaste and decorated with a sugarpaste teddy, sugarpaste baby in a cot, cubes with Gráinne’s name on them and some other decorations. The decorations take more time than baking so I ran out of time, I could have perhaps decorated it a little more. Gráinne’s sister Aoibhinn who is 2 and a half, liked the train best and I think she may have eaten the whole lot!
Here are some custard slices (my husband’s favourite!). I shop bought the puff pastry to save time and made the custard. It needs 5 eggs and a strong hand to stir it into a good, thick consistency. There is a lot of custard in these, but that’s the way we like them! They are topped off with a little icing and dark chocolate. The chocolate I used was too bitter, next time I would use a milkier version, or chocolate with less cocoa content (that’s just my preference).
Here is a Fluffy Lemon Pudding I made using Rachel Allen’s tried and tested recipe.
Here is a slightly blurred photo of a Baked Cheesecake with raspberry coulis on top. Easy enough to make and easier again to eat!
and here comes the slice
I made this recently (in May this year) for my Mam’s 70th Birthday. It was a simple sponge cake but made with Greek yoghurt which gave it a nice flavour and helped it stay moist. I decorated it with simple white sugarpaste and some flowers of varying sizes. I piped some buttercream around the cake as I had no ribbon to hand. My mother enjoyed it which of course, was the main thing.
Easter Bunny Chocolate Cake
I made this cake for Easter Sunday. It was really for all my nieces & nephews but a few adults indulged too! I made it using a light sponge (no butter) 3 eggs, 3 oz caster sugar, 3 oz flour. I put the sponge into a rectangular shaped tin (the one in the photo) – it is a swiss roll tin – and baked for about 15 minutes. I drew out a picture of a bunny free hand and then cut this out of paper, pinned the paper onto the sponge and cut around it. I had some sponge left over, so I made a dickey bow with that. I decorated it all with Cadbury’s milk chocolate (children love this) and piped on the eyes, whiskers, mouth. I just spooned on the white chocolate for the ears, though it might have looked tidier if I’d have piped it. This went down well as an Easter treat. A chocolate sponge would have worked well too.