It all started in innocence

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Victoria sponge cake

Victoria sponge cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As is usual I take Sunday for my day of rest, that is I do no work other than perhaps a little gardening, weather permitting, or some minor tasks about the house. I suppose that will be the same for many people too. I had made up my mind to bake a cake of sorts, anything that I had never baked before just for the experience. Over the last couple of years especially, I have gained an interest in baking when once I did very little of it. Obviously I never had much time to bake for I was always too busy doing something else, some domestic project or at my electrical work. These days I am finding I have more time on my hands which allows me to bake if the fancy takes me. Since my new-found hobby began I have baked scones, rich fruit cakes, rich butter cakes and have made doughnuts too, not much in the way of pastry, though I have done some. Ealier in the week I had baked two rich butter cakes, one with coconut and one without. I love coconut but E doesn’t. I decided I would make ‘Parkin’ so I went to the cupboard to sort out the ingredients and discovered I had everything except some mixed spices. Rather than make something that lacked one of the ingredients I opted to bake a Victoria sponge cake instead as I hadn’t made one beforehand though it is quite similar to the rich butter cake but far lighter and using fewer eggs. Whilst looking for all the ingredients I ended up clearing out one cupboard of its accumulated packages, jars, tins and oddments and sorted them into plastic containers. This makes for easier storage and location and better use of the cupboard space. You have to remember I live with someone who is not noted for her tidiness when it comes to storing things away and everything gets mixed-up. Finally I got all things sorted and found all the ingredients for the sponge cake and set about making it, actually two cakes for I was making a layered cake with a jam and whipped cream filling. I had to make a square cake for we don’t have small round baking tins, something I shall have to correct in the near future but square or round I was going to make the cake! I am getting used to the new cooker now and setting the temperature to suit the recipe’s recommended temperature has become easier. Temperature controls on domestic cookers are never that accurate, as an electrician I am aware of this but on the whole they are accurate enough. There are so many variables to contend with when baking and straying too far from the recipe’s weights, measurements and temperatures can change everything. In everything we do, experience counts. So I made the cakes and left them to cool off before removing them from their containers. I poured some double cream into a bowl and whipped it up using an electric mixer until it was stiff and spreadable. I chose one of the cakes to be the base and spread it with strawberry jam them topped it with a thick layer of cream. I spread a little jam on the other cake before placing it on top. Finally I gave it a dusting of icing sugar and ‘hey presto’ a Victoria jam and cream-filled sponge cake.

Shirley Anne

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