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Year of the Cake Part Twenty Two: Hearts and Stars Cake

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Sunday, the day of rest. Or, if you’re me, the day of increasingly frantic tidying, a failed cake and melted scales – and this all before lunch (which, incidentally, you also have to prepare before your guest arrives). Now, once again I am exaggerating for comic effect – I wasn’t frantic, though the melting scales did threaten to tip me over the edge, and it was all more than worth it because I had a lovely, peaceful visit from my friend Mrs P and her adorable new baby. That said, we mostly let the baby do her own thing while we had a good old chat; she was fine, there weren’t any live wires or wild animals about. I stuck with my two recent favourites for lunch and did carbonara and chocolate fondant puddings. I got the recipe right this time by using much shallower ramekins, ramekins that had originally held two Gu chocolate banoffee desserts.Those were nice, though I understand that some of their other products are really to die for, plus you get free ramekins with them… The to-die-for-ness of gu products notwithstanding, the hot chocolate fondant puddings are really something else and honestly so easy to make. I made the batter for them in advance today and just let it stand, covered, on the worktop until I was ready to bake them. I gave the mix a quick whisk with a fork to get some air back in and then poured into the ramekins and baked – perfect result. There it is, a chocolatey island in a sea of double cream. I think the discovery and mastering of this recipe could be my downfall.

The point of this quick post, though, is just to show the wee sponge cake I made for Mrs P to take home with her, to share with Mr P (though she is at liberty not to share, of course). I wanted to do something that said ‘congratulations’ or other such on it, but time was against me. I just kept the whole thing really simple in the  end and made a vanilla sponge with a dusting of icing sugar and some pretty sprinkles on top.

I hope it’s enjoyed by all; here is the recipe for one five-inch cake:

  • 4oz golden caster sugar
  • 4oz margarine
  • 4oz plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs

I used the all in one method, or the ‘I’ve run out of time’ method as it’s sometimes known, and just threw everything in to the bowl and mixed with a wooden spoon. Once it was combined, I spooned into a greased cake tin and baked at 180C for 20 minutes, then turned down to 160C for the final ten minutes. It rose a lot, so I had to slice off a bit then invert the cake to give a nice smooth top surface. Then I dusted with icing sugar and sprinkled with sugar hearts and white chocolate stars. Yay!

Oh, I melted the scales by trying to use the weighing tray bit to melt chocolate and butter in the microwave. I swear I’ve done this before with no ill effects, but today it was having none of it. I concluded my weighing business using an empty 250g margarine container, in case you were wondering. I do need new scales now, though, that’s not really a longterm solution.

To finish on a completely different note, this is what I served for breakfast today:

Best girlfriend ever? Well, yes, when I’m not asking the G man to just get OUT if he’s going, so I can get on with all the things I have to get on with… Well, it’s swings and roundabouts, innit?

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About Rock Salt

Seasoning while rocking out since 1983.

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