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Upside-Down Cake, Anyone?

14 Jul

Having only found Pineapple upside-down cake recipes online I decided to try something a bit different and combine the technique of an upside-down cake with some porridge oats, golden syrup and sultanas to make it more of a fruity flapjack/ cake hybrid.

I just used my standard sponge mix recipe and spooned in my mixture of: 2 handfuls of porridge oats, 2 handfuls of sultanas, 1 knob of butter and 2 tablespoons of golden syrup (all melted down in a pan).

Here is the finished article:

Keen bakers out there, have a go and let me know what you think.

Money Saving: Soap & Glory 2-Minute Rinse

13 Jul

Did you know that showers use on average 9 Litres of water per minute*? Or that leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth can waste up to 6 Litres of water**? Well there is something simple we can all do to ensure we use and waste less water.

Top budget-friendly beauty product range Soap & Glory, have launched a brand new money saving and eco-friendly campaign titled The 2-Minute Rinse; They have worked out that we can save water, energy and money simply by spending a little less time in the shower each morning, having a more positive impact on the environment and our wallets.

So why not take up the challenge and get your friends and family to do the same. Soap & Glory have some fab prizes on offer for people who log their 2-Minute Rinse on the Facebook page, so what are you waiting for?

Save Water. Come Clean. Do the 2-Minute Rinse. Log your rinse and you could win some amazing prizes.

http://on.fb.me/pW5CkE

*Waterwise

**Environmentagency.gov.uk

The Perfect Victoria Sponge Cake

9 Jul

Baking is one of my favourite pastimes, and I would love to set up my own cake shop one day. My specialties are Cheesecakes, Cupcakes, Tiramisu and Victoria Sponge Cakes.

Whether you are completely new to baking, or a culinary wizard – It is important to get the basics right for making a sponge cake, as once you’ve got a good recipe that suits you and you’ve got all your timings right, you will be able to adapt this to make a whole range of different cakes.

My best friend when baking is my Breville food mixer. I know some people are a bit snobby about using a mixer, but it was a steal at £40, and I’ve used it many times for everything from whipping cream, mixing bread dough and making waffle batter. Buy the Breville Food Mixer at Wilkinsons.

Onto a foolproof recipe that you can adapt to your own tastes.

For the cake mixture:

4 eggs

200g caster sugar (granulated sugar is fine to use)

200g butter or margarine (I find soft margarine makes for a lighter, fluffier cake)

200g self-raising flour

For the filling:

Strawberry or Rasberry Jam (I think it would be interesting to try it with Pineapple Jam – watch this space)

200ml Double cream (whipped)

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200c (fan-assisted) or 180/ gas mark 5
  • Line the bottom of two large cake tins with a circle of greaseproof paper (this is a quicker and more effective way to ensure your cakes don’t stick, as opposed to greasing them with butter)
  • Mix the butter or margarine with the sugar in the mixer until smooth
  • Add all 4 eggs and mix again until smooth
  • Sieve the flour in slowly (with the mixer still on) from a height of 5 inches above the bowl and mix until smooth
  • Divide the mixture equally between the two tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until light brown in colour
  • Test to see if the cakes are cooked by gently inserting a sharp knife into the mixture – If it comes out clean, then it’s ready
  • Leave on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes
  • Whip the double cream in the mixer (after cleaning), apply to the underside of one of the cakes (once cool), and spread a thin layer of Jam on the underside of the other cake. Pop one cake on top of the other (with the Jam and cream both on the inside) and there you have it, the perfect Victoria Sponge Cake.
Here is a photo of one I made earlier today:
Let me know if you have tried the recipe, and any other suggestions you might have for making the perfect Victoria Sponge.