Episode 1: Cakes – The Signature Bake

I (Aodh) decided upon the sandwich cake this week though had I known it was the introductory Signature Bake, I would have chosen something a little less so forth and so on than a white chocolate chip Victoria sponge with raspberry jam filling.

I got the Victoria sponge recipe from the Women’s Institute because they don’t deign to assign their ingredients quantities and they say things like “For a special luxurious occasion fill and cover with… chocolate or coffee flavourings!” because if that coffee cake isn’t for a christening, you’re a fat American.

My favourite thing about a Victoria sponge recipe is that the butter, flour and sugar ratio is 1:1:1 so as long as you know what the measurement of each that demands an egg is, you’re golden. My favourite thing about recipes in general is when they don’t contain unnecessary words like ‘nevertheless’ or definite articles (I was raised by a drop-down menu). So, in the spirit of instantiating the world we would wish to see:

1. 70g of butter, flour, caster sugar for every egg and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

2. Cream ingredients together. I have had no trouble with any when-to-add-what order when using an electric whisk so… just use an electric whisk. It’s big lovely magic apparently.

3. Strew your white chocolate into mix.

4. Pour into 2 baking trays and bake at 180 degree until golden brown and an inserted fork, knife or cake-ruining broadsword comes away cleanly.

Mine took 20 minutes but the edges were starting to burn and so I cut them off like that was going to fool anyone. My baking trays were too broad for the quantities I used so damn you Women’s Institute and your elegant trap-door ratio thinking.

The jam I made from a punnet of raspberries, the juice of one half lemon and jam sugar, the latter of which sounds like the greatest beginning to a sentence that ends with “into my mouth”. It’s actually high in pectin which gives the jam its viscosity but the pectin is in the raspberries too; the jam sugar goes in 1 is to raspberry 1. So:

1. Mash, with manly self-assurance, half the punnet in a pan over heat until it boils.

2. Sieve the heated mixture until the pulp and juice have been separated from seeds.

3. Add lemon juice to pulp-juice and then add raspberries and sugar with the delicate prudence of a temperate governess .

4. Boil. Stir with the confused gender identity as previously outlined. Sugar dissolves.

5. Drop on cold plate to check for viscosity. This took me a little over five minutes of boiling to get it to the point I wanted, which was good as I was getting worried, perhaps ignorantly, that the jam would burn.

I spread it on the cake after letting both cool so they’d be mutually impermeable. Then I sandwiched.

The cake turned out well enough or mind-blowingly good if you’re one of those people who writes complainy e-mails because they expect the time they spent reading a recipe to reward them with really good cakes. I was happy with the bake; the failure was in the total absence of thought in conceptualising it.

Here’s a picture of it: Aodh’s White Chocolate and Raspberry Sandwich CakeImage

Actual size (if you hybridize your first impression that the image is disproportionately large, then the following thought that if this were actual size, it wouldn’t be very big really or even at all – the size you’re thinking of now? That’s it)

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2 thoughts on “Episode 1: Cakes – The Signature Bake

  1. the WI recipe sounds a little unbalanced with 70g per egg. in fact the ratio of 1:1:1 should be extended to 1:1:1:1 as the egg.should weigh the same as the other ingredients, a middling sized egg generally weighs in at about 2oz (55g).

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