Samstag, 25. Mai 2013

Victoria Sponge Cake

So last Sunday, the shops were closed, I had no homework, and no sport.

I had time.

Wait what?

So I guess I'm not the only one who doesn't get to say that a lot - everyone, including yours truly, seems to always be busy running to meeting after next, trying to finish an essay due the next morning, or getting ready for exams. That's what makes having time on my hands a little foreign, like a kid that's never had a weetabix before; I don't know what to do with it.

(Excuse me for the awkward comparison but it made sense to me, seeing as the first time I had a weetabix I just bit into it, completely oblivious to the fact I should've put it in a bowl with milk)

Anyway, back to time. I may not have so much of it, but I guess that makes me appreciate it more and gives me a little push to actually do something useful, or at least fun with it. Which, trust me, is something not easy for a world class procrastinator like me - but I'm getting there.

So, on Sunday, I decided to do one of the things I love the most: baking.

Even though I enjoy giving myself challenges when I comes to cake baking and decorating, I decided on a simple, three tiered Victoria Sponge.

If you don't know what a Victoria Sponge is, well the name kinda gives it away. It's a traditional British sponge cake with jam in the middle and powdered sugar on the top. It was apparently named after Queen Victoria who ate it at her popular afternoon teas. I decided to give it a little extra effort and add a cheeky bit of silky buttercream in between the jam, mmm-mmmm.

I shall leave you now with the method and another picture, before I start my late-night blabbering.

Sweet dreams,

Katie. <3


1. To make the victoria sponge cake, I used this recipe, but any will do as most of them are very similar and the secret really lies in the method of making the batter - be sure to follow the recipe closely and not to over mix the batter, otherwise air will be lost and the mixture will become stiff.
Also, since my cake was three-tired, I used one-and-a-half times what the recipe said, and three cake pans so each could bake separately.

2. For the jam, I used shop-bought. If you or your granny feel like making it yourselves, feel free, yet jam is something I have not yet ventured into and I don't have a granny to do that for me, so shop bought it is.

3. Buttercream. I beat 150 grams of butter until pale and fluffy, then gradually added in 300 grams of sifted icing sugar, along with a teaspoon of vanilla in too.

4. To assemble, I just really spread the buttercream on the cake, then the jam, put another cake over that and repeated the process. Foolproof really. :) 

Mittwoch, 1. Mai 2013

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

To be honest I never before had really quite understood that old saying. What made a person a friend if they needed help?

Yet recently, a very good friend of mine started getting chronic migranes (that's what we think they are at least), and has been so down about everything. She can't concentrate on anything more after midday if she's lucky, and feels helpless because she hasn't been able to get a correct diagnosis yet and therefore hasn't got suitable treatment. It's like a vicious circle, and it is really taking it's toll on her. Someone who, just a few weeks ago, was laughing non-stop everyday sheds the same amount in tears now. It breaks my heart to see her like this.

Suddenly "A friend in need is a friend indeed" popped into my head out of literally nowhere.
Then I understood: The question above that I had been asking myself the whole time was exactly the point. The fact they've come to you for aid shows their trust, repect and friendship for you, because they know you will be one of the few, if not the only, who will understand and help them. It works the other way round too; you're so close to them that you can almost feel their pain with them and are longing for them to feel better, because you care.

I'm sorry about the cheese, but that's finally one of life's little mysteries solved for me.

So anyways, after another migraine the other day, she needed chocolate. But she had none. And this is a girl who is a fully fledged chocaholic, and when she needs chocolate, she NEEDS it.
This resulted in someone or other having to run over to the cafeteria to get her a bar of whatever, and the grin plastered on her face while devouring it was priceless. Until the next migraine came. But that's besisdes the point.

I decided that this type of emergency should never occur again and therefore put together an emergency pack, consisting of an extra-large milka chocolate bar complete with instructions.

I may not have stopped the migraines, but I at least put a smile on her face. And that's what counts.

Hope you are having a lovely first of may, which reminds me, I've had my blog for a month now, and hopefully, for a lot longer, tee hee :)


Katie xo