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My name is Lucy and I have never blogged before. Well that's a lie. I have, but it was this one, and I neglected it for a little while... I live in a commuter town outside London having moved here about a year and a half ago after making some pretty big changes in my life. I share a beautiful little cottage on the Grand Union Canal with 1 crazy beautiful little girl and an equally crazy cat called Bandit (appropriately named as he now lives in all the houses on the street and steals...). Lawyer/working mum and it would appear, terminally single (I've reserved my spinster plaque already) I was fortunate to escape the evil commute about a year ago but seem to have less time than ever.... If I entertain you, make you laugh or fume (or make you have an emotion of ANY description) then my job is done. Enjoy x

Thursday, 14 June 2012


I wouldn't say I'm usually a massive monarchist but the Diamond Jubilee unearthed my patriotic side.  I think its got something to do with Pose - I want her to understand and be proud of her heritage so I was trying to explain to her about her country and our Queen.  I think she understood and by the end of the Jubilee weekend she was chanting God Save the Queen and asking me to sing the national anthem on repeat.  It was super cute.

Anyway, on the Friday before the big Jubilee weekend my team and I decided to have a little Jubilee afternoon tea and of course I wanted to make cakes of some description.  Now what cake to make?  What cake indeed?!  It would have to be a traditional Victoria sponge, and who better to look to for a recipe fit for a queen?  The queen of cakes of course, Mary Berry!  I have to say I was dubious about how good she is until I tried this cake and W-O-W.  That woman seriously knows her stuff.  Of course I had to put my own stamp on it...

The recipe - Mini-Vicki-Union-Jackies (adapted from the great Mary Berry's recipe)

For the sponge:
225 g (8 oz) softened butter
225 g (8 oz) caster sugar
4 large eggs
225 g (8 oz) self-raising flour
2 level tsp baking powder

For the filling:
300ml whipping cream
200g fresh strawberries

For the decoration:
Ready-to-roll white icing
Red food colouring
Blue food colouring
Strawberry jam for "glue" 
Icing sugar for dusting

Makes 9 Mini-Vicki-Sponges and 12 Cupcake-Vicki-Sponges (see next post)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease the tins.  

A baking shop has opened near my office (a baking shop? huzzah! yet more ways to spend when I should be saving....), I bought this little muffin pan especially for this recipe.  Its a silicon tray.  My first.  That's right, I just popped my silicon cherry for the queen.

Anyway, I love it and its perfect for little bite-size cakes!

2. Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and beat until thoroughly blended. Fill the mini-muffin tray about 2/3 full and then divide the remaining mixture evenly between the 12 hole cupcake tin and level out.

3. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes or until well risen and the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack.

4.  While the cakes are cooling (they're little so this is pretty quick) make the filling.  Take the strawberries and roughly cut them up, then mash them with a fork.  You are not aiming for mush though, you are aiming for a crush!  Whip the cream till thick and holds its shape.

When the cakes are completely cold, you can start decorating.

5. Cut the cakes in half horizontally; dollop some crushed strawberries onto the bottom layer; dollop whipped cream on top of the crushed strawberries; carefully place the top layer onto the cream and press carefully down.

6. Dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll out some of the ready-to-roll icing and taking a cookie cutter or anything you can find - I used a fluted cookie cutter donated by mother - and cut out a circle for each cake.

7. Spread a thin layer of jam onto the top of the cake and carefully place an icing circle on top.  Smooth over with flat fingers to ensure it is stuck down.

8. Put a couple of drops of red food colouring into a dish and add a little icing sugar to it (to thicken it).  Using a CLEAN thin paintbrush, paint a cross and four diagonal lines onto the icing.  Taking a separate dish, put a couple of drops of blue food colouring in and add a little icing sugar to it.  Paint blue triangles in the spaces between the red diagonal lines (make sense??? Look at the pics....)


I really loved these little cakes.  I was SO SO SOOOOO proud of them.  The cake was super tasty (Mary Berry really knows her stuff), the icing wasn't overwhelming, the filling yummy and they looked freaking awesome!  A perfect little cake for our little Jubilee afternoon tea.
I'll leave you on tenterhooks to see what I did with the the meantime you can consider what on earth a "tenterhook" is!?

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