Simply delicious …

I was looking forward to baking a cake today and I chose my husband’s favourite: Victoria Sandwich Cake. Its beauty lies in its simplicity, an amazing kind of baking alchemy takes place when the simple ingredients are combined with the straightforward instructions:

Here’s the recipe:

225g margarine

225g caster sugar

225g self-raising flour

4 eggs

seeds from 1 vanilla pod

2 tsp baking powder

Using the ‘all in 1 method‘, put all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well. Divide between 2 prepared baking tins and bake in an oven, pre-heated to 180 C, for about 25 minutes, or until the middle of each cake is firm but springy to the touch.

Once the cakes are out of the oven and have cooled on a wire rack, sandwich them together with your choice of filling. Today, I used raspberry jam and buttercream made with 175g icing sugar, 50g butter and 2 tbsp milk.

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A Curry in a Hurry…

It felt like a day for a curry today. Our favourite curries at the moment tend to involve the use of prawns. Tonight we had a particularly tasty Prawn Biryani:

Here’s the recipe:

1tsp saffron threads

50ml warm water

2 shallots

3 garlic cloves

2cm fresh ginger

2 tsp coriander seeds

2 cloves

seeds from 2 green cardamom pods

2cm cinnamon stick

1tsp ground turmeric

2 dried, red chillis

2tbsp olive oil

1tsp mustard seeds

500g raw prawns

300ml coconut milk

basmati rice, cooked, ready to serve

Soak the saffron in warm water for 10 minutes. Put the shallots, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cloves, cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick, turmeric and chillis into a grinder or mortar and grind to a paste.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to pop, add the prawns and cook for a minute or so. Add the spice paste followed by the coconut milk. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer, cook for 20 minutes.

Before serving, drizzle the saffron water over the rice and stir through. Serve the Prawn Biryani over the rice.