A weekend of baking firsts for me. I christened my new oven with a batch of fairy cakes for Keira's 5th birthday and (you'll never believe this) it was also my first ever Victoria sponge. Crazy to think it but I've never made a basic Victoria sponge before. I must've made hundreds of batches of muffins, dozens of chocolate cakes and cookies galore but never a plain egg sponge.
The recipe I used came from 'Pretty Party Cakes' by Peggy Porschen (pleasingly alliterative) and forms the basis for the cupcakes I'm planning for a wedding cake next year. I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to practice both the sponge and the icing. Overall they were a great success but I learned two things. One, that creaming together butter and sugar with my current electric whisk leads to explosive results no matter how soft the butter and two, that I'm not a fan of plain eggy sponge cake (or butter icing).
Luckily Keira and her nursery school friends were, and pink cakes with heart shaped sprinkles went down a treat.
I was on a roll (and had another party to go to on Saturday) so I threw together a batch of classic brownies from Dorie Greenspan's book, 'Baking: From my Home to Yours'. I say threw together because compared to the fairy cake faff these were a breeze and tasted amazing. If you don't already own this book then buy it now (or speak nicely to Santa).
Finally, as if I hadn't used enough butter and sugar this weekend, I made my first ever batch of tablet. We decided that it would make the perfect Christmas gift for D's Dad who has a really sweet tooth. I spent 45 mins on the phone to my Mum whilst stirring and stirring and stirring with her giving me instructions and advice. Four further phone calls later and I had the perfect slab of creamy coloured, hyperactivity inducing sugar rush. This was a test batch so D and I packaged it up to distribute it among our colleagues and we get to do it all again next weekend!
All in all, we got through two kilos of sugar, one kilo of butter and ten eggs - oh well, 'tis the season.