Thursday, 15 April 2010
Well, it's taken several weeks, but I am thankfully back online now! All the boxes are unpacked and we are finally settled into our new home. Well, almost settled anyways!
It's been a whole lot of fun trying to cram all of our belongings into a much smaller place . . . NOT! There's been ever so much we have had to get rid of . . .
The first thing was my lovely electric cooker. Yes . . . I don't know why we didn't notice it before we moved in . . . but . . . there was no point in the kitchen on which to hook up our electric cooker . . . only a gas point.
We ended up having to go out and buy a new gas cooker. It was kind of exciting, really!! Todd wasn't too thrilled about it, but as most women know, there is nothing like a new cooker to put a smile on your face!
I wasn't very smart though . . . there was only a small space to fit one in to and I didn't want to make Todd do a lot of extra work by having to trim the counter edge to fit a large one in and so I went for a more compact model that would easily fit.
Besides . . . it was really cute. I just love toast done under a gas grill . . . sigh . . . that was something I had missed the whole time we were down in Kent . . .
Don't you think it's really cute? I fell in love with the gold buttons and handles and well . . . I just fell in love with everything about the way it looked!
It wasn't until I went to bake something in the oven for the first time that I realized . . . it is much, much smaller inside the oven than what I have been used to. I had thought it was plenty large at the shop . . . but when you take the heat shields into consideration . . . I lose about 6 inches off of the inside.
*Note to self . . . don't get too carried away with how something looks in the future, be a bit more practical and take measurements into consideration.
Half of my pans don't fit. They are too wide and you can't get the door shut with them in it. This meant that I had to go out and buy some new pans. Oh woe is me . . . woe is me . . .
It also means that when I bake a double layer cake, I have to have both layers on different racks in the oven. The top layer bakes quicker than the bottom one . . . so I found myself having to switch the racks halfway through the baking time.
Which was rather dumb of me actually as, in retrospect, I could have just taken the top layer out a bit sooner than the bottom . . . which is what I will do next time.
I was in Lakeland buying some new pans and saw these handy dandy pan liners . . . kind of like big muffin pan liners, but for larger pans and for loaf pans as well. I bought some as I thought it would be a lot quicker to use them than to have to trace and cut baking parchment.
It was quicker, but . . . my cake layers ended up being a bit lopsided. What with the combination of me switching shelves halfway through the baking time and using paper tin liners, it's a wonder my cake turned out at all when I think about it.
It turned out fabulous. Each layer moist and perfectly ribboned with delicious swirls of blackcurrant preserves . . . the centre filling of buttercream and more blackcurrant preserves being oh so yummy, yummy.
This fabulous cake went down a real treat! It was the most perfect way to celebrate a new home and a new beginning!
*Blackcurrant Jam Cake*
Serves 8 to 10
A deliciously moist cake, with ribbons of black currant conserve running through the sponge layers, and filled with tasty vanilla butter cream icing and more conserve. Scrummy yummy!!
8 ounces plain flour (1 3/4 cup) (245g)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
284ml of buttermilk or sour milk (1 1/4 cup)
(to sour the milk add a tsp of lemon juice
Or vinegar to the measure and finish with milk.
Allow to sit for 5 minutes before using)
8 ounces caster sugar (226g, or 1 1/4 cup)
5 ounces butter, at room temperature (142g of 10 TBS)
2 large free range eggs, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla
4 ounces blackcurrant conserve (about 1/2 cup)
For the butter cream:
2 ounces butter, at room temperature (56g, 1/4 cup, or 4 TBS)
4 ounces icing sugar, sifted (114g or 14 TBS)
A few drops of vanilla
1 tsp milk
2 heaped TBS of blackcurrant conserve
Icing sugar to dust over the top
Preheat the oven to 170*C/320*F/Gas Mark 3. Butter and base line two 8 inch sandwich tins.
Place all of the cake batter ingredients, with the exception of the blackcurrant conserve into a large bowl. Beat with an electric whisk for several minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl down now and then, until you have a smooth batter.
Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins. Whisk the conserve with a fork until smooth. Dot over the surface of the cakes into 5 dollops on each. Using a round bladed knife, drag and swirl the jam through the cake.
Bake in the heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the cakes test done. The top should spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean. Remove from the oven and loosen from the tin. Let rest for about 10 minutes before removing completely to a wire rack to finish cooling.
To make the butter cream, place all of the ingredients into a bowl. Beat well with an electric whisk until it is smooth and fluffy.
Place one of the sponges on a plate. Spread the butter cream over top. Top with the blackcurrant conserve, swirling it over a bit. Top with the remaining sponge, right side up. Lightly dust with icing sugar to serve.