Thursday, 17 March 2011
A few days ago I was contacted and asked me if I would like to try out a few products. I was quite happy to oblidge.
I opted for the Giant Cupcake Pan from Eddingtons and a really cute little Retro Milk and Sugar set from Make My Day.
They arrived this morning and I could wait to get stuck in to using them. I have always wanted a cupcake cake tin and I was pretty excited about it. It came with expert instruction on how to use it and how much batter to use.
It suggested you use a 6 egg cake batter and so I decided to use Mary Berry's Victorian Sandwich Cake recipe, doubled, as it is one of our favourites. The cake tin is all in one piece, which includes the cupcake base section and the cupbake top section. One down side of this is that the bottom takes longer to bake than the top and so you have to put the tin into the oven with just the bottom filled and then take it out about halfway through the cooking time and fill the top part. Anyone who is a baker knows that messing around with taking cakes in and out of ovens during the baking process is a risky business, and prone to failure and sure nuff . . . my cake ended up sunk a bit in the middle and heavy. I would say that this is a major hiccup in anotherwise beautiful pan, and I'm not sure how to get around it.
I also decided to use all butter in the cake recipe this time, as someone had suggested in the comments section the last time I baked it that you should always use all butter in a Victorian Sponge, and I have to say we are not very happy with the texture of the cake, and have found it to be far too rich. I will definitely go back to using half butter and half marg. When Mary Berry says to use half and half, I would think she definitely knows what she is talking about. I should have listened to her. ( I would have to say that the cake is almost greasy and that is not good in my books. I like butter, but too much is too much!)
Nevertheless the cake was quite cute when completed and decorated and looked just adorable sitting on my table with that sweet little milk and sugar set. I am in love with that. It is not too big and not too small. The milk container resembles an old fashioned pint milk bottle, complete with a rubber cover to keep it fresh. I collect milk and sugar containers so this is a lovely addition to my collection.
I was able to use my Tovolo Utensils again, that they had sent me previously and I have to say that I am very impressed with the. Sturdy and brightly coloured they have become my favourite utensils. Knowing that I have something to use that is heat resistant, sturdy and that won't scrape my pans is a blessing! I am especially enamoured with the slotted mixing spoon. It has a lovely stainless steel handle and is very strong and able to handle the thickest of batters with ease. The scraper is also very good and sturdy. These are lifetime tools as I cannot see them ever breaking or melting, and after several months of constant use have remained as new looking as the day I received them. I highly recommend.
Thanks very much to Eddingtons and Tovolo, for having sent me these handy little gadgets. I will work at finding a way to make the cake tin work out a bit better. Perhaps a different recipe for the batter and if I bake the layers separately. It will take longer, as it will be like baking two cakes, but for a special occasion it would be well worth the trouble, as it is really cute!!
Nevertheless I did enjoy my little tea for one . . . a tiny sliver of cake and a delicious cup of Cranberry and Pomegranate Herbal tea . . . very refreshing. Sometimes it's nice to spoil yourself just that tiny bit.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone! we'll be enjoying our boiled bacon and cabbage today, how about you?
*Traditional Victorian Sandwich Cake*
Makes one 7 inch cake
Popular during the reign of Queen Victoria, this cake remains popular to this day, which is a huge testament to it's taste and ease of baking! Don't be tempted to use all butter. This is one recipe that is better for the use of a mixture of butter and margarine.
3 ounces of butter, softened (6 TBS)
3 ounces soft margarine (6 TBS)
6 ounces caster sugar (1 cup)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, beaten
6 ounces self raising flour (a scant 1 1/2 cups)
3 TBS raspberry jam
buttercream to fill (optional)
icing sugar or caster sugar to dust the top
Butter and base line two 7 inch sandwich tins. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.
Cream the butter, margarine, sugar and vanilla together until light in colour and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mixture begins to curdle, add a spoonful of the flour.
Fold in the flour with a metal spoon, taking care to use a cutting motion so as not to knock out too much of the air that you have beaten into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins, leveling off the surface. Make a slight dip in the centre of each.
Bake on a centre rack of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the sponges have risen well, are golden brown, and spring back when lightly touched. Allow to cool in the pan for five minutes before running a knife carefully around the edges and turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, place one layer on a cake plate. Spread with raspberry jam and buttercream (if using). Place the other cake on top, pressing down lightly. Dust with icing or caster sugar and serve.