Wednesday, 14 May 2014

stuck in a rut? bake a cake!

I've ordered my book on Food Photography! I am impatiently waiting for it to arrive in the post. Yes the post - living in Germany means that I cannot just run out to my local book store and buy a book in English, I have to order it. Luckily this one is coming from the UK and not the USA, so I should have it by the end of the week. Hold thumbs!

In the meantime, there's not much learning happening here. In fact I'm a bit stuck. Stuck in a rut. So what do I do? I rope in the girls to help me bake a cake, because us girls love cake! Normally this only happens for special occasions like birthdays, but today I need a boost and my birthday is just much too far away.

First I get the ingredients ready. The girls help and I torture them with simple baking sums like: we need one and a quarter cups - how many quarter cups do we put in? They learn something and they get to help me choose the pretty bowls and carry everything through to the dining room where...

...I've set up my expensive lights. Then I beg, "Please girls!!! Watch the cables, no bouncing, no dancing!" This is really hard for them, because we LOVE cake! We really really love cake! Isn't it exciting? (bouncy bounce) Especially when it's a sweet, soft, fluffy cake, with rich butter icing that you just don't get here!

The tall one gets to read the instructions, littley gets to pour and they take turns to beat and stir. (This time I didn't even have to play referee. This cake is made with a heap of love) I try to get the camera settings right and get some shots in, in record timing... and before we know it, it's done.

The girls get to lick the bowl and our house is filled with the divine happy smell of a vanilla sponge cake baking in the oven. Cake baked. Memories made. And I have some lovely shots too! Happy Ne'!

This time I will type out the recipe for you... see below.

 The Recipe

This was a Victorian Berry Sponge Cake, but the berry sugar is just too obscure around here, so I converted it to a Simple Vanilla Sponge Cake.  It doesn't rise very high, so if you want to be fancy you can bake 2 layers and put icing between them. Or just keep it low key - bake in one shallow tin, smear icing all over and dig in. 

(PS I am not a foodie, no baking expert or perfectionist. This recipe worked for me, I hope it works for you. It's simple and yummy!)


4 eggs
3/4 cups castor sugar
1 cup self-raising flour
1 Tablespoon cornflour (maizena)
1 and a 1/2 teaspoons melted butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/3 cup warm water

Heat oven to 180 degrees
Grease  2 x 20cm round tins (or one bigger one in any shape you want - we use a heart-shaped tin) and line with baking paper.

Beat the eggs until creamy and gradually add the castor sugar. Keep beating until the mixture becomes really thick. (they say this can take up to 10 minutes - oops, I was too impatient for that...)

Sift the flour and cornflour and fold it into the eggy mixture.

Next stir in the warm water, butter and vanilla.

Pour into your tins and bake for 20- 25 minutes.
Allow to cool before icing.


125g butter 
250g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
(and a little splash of coffee)

Beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat some more, until it's  smooth and yummy.

Ice the cake and eat it!
(remember: it is good to share...)


Louise Kemp said...

Ok, vragie: Waar's myne? En is dit met regte egte versiersuiker? Dit lyk heerlik!

Tanya Atkinson said...

oh yummy K! you know me......i always just buy the box cakes but i will def.try this.Thx my friend.PS love the pics.

Karené said...

Thanks girls! Glad I could tempt you!
And Tanya, I was a box cake girl too, till I tried this one ;)

Anonymous said...

Ooooo, I have just got my baking inspiration for today! I love vanilla cake, but always end up making choc.... ( nicer to lick the bowl..)
Thanks K! Debbie

Anonymous said...

Oooooo I have just found my baking inspiration for this arvie! I love vanilla, but always end up making chocolate (nicer to lick the bowl... ;) Thanks K! Debbie

Karené said...

Oh, for a piece of your cake Debbie! You're a pro, needed your cake to photograph! Next time... ;)

Catherine said...

Love love love the cake photo with the delicate blue tablecloth, the flower, the blue dishes. Your photos should be in a thick, beautiful, hard-back coffee table recipe book. Take some more!

Karené said...

Thank you for the enthusiastic motivation! The big thick coffee table book is definitely one to aim for!