I don't do a lot of cooking, but I do like to bake. It's a throwback to watching my mam making lots of lovely cakes, pies and scones in the days before mass produced supermarket offerings, and home economic lessons at school. I don't do it as often as I would like or as often as I should, but I promised Dot I would make her a birthday cake for when she returned from her first school camp.
You see, for the first time since she came into our lives, she wasn't with us on her birthday. School camp in year 6 is a little like a rite of passage, giving the children due to go to high school in September a chance to be independent, without parents for five days, having to look after themselves. She was worried before leaving, I was worried all the time she was away, she loved it. She came home and that first evening back she missed camp!
But I made her a cake and she also loved that. In Dot's words 'what's not to like'? Cake, cream and jam - yum. It's a heart shape because that's specifically what she asked for. I also baked chocolate brownies, you can just see them in the back of the photo, but they were too chocalatey for me. I need to find a less chocolatey recipe that is also delicious - help me out if you can.
Anyway, here's the recipe. In a way this is also a throwback to my childhood as the recipe comes from the Be-Ro book, which was the baking bible in our house when I was little.
100g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
100g self raising flour
Heat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4.
Grease a round cake tin or two shallow cake tins.
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Beat the eggs, then beat into the butter and sugar a little at a time, with a little flour.
Fold in the remaining flour.
Pour into the tin or tins and bake in the over for around 40 minutes (one tine), or 20-25 minutes (two tins).
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Fill cake with jam, cream or both! Dust with icing sugar or as here, cover with cream and grated chocolate and decorate with fresh berries.
* I found that because my heart cake tin was so big I had to make two cakes, but they looked (and tasted) all the better for it.
I hope to make this a regular Saturday feature - the regular recipe so to speak. What do you think?