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June 19, 2020
Named after Queen Victoria who enjoyed a slice with her afternoon tea, this may seem a bit old fashioned (classic) in our hemp and chia seed world but it remains a favourite in all circles. Recipes are vigorously debated (punch-ups at WI meetings) by baking aficionados as to the mix and quantities of ingredients, to achieve the perfect combination of consistency, crumb, and flavour. Here’s my take.
Ingredients:200gms unsalted butter200gms caster sugar200gms self raising flour2 tbsp milk1 tsp baking powder4 eggs
Filling:150gms strawberry jam140gms icing sugar100gms unsalted butter (soft)A few drops vanilla extractOptional – fruit to decorate
Method:Preheat oven to 170⁰C
Line and grease two 20cm round sandwich tins. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide mixture evenly between the 2 tins and bake for appx 20 mins, until cakes are golden on top and spring back when pressed.
Once they are ready allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the filling, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla together until you have a smooth, light buttercream – this can take a few minutes. For the bottom layer of the cake you may need to level off the top. Spread the jam on the top of the bottom cake, spread the buttercream on the base of the top cake, and then sandwich together.
Dust the top with icing sugar, decorate with fresh fruit.
These are such an easy go-to biscuit when there isn’t much time or you have unexpected guests. Remember those pre Covid-19?
Ingredients:280gms plain flour225gms unsalted butter110gms icing sugar1 tsp vanilla essence1 tbsp milk
Chocolate version:260gms plain flour20gms cocoa powder
Method:Preheat oven to 175⁰C
Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the flour, vanilla and milk and continue to beat until all ingredients come together. Using a nozzle of your choice (I’ve chosen to use a plain circle), place it in the piping bag and then add the mixture.
Pipe out the biscuits onto the prepare tray, spacing them out. Place in the oven for appx 10 mins depending on their size, until they are slightly golden brown around the edges.
Take out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Gaby Van Clarke
April 16, 2021
This transformation was for a Daily Mail makeover article. It was published as part of a three page spread on the Monday 12th, our first open day after lockdown.
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