So English Mum, that shining star of gorgeousness, has thrown down her oven glove gauntlet and challenged us all – yes, all of us, including you – to bake something fabulous.
The prize for our efforts – and I am typing this in hushed tones – is a Green & Black’s hamper.
Now I am completely abandoning the hushed tones and shrieking a bit, as I want to win that badly. Yes, I know it’s a bit sad, and I am not normally a competitive person – I refer you to the comment from my exasperated PE teacher on my school report after a crucial netball match long ago, ‘DD needs to move more’ – but this hamper, I feel, has my name on it. In very big letters. Actually, I have no idea what is inside it at all, apart from, I presume, large quantities of chocolate. But I do have a secret little fantasy, that the hamper itself is made from chocolate! That way, I could just chomp my way through the whole thing ….
Ooops, getting carried away, back to the baking. I think you’ll agree that this is a devilishly cunning cake, which has partly come about due to our current obsession with baking fairy cakes. During the school fair bakathon, a couple of weekends ago, we had several batches of batter on the go at the same time. This got me thinking. I love coffee and walnut cake. Child One loves coffee and walnut cake. Child Two, by contrast, hates coffee and walnut. She likes lemon. Which Child One cannot abide. You could carry this on for ever, and never find a single cake which is going to make both girls happy at the same time. Soooooo, I present …..the Having Your Cake and Eating It cake:
One side is coffee and walnut, the other side is lemon. And everyone is happy. I don’t know if English Mum wants us to give recipes, but this is the easiest possible all-in-one sponge, featuring 8oz butter and 8oz caster sugar, creamed, four eggs, added one at a time, 8oz self raising flour, sieved and a few drops of vanilla essence. Divide the basic mixture into two bowls, add the juice and zest of a lemon to one, and a tablespoon of strong coffee (instant is good) and 4oz crushed walntus to the other. Splosh into two identical baking tins.
Cook for about 30 mins at gas mark 3. For the icing, take a basic buttercream (3oz butter, 6oz icing sugar) and add the juice and zest of another lemon to one half, and another tablespoon of strong coffee to the other half. When the two cakes have cooled, cut each in half and layer them up with either the lemon or coffee icing. Then swirl away on the top to your heart’s content. Voila. Everyone’s happy.