Hi, just wanted to let you know I’m still around! I’ve been neglecting my blog something terrible lately. It’s not intentional, I have just been out making the most of the gorgeous sunny weather with the kids. It’s just as well I did considering it’s now pouring with rain and there is a definite chill in the air. It’s getting darker a lot earlier in the evening now too – I’m missing the long, bright until 11pm evenings already.
When we were enjoying the glorious sunshine a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t feel like cooking or baking much of anything at all. The house was too hot to even contemplate switching on the oven, we would have melted! You see, in Scotland we are not used to hot weather! So we were eating a lot of salads! Not exactly exciting blogging material!
The last couple of weeks I have:
- Had a great time with my kids at the Highland Games
- Spent time with my cousins visiting from England
- Celebrated my son’s eighth Birthday
- Made an Aero bubble chocolate cake for the Birthday (I didn’t get a good picture for the blog I’m afraid!)
- Got the kids ready for back to school
- Tried and failed to get into that 50 shades book that seems to have gripped the entire nation (but certainly not me)
- Got hooked on watching classic Dallas on CBS Drama – it takes me back to when I was little!
And that’s about it. I’ve had a lovely couple of weeks but I’m now really glad to get back into a routine of sorts and I’m feeling more like getting back into the kitchen. Today I made this gorgeous strawberry and white chocolate cake. It may have been a rotten day outside but this cake definitely helped to cheer us up. Isn’t cake great for doing that? 😉
Strawberry and White Chocolate Cake Great British Bake Off: How to Bake: The Perfect Victoria Sponge and Other Baking Secrets by Linda Collister
- 150g good-quality white chocolate, broken up
- 200g unsalted butter, diced and softened
- 3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
- 150g caster sugar
- Finely grated zest of ½ unwaxed orange
- 200g self-raising flour
FOR THE FILLING AND TOPPING
- 400g ripe strawberries
- Finely grated zest and juice of ½ unwaxed orange
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar (or to taste)
- 200ml double or whipping cream, well chilled (I used a mixture of double cream and greek yoghurt)
- 50g good-quality white chocolate, to decorate
- 2 x 20.5cm sandwich tins, greased and the base lined with baking paper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water (don’t let the base of the bowl touch the hot water) and melt very gently, stirring frequently. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until smooth. Add the butter, a little at a time and stir until it has melted.
Put the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until
frothy. Add the sugar and orange zest and whisk on high speed until the
mixture is very thick and mousse-like, and the whisk leaves a ribbon-like
trail when lifted from the bowl. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
Give the chocolate and butter mixture a stir, then add to the egg mixture
and stir briefly – it should be just combined. Sift the flour into the bowl
and gently fold in using a large metal spoon.
Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and spread evenly.Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the sponges are light golden brown and springy to the touch. Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tins to loosen the sponges, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
When ready to assemble the cake, wipe the strawberries with kitchen
paper and hull. Save one-third (the good-looking ones) for decoration;
thinly slice the rest into a bowl. Add the orange zest and juice and the
sugar and mix gently. Leave for 10 to 30 minutes to allow the flavours to
develop. Meanwhile, whip the cream until thick.
Set one sponge, browned top down, on a serving plate. Spoon the sliced
strawberries and juice onto the sponge to cover evenly. Spread half the
whipped cream on top. Set the second sponge, browned top up, on the
cream. Carefully spread the rest of the cream over the top, then decorate
with the reserved strawberries, cut into halves.
Keep the cake chilled, in an airtight container, until ready to serve (up
to 12 hours). Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving and
decorate the top with curls or gratings of white chocolate.