I had something really nice prepared for this week, but then I realised that this Wednesday is Christmas, and no-one will actually read this. I’m sure you’re all way too busy with having Christmas dinners with loved ones, having Christmas dinners with in-laws you hate, unwrapping gifts you never asked for and have to feign gratefulness for et cetera. Either way, today is not a blog reading day, today is a day for doing lots of other things, which I hope you will enjoy.
Meanwhile, as we don’t care much for watching The Sound of Music or listening to Händel’s Messiah, my mum and I are having a sort of Great Domestic Bake-Off in the kitchen, where both of us are making cakes for tomorrow’s trifle, but each with different recipes. We’ve had to fight over who got which cake tins (which turned out OK – she got the better one of the two loaf cake tins, but I got the cat to make up for it so it’s all good). Things got pretty ugly after that – she openly mocked my use of melted as opposed to softened butter, and I sabotaged her batter by pulling the plug on the mixer whilst she wasn’t looking. But now the cakes are done, all of them turned out excellent, and peace has once again returned to Casa Dittatrice.
Seeing that few people will even read this, I’ll only give you both cake recipes – mine and my mum’s – this week. Next week, which will be New Year’s day, and equally blog-unfriendly, I’ll post the recipe for the trifle that she’s going to make with them once they’ve cooled. For you, you lovely die-hards that are reading this, your reward is a cake in the shape of a cat. Meow.
For two cakes, enough for 1 batch of trifle, according to my recipe, you’ll need:
- 400gr self-raising flour (or normal flour and 3 tsp baking powder)
- 250gr butter
- 200gr sugar
- 1 sachet of vanilla sugar (or use vanilla extract if you can’t get your hands on any)
- 4 eggs
- 250ml milk
You’ll also need two loaf cake tins.
Put the butter in a saucepan and melt it on low heat. Meanwhile, beat the sugar, vanilla sugar (or extract) and the eggs together. Pour in the liquid butter whilst beating, then add the flour and mix well. Finally, add the milk, making sure you get a fairly runny substance. Now pour the mixture into two greased cake tins, stick them in the oven on 180°C for about 40 minutes.
Now for my mum’s! For 2 cakes, again sufficient for 1 batch of trifle, use:
- 400gr self-raising flour
- 200gr butter
- 200gr light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- a splash of milk, about 150ml
- a few drops of lemon essence
This one’s probably nicer, actually. But never mind.
Leave the butter out of the fridge for long enough before you start making your cake, so you can beat it together with the sugar. Then add the eggs, mix well. Then add the flour, sieved, mix very well, then add the lemon essence, mix well, and then the milk. The pastry shouldn’t be all that runny, it’s meant to be quite a thick substance.
Put the mixture in a couple of cake tins, bake on 175°C for about an hour.