Thursday, 19 August 2010

You'd better come on down

And meet, the nicest kids in town (not that I'm biased at all)

Also, there actually is cake in this post. Quite a lot of cake

I was trying to work out what order these next few posts should go in. Should we go with the most recent camp backwards to the fundraising, or the other way around? Does anyone else really care? In the end my need to be ordered won out and we're starting with the fundraising. This year's cafe was to raise funds for the girls centenary adventures, and whilst we raised less money than previously, the cafe was buzzing, the girls had an amazing time and there was a lot of cake.

See, a lot of cake. And you can't even see the cream teas that we were serving from the kitchen as the scones were being baked freshly.

The Rocky Road that I had trialed previously went down a storm - although it's a family cafe, something based in chocolate is obviously going to be popular! As well as the rocky road, I made a victoria sandwich using Nigella's recipe and cupcakes to the Magnolia Bakery recipe that I've posted about previously. I used blue vanilla buttercream to frost them, and in honour of our centenary sprinkled them with white chocolate stars. Sadly the photograph doesn't do them justice - let's just say this, lots of little hands got them out of their box and put them in the stand.

Victoria Sponge

Since my food processor went to the big, dusty cupboard under the stairs in the sky, I did this old school style - something I haven't done for a while. It takes more elbow grease than I remember! When using the procesor I add extra baking powder.

This is from Nigella's How to Eat, a book that I use more than I think going by the mucky pages strewn throughout. It was actually the first cookbook I read from cover to cover before actually using it as a cookbook.

Ingredients (as always, my notes are in italics)

200g self-raising flour Nigella doesn't sift hers, but I do - old habits and that. I have visions of my formidable Home Economics teacher turning up in my kitchen, peering over my shoulder and demanding that I redo it

25g cornflour
225g caster sugar
225g very soft unsalted butter - so soft that should you want to you would be able to squish your finger in it. Try this with a knife, not your finger though
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2-4 tablespoons milk - Nigella specifies full fat milk, but as I never have this in the house I use skimmed


Preheat the oven to gas makr 4/ 180
Butter and flour 2 sandwich tins (I only have one - I'm sure at some point I had two, but alas, no longer)
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add the eggs, beating in one at a time, alternating with a spoonful of the sifted flour
Add the vanilla extract
Fold in the rest of the flour gently (add the baking powder and cornflour to the rest of the flour when I'm weighing out my ingredients)
Stir in the milk

Divide between your cake tins and bake in the middle of the oven for about 25 minutes. Mine take slightly less time as we have a fan oven, but test with a skewer to be sure. Cool on a wire rack and sandwich together with jam. I used an apricot and amaretto jam that I had bought from Kavey of Kavey Eats when she had a stall at Covent Garden, it was amazing and I did think I could have added some almond extract or (if I had the processor) some marzipan to take that amaretto-ey flavour further through the cake. I would have used that in place of the vanilla extract.
Dusted with icing sugar, taken to the Guide hut and sold for 75p a slice I think.

No pictures of my cake I'm afraid as by this time the camera had been donated to an older Guide and I was to be found in a corner inhaling a cream tea and a coffee (a contradiction there I'm sure, but hopefully you know what I mean?)

Marshmallow treats

Rice Krispie cakes

And finally... a small story for you as an aside. One of my Brownies came to help her sister who is one of my Guides out at the cafe. It's always great to have an extra pair of hands on board and Georgie has sales skills that Alan Sugar would envy. Faced with customers she would point to the cake below and explain that "this is my Nonna's cake. It's Italian. You're lucky to be allowed to eat it. That's one pound please" (it was supposed to be 50p a slice, but who am I to complain) Genius. I think everyone bought pieces of Nonna's cake. I am also holding out for the recipe, it was that good. Also note the chocolate cupcake that had managed to become unpeeled during her sales pitches... clever girl that Georgie!

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