Sunday, 29 June 2014


Good Morning to you,

Today, I have free reign to bake again.... yes the baking ban is over and life in the kitchen has returned to normal.

Do you remember me telling you, that George had asked me to stop baking sweet things for a while, as both he and Natasha were training  for their 84 mile walk along Hadrian's Wall? 

They had intended walking from Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria to Wallsend in Northumberland in 6 days.  The bed and breakfasts were booked, and they were fit and ready to start their adventure.

..... but that wonderful thing, called the 'English Weather' put a spanner in the works. 

The morning George and Natasha left Bowsness-on-Solway the sun was shining, but the forecast had been pretty grim.... lots and lots of rain was expected.  They both left Bowsness-on-Solway in a happy frame of mind, ready to enjoy the walk..... but then, a few miles into the walk, the rain fell and it fell and it fell and it did not stop. Diversions were in place and the fields were dreadful, to use George's words, the soil was so 'claggy' that it was like walking through glue, the wet soil seemed to suck their boots into the ground.

They managed 24 of the 84 miles, but sadly they then had to stop the walk, as the rain continued falling and the forecast for each day was rain, rain and again more rain.  When they returned home, George dried their boots by stuffing them with newspaper and it took 4 days for their boots to dry out.  They were both so disappointed, but they made the right decision, because the rain did not let up, as Cumbria also experienced hail stones as well as continuous rain. 

When Natasha left to return to India, the weather was lovely..... isn't that always the way.  If Natasha lived in England, it would not have been a problem, because they could have completed the walk at any time, but of course she had to return home. Although they were disappointed that they did not finish the walk, when Natasha returns next year, they are determined to complete it...... they are not giving up, they are determined to collect all the stamps in their Hadrian's Wall passport.  You never know, I might even join them.... well, as long as the weather is nice..... yes, I am being honest when I say, I am a fair weather walker.

So now that the ban has been removed, I have free reign to bake again, and so I have decided to make,

a scrumptious Victoria Sandwich, well, with a little bit of a twist. The cake is a normal Victoria Sponge, but instead of filling the cake with cream, I have used Greek yoghurt, icing sugar and raspberries..... it is a little bit different, but I have to tell you, it is very nice.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,

the album  Africainement Votre by the group Magic System. I first heard their single 'Magic in the Air' on Radio 2 and it made me dance around the kitchen.... honestly, just listen and I bet you will find that your feet will not be able to keep still. It is such a bright and sunny song.

So whilst I am listening to 'Savoir' I will organise my ingredients. I have decided to double the ingredients which were in Phyllis' cookery book as today, I want a thicker sponge.


250g unsalted butter 
(at room temperature)
250g self raising flour
250g caster sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


500g Greek Yoghurt
225g Raspberries
4 tablespoons of icing sugar

2 x 23cm loose bottom cake tins
the bases lined with parchment paper

Pre-heat the oven to 180C


Butter and line the base of the cake tins.

Sift the flour and the salt
and set aside for the moment.

Cube the butter
place in a large mixing bowl
or as I did into the mixing bowl
of my KitchenAid.

Add the sugar


whisk until you have a pale,
creamy consistency.
Using my KitchenAid it took 5 minutes
to reach the correct consistency.
If you are using a bowl and a wooden spoon
then it will take a lot longer.

Using a separate bowl,
whisk the eggs.

 1 tablespoonful of egg
at a time, 
to the creamed sugar and butter
and if you find the mixture
is starting to curdle, 

1 tablespoon of flour.

I found I needed to add 3 level tablespoons of flour
to prevent curdling.

If you are using a mixer, remove the mixing bowl
and continue by hand.

Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the
remaining sifted flour.

Mix together 
vanilla extract


the milk.

Add a little at a time until you have
a soft, dropping, consistency.

Divide the mixture between the
2 baking tins
bake for 35 minutes,

or until the cakes are baked and golden brown.
I use a cake tester to make
sure my cakes are baked thoroughly.
You will notice a larger hole 
near the centre, where I tested the cake.

Leave the sponges in the cake tins
for 10 minutes and then remove the
outer cake ring.

Wait until the cakes are completely
cooled before removing the bases 
and the parchment paper. 
The cake is much easier to handle when cooled.

Whilst you are waiting for the sponges 
to cool, wash the raspberries.
Mix together
the Greek Yoghurt and icing sugar.

Spread the Greek Yoghurt and icing sugar
onto the bottom layer of the Victoria sponge

add the raspberries.

Place the 2nd sponge on top
of the 1st sponge and
press down slightly.

Spread the remaining yoghurt
on the top layer

add the rest of the

Dust with a little icing sugar


there you have it,

a pretty scrummy Victoria Sandwich.

If you prefer, you can pipe the yoghurt onto the
cake, but as the cake was to be shared between the family
there really was no need
as it would be eaten practically straight away.

If the Greek yoghurt and icing sugar does not appeal to you, then whip up some double cream and use instead.

I often whip up double cream and add lemon curd which gives a nice zingy flavour to the filling.

Just as an added note, to make a good Victoria sponge it is important that the eggs and the butter  are at room temperature as this makes for a much better sponge.

Before I leave you, I thought you might like to see,

George and Natasha (behind the camera) leaving the Hope and Anchor at Bowness-on-Solway,


a few miles into the walk at Brampton, George eating a snack with the hope that the rain would pass..... which we now know..... it did not.

Take care and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,

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