Happy Birthday Time Again

Well the year has whizzed by once again and arrived back at the annual bake off. I am still not convinced that the birthday person should provide the treats. Ho hum! Reading and maths assessments marked for the evening left me a little time to craft these bad boys. Bon apetit tout le monde (I may have a sliver too).

Same old Vicky sponge with cream and fruit followed by Granny’s chocolate fudge cake.

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Happy Birthday To Me

Another year has zipped by and the staff room tradition pervades. I dutifully created these two offerings so that my work colleagues could celebrate with me. The first is my Grandma Sybil’s chocolate cake recipe in a bundt tin with added orange zest and a few dark chocolate chips.Victoria sponge topped and filled with whipped cream (jam in the middle) and adorned with fresh fruit.  Well it was my birthday after all. Both were deliciously moist as I watched the baking time closely and went close to under just to make sure. Nom Nom!

Birthday Cake 2 Birthday Cake

Grandma Sybil’s Chocolate Fudge Cake

This is a cake that I grew up with and one that transports me back to my Gran’s parlour every time I sample a slice. It is very easy to create and even easier to consume. You will need:Sybil Choc Cake - 02

For the cake

  • 5 oz Self raising flour
  • 6 oz cater sugar
  • 6 oz soft margarine
  • 3 oz drinking chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tblsp hot water

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until smooth and creamy. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Pour mixture into greased cake tin (8in ideally). I used a 7.5 in square.

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Bake for 45 – 55 mins until springy in the middle and coming away from the sides.

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Leave in the tin for 5 mins and then turn out onto rack and allow to cool before icing.

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For the icing:

  • 3 oz soft marg/butter
  • 6 oz icing sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1 tblsp milk



Melt chocolate and butter over bain marie stirring regularly. Remove from heat and mix in icing sugar a bit at a time (whisk/mixer needed).

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Ice and decorate to taste.

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I hope that you glean as much pleasure as I have with this little nugget of joy. Thanks Grandma. Missing you loads xx.

Banana Bread (Loaf)

This is a recipe that I have used and abused many times over. The great thing about it is that it is the perfect conduit for a multitude of flavours. I have no pictures at the moment because it never lasts more than 30 minutes. I have yet to ice or dress it for precisely the same reason. It is one of our cake tin staples. Enjoy.

You will need

a 1lb Loaf tin- greased, for following quantities
or 2in deep tray bake tin if making more – greased
Oven 170 deg C

2 eggs
3-4 over ripe bananas – smushed
4oz butter/marg
4oz sugar black/white/brown ( but not yellow)
5oz SR flour
tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla

– use a pan that everything will fit in
melt butter with sugar
add flour & baking powder and mix to stiff paste
add vanilla and eggs to smushed bananas and mix
add this to paste in pan and mix in well

at this point you can go freestyle if you wish and add 100g of either

chocolate chunks
raisins/dried fruit
diced apple
etc etc

or even a combination of anything you fancy. I would avoid minstrels (hard coated chocolate) though as they tend to go green for some reason. Replace vanilla if you want too, cinnamon, lemon zest, coconut. Go for it!

Pour into tin / tray then

bake in the middle of the oven for 45 – 60 mins. Usual checks, springy in the middle, moved away from edge of tin, clean (ish) skewer. Moisture is a bonus at the end so don’t dry it out.

This picture is from the internet but looks similar.

Banana Bread.

Costco Cake

There are times when all you can do is buy a cake off the shelf. Today my daughter secured a place at the prestigious University of Glasgow; the 4th oldest University in an english speaking country. Given that we were not certain of what the outcome might have been I was unable to bake in advance. Enter Costco. Love it or not their cakes tick many boxes…

  • Impact
  • Sugar hit
  • Size
  • Flavour
  • VFM

This came off the shelf – no need to pre order.

When she cut everyone a slice her brother noticed that she had left the shape of the letter ‘M’ in the cake (she is called Melissa). “Spooky or what” he repeated…

well done Melissa we are so proud of you. xxx

Friendship cake

“Herman the German”

My neighbour a few houses down knocked on my door 10 days ago armed with three tubs of bubbling goo and a persuasive smile. I had heard of Herman before but have never had the pleasure of his acquaintance. I was handed one of the tubs, which did not look or smell like anything resembling a cake;

Smelly goo! – day 10.

along with a printout of daily instructions.

  1. stir clockwise
  2. stir anti-clockwise
  3. tickle with a feather duster
  4. take him out to dinner

These continue until day 9 when you feed him for a second time (adding milk, sugar, flour) and then divide and distribute whilst making a cake for yourself.

Ready for the oven

Essentially this is a method for maintaining and circulating a mother yeast batch that is divided up and circulated amongst friends. (I nailed 3 work colleagues yesterday).

It has been suggested that this practice originates from the Amish culture where sourdough yeast cultures and/or breads were handed out to the needy to help in hard times. Fast forward to the not so needy neighbourhood and what you end up with is a chain letter that lingers for 10 days filling your kitchen/pantry with a beery aroma. And a very tasty treat.

Sweet aroma.

Very tasty indeed.

Here is a link if you wish to start your own Herman; or you could just wait and see if you have any friends. :0)