Posh Lunch and a Vicky Sponge

Guess what we got at Tesco (yes – them again) – a dozen Langoustine for ₤3.  So here was today’s lunch …

~  Menu  ~

Half a dozen langoustine
Chilli Mayo and a bit of salad
Glass of White Wine
Victoria Sponge

Because the langoustines were on their best before date I cooked them as soon as I got them home, otherwise I think I would have grilled or sautéed them but lucky buggers can’t be choosers.  

Half a dozen each for me and my love; Father in Law doesn’t like shellfish so poor old man had to make do with a fillet steak sarnie *** – see how grim it is up here.  They were so sweet and tender and delicious  I might almost have been willing to pay full price for them!  I did a bit of salad, got my mayo and sweet chilli sauce out of my stores and had a bit of sourdough bread and a little white wine – with lunch of this quality it would have been rude not to.

*** The reason the niggly old bastard (not my words – his own!) had a fillet steak sarnie is that it was his 86th birthday a couple of days ago and he failed to eat all his steak.   Well obviously he wasn’t getting away with that and had to have his second fillet today.  

I also, for his birthday, made his favourite kind of cake – cream cake.  A simple Victoria sponge cake but I only had square cake “tins” (silicone) and it turned out like this …

A new Twist on the old Vicky Sponge!

Classic Victoria Sponge

225g/8 oz room temperature butter – nice warm room!
225g/8 oz  caster sugar
pinch salt
4 eggs - beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g/8 oz  self raising flour - sifted

~   Preheat oven to 180ºC/350°F/160ºC fan/gas 4.
~   Grease two 20cm round cake pans (or square equivalents).
~   Whisk together the butter and the sugar to light, in both texture and colour, and fluffy.
~   Gradually, a little bit at a time, whisk in the beaten egg.  If you add it too quickly the batter will split and look curdled which isn’t the end of the world but can make the cake less light.  Whisking in a spoonful of the flour with the first egg addition can help avoid this.
~   Whisk in the vanilla extract together with the last egg addition.
~   Using a large metal spoon or a spatula fold in the flour (see below for how to fold in).
~   Divide between the two pans and bake till golden and risen and if you press the top lightly with your finger it should spring back. 
~   Cool for a few minutes in the pans then turn out, gently, onto a cooling rack.
~   When cold fill with strawberry jam and freshly whipped cream.
~   Sift over a little icing sugar.

One of the beauties of this recipe is that it is easily remembered (equal quantities of butter, sugar and flour and half as many eggs as ounces!  Easy to double or halve the recipe too - that's another one of its beauties.  Oh yes - and it's nice.

How to  fold in ...

Although it is difficult to explain an action in words, for those of you unsure of how to fold in I’m going to give it a try because it is important - you want to retain the air that has been whisked in and even to fold in a tad more.

Using a large metal spoon or a spatula cut across the middle of the mixture, slide the spoon or spatula under it to the edge of the bowl and fold that portion over the rest.

It’s quite easy to do, just hard to describe. Keep cutting and folding from different angles, rotating the bowl, till everything is merged together in a light and airy way.

So frankly that’s about it for today’s blog.  I am busy packing, washing, cleaning, checking things, nagging etc. and it wouldn’t make very interesting reading even if I had time to pontificate on it.  Tomorrow we leave The North and the next day we leave England for two months but I shall blog from the other side of the pond with lovely sunny vistas and general showing offness.

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