Monday, 14 May 2012

Basic All-in-one Sponge Traybake

Recipe Number One Hundred & Ninety Four:  Page 173.

There are several varieties of traybake recipes within the pages of the Baking Bible. I really should have started off with this one. As the title suggests it is plain and basic with no added extras. It is a great traybake to start off with. Unfortunately, I'd let greed get the better of me. I couldn't resist making the more interesting and tastier varieties first! However, on a day when I could barely keep my eyes open, I was relieved to have such a straightforward recipe to fall back on. This was perfect!

Isaac woke us up bright and early and, despite it being the weekend, there was no opportunity to roll over and go back to sleep. Some months ago Neil had signed up for a fun run at the spectacular Blenheim Palace. He wished to arrive an hour or so before the start of the race, so we were out of the house bright and early. As we approached the grand gates of the palace a sign for the run caught my eye. It said the run was on the 13th ; I felt sure that it was in fact the 12th! I checked and we were indeed a day early! I may be shallow, but I was devastated to have missed out on a lie in! Ever the optimist, Neil said we should get tickets and walk around the gardens. The sun was shining for the first time in about a month, so it seemed the sensible thing to do. Isaac enjoyed kicking the little stones on the gravel paths and I was delighted to see a swath of bluebells in flower. It was beautiful. We walked for several miles and then headed back to the car to get Isaac home for his lunch and nap.

When we arrived home I decided to lie on the bed for a few minutes to rest my legs and I ended up falling asleep for half an hour. I awoke to a rumbling tummy, so went downstairs to forage for food. Neil took pity on me and made yummy cheese on toast along with a welcome cup of tea. Although very well received they did little to wake me up. I therefore lay down on the sofa and slept for another hour. Apparently I snored!!! All of this makes me sound extremely lazy. I feel I should point out to those who are not aware that I am 15 weeks pregnant and not just a complete layabout!!!

I'm not a good napper and I woke up feeling even worse than before. Isaac, however, awoke full of beans and was bouncing all over the place! I hoped that a spot of baking might wake me up and make me feel better. It usually cheers me up! With my little assistant following behind, I shuffled into the kitchen. I quickly lined the tin and then started to weigh all of the ingredients into my mixing bowl.

First of all I added a terrifying amount of butter. It is amazing that I still happily tuck into all these cakes after seeing what goes into them! The same amount of sugar was then measured into the bowl. It was hard to keep my concentration as I had to keep an almost constant rendition of “Oranges and Lemons” going. It's Isaac's new favourite song and I'm expected to perform it whenever it is requested!! I also had to contend with tins of chopped tomatoes and soup rolling around my feet. It was quite an assault course to retrieve the flour. After tripping on a tin and stubbing my toe I finally made my way back to the scales. I had to weigh in the self-raising flour. A couple of teaspoonfuls of baking powder made their way into the bowl, swiftly followed by the eggs. I nearly jumped out of my skin when Isaac suddenly shrieked “EGGS” he was overcome with excitement!! I managed to crack four into the bowl, without losing any shell into the mixture. There is a first time for everything! Last of all I extracted a large bottle of milk from the fridge. My number obsessed little assistant kindly helped me count four tablespoonfuls into the awaiting bowl.

Neil said he would take Isaac out for a late afternoon trip to the swings. This was good timing as Isaac isn't too fond of my electric whisk; the noise worries him. When they left I turned on the machine and gave the mixture a good mix. I was surprised by how long it took for the mixture to become smooth. The butter was suitably soft but took ages to break up. Eventually it became lovely and smooth and I was able to tip it into the waiting tin. Into the oven it went; it would need to cook for around forty minutes. This gave me plenty of time to sit down. It was nice to sit and do absolutely nothing in the peace and quiet!!

The cake smelt delicious as it cooked. It was well risen when I extracted it from the oven and I was eager to dig in. Unfortunately I had to wait for the cake to cool in the tin before I could have a taste. More's the pity!

Neil and Isaac were tired from their adventure at the park. I thought they deserved a little slice of cake to help restore some energy!!! As I cut up the cake into slices I thought it a shame that it looked so plain. I decided to follow the suggestion of dusting over some icing sugar which did help give the cake a bit of a lift.

We all enjoyed this cake as it was lovely and light and it was nice to have something plain for a change. Perhaps it could have done with a few drops of vanilla extract to give it a bit more flavour. This cake could easily be dressed up for a children’s party with some simple butter cream and sweeties!

This is a great basic cake for those days when you just want something easy and tasty.

Plain and simple but yummy all the same!

1 comment:

  1. You had me stitches from the Day too early at Blenheim Palace! I am so surprised you didn't drop the eggs as Isaac shrieked EGGS! :-) He is just getting the cooking bug. The cake looks absolutely delightful and one you can rely on under any circumstances xoxo