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Friday 9 August 2013

Food, Men And The Weekend

This weekend's recipe is for Victoria sandwich. It's a sponge cake which traditionally has nothing more than strawberry jam/jelly inside, but there's nothing to stop you using cream and/or fresh fruit. A Victoria sandwich has to be the one of the simplest things to make, and better still the recipe is very easy to remember. Along with the proportions for shortcrust pastry, it's the only one I've actually managed to commit to memory from all those years of learning at my grandmother's elbow. I'm still "on the book" when it comes to fancy food (thank the Lord for Mary Berry!).

All you do is heat the oven to 180 degrees (that's 160 in my fan oven - yours may be different, so check), grease and line two 8" sandwich (circular, shallow) tins. Weigh four eggs, break them into a large bowl and add the same weight of sifted self raising flour, caster sugar and soft margarine. Finally, put in two teaspoons of baking powder. Beat until everything is well mixed. Divide this mixture between the two tins, and bake them in the middle of the oven for around 25 minutes. When done, the cakes should spring back when pressed, and be a light golden brown. Hand the mixing bowl to any passing child (or despondent scientist, see below) for in-depth cleaning (or brandishing, see below). Let the cakes cool on a wire rack, then sandwich them together with your filling of choice when they are cold.

Our man this week is Dr Adam Rutherford. His Inside Science programme on BBC's Radio 4 regularly splits opinion in this house. I'm still a Quentin Cooper/ Material World woman at heart, while my science-trained husband is all for innovation and really wild things. Yeah, right. The words "baby" and "bathwater" spring to mind. However, last week Dr Rutherford got OH frothing at the mouth by saying "a bacteria" instead of "a bacterium/some bacteria". Bacteria is the pl...oh, please, don't let's go there again...I've had it for seven long days...

This week, Dr Rutherford compounded his sin by saying that despite (insert your favourite Law of Large Numbers figure here) complaints from pedants*, "a bacteria" is how it's gonna be from now on, dudes, so suck it up.

OH is currently lying down in a darkened room, rising only to gasp "the horror...!" at irregular intervals. Life at the sharp end of nerdery, eh?

The   Inside Science link has a much better pic of Dr Rutherford, btw. Have a great break, and watch out for bacteria - whether they arrive one by one, or in hordes.

I've been invited out for coffee this weekend, and I'm taking the Victoria sandwich in the picture with me. Are you doing anything special?

*you mean mine's not the only one?


  1. Sorry, everyone, this went live before I had a chance to put in the cake photo-it was scheduled for this afternoon. I'll insert the pic later, once I've got busy with the strawberry jam!