Victoria Sandwich Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Victoria Sandwich Cake

Victoria Sandwich Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Let’s talk again about how I definitely shouldn’t be on The Great British Bake Off. The very first technical challenge of this show’s slightly awkward first season was to make a Victoria Sandwich Cake. This is two layers of sponge with raspberry jam in the middle. This is truly a recipe that any respectable British baker should be able to handle relatively well, so they were looking for utter perfection.

They gave them ingredients but no method. Not sure if they had measurements or not. If they did, this should have been a no brainer. Of course, I’m not an actual Bake Off contestant, so I used the actual Victoria Sandwich recipe from the companion cookbook from this season of Bake Off. It’s about as simple as you’d think. If you’re new to baking, this cake is a great place to start.

Victoria Sandwich Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Of course, the dramatic debate in the tent is whether to use the creaming method or all-in-one. I’m team creaming all the way, which sounds gross if you’re not a baker. If you want your cake to be lighter than air, air is exactly what you need, so let your butter and sugar mix together for a good five minutes until it’s pale and fluffy.

Another fatal error I saw some people make on the show was to continually open the oven door to check if their cake was done. Step away from that door handle, friends. Every time you open that door, the oven temperature drops, and you’ll end up with a sad and sunken cake. Trust your nose. When you start to smell the cake, you’ll know it’s nearly there.

They didn’t even have to make their own jam for this first technical. In later seasons, they sometimes have to make four different components from scratch, so I’m not looking forward to that. Use your favorite jam. I went with a raspberry vanilla jam I picked up from a fancy gourmet market in Clitheroe that was made in my husband’s hometown. It was delightful. I like a little more jam than is probably traditional, but this cake doesn’t have much else going on in the flavor department, so I like to pile it on a bit.

Victoria Sandwich Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Paul and Mary could probably find something bad to say about my cake, most like that its a bit wonky, but I’m perfectly satisfied with the way it turned out. I wish I could say I shared this with friends, but Geoff and I ate this all by ourselves. It was awesome.

Victoria Sandwich Cake

Yield

6-8 servings

p

20 minutes

Baking time

20-25 minutes

Difficulty

Easy

Ingredients

  • 175 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 grams caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 175 grams self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 4-5 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Butter two 20.5 cm round cake tins, and line the base with baking parchment.
  • Add butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer one medium high for 3-5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  • In a bowl, lightly beat your eggs along with the vanilla. Turn your mixer down to low and gradually beat the egg mixture into the butter and sugar. Scrape down the side of the bowl, and give it one more mix to make sure everything’s evenly combined.
  • Turn your mixture onto its lowest setting and gradually add in the flour, followed by the milk. Use a rubber spatula to give the batter one last mix to make sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  • Divide your mixture between the two cake tins. You can use a kitchen scale to make sure you have divided it evenly. Doesn’t have to be gram for gram, but relatively close.
  • Bake your cake layers for 20-25 minutes or until the cake springs back when gently pressed. Once removed, allow the cake to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then run a butter knife around the edge of the pan and turn your cake layers out onto a wire rack. Remove the baking parchment and allow the cake to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, move one layer to its final destination and spread the raspberry jam evenly on top. Place your second layer on top, dust with powdered sugar, slice and serve.

Recipe slightly adapted from The Great British Book of Baking by Linda Collister

Raspberry Margarita | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Raspberry Margaritas

Raspberry Margarita | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This weekend I managed to actually achieve something I had convinced myself I would probably never do. I can’t even remember the first time I tried to complete a Couch to 5K programme, but it was in Hawaii, and before I went into the hospital, so it had to be at least early 2015. Possibly before that. I would always start out with the best of intentions, but inevitably, I’d end up quitting by the third week. Sometimes I had to quit for very good reasons, like my lung collapsed. But most of the time, I’d just lose all motivation and couldn’t drag myself off the couch to engage in a mind-numbingly boring exercise routine. 

This time, I used a different app, One You Couch to 5K. It comes from the NHS here in the UK, and they got some BBC personalities involved, so I had the adorable Sarah Millican as my running coach. She cheered me on, called me flower, and promised me I could make it to the end. Pretty sure I yelled at her a few times, but she won me over in the end. There are five different coaches to choose from, so you can find the person who motivates you the most. One of them is American track Olympian Michael Johnson. I found this a bit intimidating and opted for a woman who looked like she might like cookies as much as I do. With the help of this app, I’ve now completed nine weeks of running three times a week, and I think I might continue on my own.

Raspberry Margarita | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Because life is all about balance, I’ve made us a cocktail to celebrate. Raspberry Margaritas are sweet, tangy, potent, and so awesome. There’s a good amount of raspberry puree in this cocktail, so it’s super fruity. This makes them extremely easy to drink, so I guess it’s a good thing that this recipe only makes four. Plus, the color is just gorgeous.

We’re making this drink in the blender, but it’s not a frozen margarita. I suppose you could chuck in a bunch of ice, but to me that just means you end up with a watery margarita. I prefer them on the rocks. If, like me, you have a cheap hand-me-down blender, you’ll want to strain out the seeds. If you have like a kick ass Ninja blender or something, your seeds will probably be neatly pulverized by the blender magic. We’re also rimming the glass in a combination of caster sugar and coarse sea salt because life should be salty and sweet, and so should your Raspberry Margarita.

Raspberry Margarita | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I still hate running. I’m not turning into a fitness nut. I have every intention of continuing to drink cocktails and eat cheese and chocolate. But now I know I can run (as slow as I want) for 30 minutes without dying, and I can do it three times in a week. Let’s celebrate life’s little successes with a Raspberry Margarita. Cheers!

Raspberry Margaritas
Serves 4
Raspberry Margaritas are sweet, tangy, potent, and so awesome.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup tequila
  2. 3/4 cup triple sec
  3. 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
  4. 1 cup lime juice
  5. 1/3 cup caster sugar
  6. 2 teaspoons sugar, for rimming the glass (optional)
  7. 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, for rimming the glass (optional)
  8. Lime wedges, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add the tequila, triple sec, raspberries, lime juice, and caster sugar to your blender. Blend until your raspberries are pureed.
  2. Strain your margarita through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds. They're just not that fun to drink.
  3. If you want to rim your glasses, put your sugar and salt onto a plate. Use a lime wedge to wet the rim of each glass, and press the damp edge into the pile of sugar and salt to coat.
  4. Add ice to your glass, fill with your margarita, garnish with a lime wedge, and celebrate.
Adapted from Sweet ReciPEAs
Adapted from Sweet ReciPEAs
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Guys, we actually had sunshine today in Glasgow. I thought maybe the sun had stopped working, but it’s back, and I love it. That doesn’t mean I’m going to run outside for a hike or something crazy like that, but I maybe I’ll treat myself to a cocktail before the sun goes away for good and we start marching toward the long winter.

I never got sun guilt when we lived in Hawaii, though a know a lot of people did. You could count on the sun to shine there. Here, if I don’t get outside on a sunny day, I never know when I might get another chance. It’s so precious here. It just makes you want to quit your life and give yourself over to the warmth.

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

A great way to enjoy the sunshine would be to have a picnic and bring along some white chocolate raspberry blondies. These little beauties have a hint of caramel flavor that compliments the tart burst of fresh raspberries. If you can summon the patience to wait for them to cool completely, they’re easy to slice and transport, making them perfect to take along to any sun drenched eating experience you may desire.

These are so simple to make. It’s really just dumping some stuff into a mixer, pouring it into a baking dish, and sprinkling on some toppings before popping it all in the oven. These are good if they’re slightly on the gooey side, but they shouldn’t be wobbly when you pull them out of the oven. If you can resist the urge to dig in until they’re cool, you won’t regret it.

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Don’t let the sunshine pass you by. And don’t wait for an excuse to make white chocolate raspberry blondies.

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies
Serves 12
White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies will bring some sunshine into your life.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 200 grams (7/8 cup) unsalted butter
  2. 150 grams (5 ounces) white chocolate chips
  3. 300 grams (1-1/2 cups) light brown sugar
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 200 grams (1-3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 small carton of fresh raspberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a 9x9 inch baking pan.
  2. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, then cook on medium low for five minutes.
  3. Stir in half of your chocolate chips until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Beat brown sugar and eggs together until light and smooth, about the color of peanut butter.
  5. Slowly stir in flour, salt, and vanilla.
  6. Fold in butter and white chocolate mixture until smooth.
  7. Pour batter into pan, then scatter raspberries and remaining white chocolate chips over the top.
  8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and not wobbly.
  9. Cool completely in tin, then pack up and take on an adventure.
Adapted from How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day
Adapted from How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
 

Raspberry Cooler | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Raspberry Cooler

Raspberry Cooler | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve been transferred at work and the whole world has gone insane. Stress is pouring off me in waves. Don’t get too close, or my insanity might splash onto you. I don’t want you to catch my crazy. Unless, of course, you’re going to bring me a cocktail, then you can sit right next to me, and we’ll be best friends.

Raspberry Cooler | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Raspberry Cooler is sweet and tart. Watch out because you won’t realize you’re drinking alcohol. You will probably have a big smile on your face, though, and that can never be bad.

Don’t forget that if you don’t want to pay ridiculous prices for a bottle of raspberry vodka, it’s perfectly easy to make your own if you have a little patience. All you need is a clean jar, some vodka, some raspberries, and two weeks. Just let the raspberries steep in the vodka, then strain it into another clean jar. Voila. Raspberry vodka for half the price. Use frozen berries in the off season for an even cheaper option.

Raspberry Cooler | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The world has gone utterly mad, so there’s no better reason to put your feet up and enjoy a lovely pink cocktail in the comfort of your own home on a Tuesday night. Raspberry Coolers are the wave of the future, my friends. Let’s do it.

Raspberry Cooler
Serves 1
A Raspberry Cooler is the perfect sweet, tart cocktail to erase the insanity of the work week.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 ounce Chambord
  2. 1 ounce raspberry vodka
  3. 1/2 can of San Pellegrino limonata
  4. Ice
Instructions
  1. Add plenty of ice to your cocktail glass, then pour over the Chambord and raspberry vodka. Top it up with San Pellegrino, and give it a gentle stir. If you're feeling fancy, add some frozen berries to garnish, or just get straight to drinking.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

French Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

French Martini

French Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

So… We’re trying to buy a flat. Things like mortgages and property ladders seem so ridiculously adult and normal that I can barely believe this is my life. We looked at a place that’s practically perfect for us the other day, and now we’re holding our breath for the weekend until we find out whether or not our offer is accepted. This isn’t real, is it?

Of course, I’m dreaming of what I want to do with the kitchen and then reminding myself that I’m hopeless at interior design. Please please please share your favorite resources in the comments. I need help. Seriously, completely, and totally hopeless.

French Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m sharing a cocktail today because we might need to celebrate or we might need to console ourselves. Either way, you should have something delicious and lovely in your hand. I can’t decide if Chambord is beautiful or kitschy. Either way, I’m into it.

A French Martini is a simple mix of vodka, chambord and pineapple juice. It’s a classic because it’s tasty and oh so pretty. This is probably considered a girl’s drink, but I don’t care. I like it. Make yourself one, and you will, too.

French Martini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Soon my bar cart may be my only furniture. Come over and have a French Martini with me. It’ll be awesome.

French Martini
Serves 1
A French Martini is a pretty in pink cocktail just right for any occasion.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons vodka
  2. 1 tablespoon Chambord
  3. 3 tablespoons pineapple juice
  4. Ice
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients over ice and shake together in a cocktail shaker or a jar with a tight sealing lid until well chilled.
  2. Strain into a martini glass, or drink it out of an old jam jar. Whatever you got.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...