Raspberry and lemon emergency sponge

You have people coming round, you want to make a cake, you realise you don’t have anything to make the cake exciting.

Oh, but you DO.

This is the story of a cake that worked much better than expected.

First things first. Oven on to 180C.

My basic sponge cake recipe is in ounces, because it originates from the days when my mum would bakes cakes because that was the cheapest way of putting something into the lunchboxes. So: 3 eggs, 6 ounces each of butter and sugar and self-raising flour. Add a bit more flour because the raspberries are going to leak some liquid out and you don’t want a soggy cake.

You might think that having raspberries lying around is an unusually luxurious state to be in. I think I bought a punnet of raspberries because I was having a friend round for dinner and couldn’t be bothered to make a pudding, so meringue + raspberries + icecream = pudding. In a fit of organisation I did not leave the remainder to go fluffy but stuck them in the bottom drawer of the freezer.

Alternatively it’s possible to buy bags of frozen berries. They’re cheap too.

Mix some berries into your slightly-stiffer-than-normal cake mix. If they are frozen, that’s fine. It might even be better. Put it in a lined loaf tin. Bought paper liners the shape of a loaf tin are your friend here. Any tin at all is fine of course, if you use a flatter tin it’ll cook quicker.

Blob some lemon curd on top. Don’t worry that the jar say 2016 on it. It’s not mouldy, it’s a conserve, that’s means it’s designed to last a long time. Put in oven. Check after 40 mins. Could be closer to an hour. Don’t plan to go out.

It’s done when you put a knife in it and the knife doesn’t come out covered in cake mix. Because all the cake mix is now cake. You know that by now, right?

Here is it. Nearly gone. I guess that worked well.


“How to be a blogger”

If you’re asking the question I guess you want to know “how to blog and have people actually read it”, because the whole “how to blog” thing is pretty easy by itself. You just go on the internet, find a convenient place, and write stuff, like I am doing now. So here are some tips from people who write words and then those words turn up on people’s screens and go in through their eyes and wiggle about in their brains, like a less-disgusting-more-informative brain-worm.

In The Times (paywall, I know). From the lovely Esther Walker.

I won’t reproduce the whole thing here because that’s naughty, sorry. But I do want to comment on the “Golden Rules” – golden rules that I suspect, just like all other golden rules, have been made up pretty much on the spot. That doesn’t mean they’re not good rules though.

1. Don’t be lazy

Oh dear, a failure at the first hurdle, I am often lazy and updates are sporadic. But hey, reading the “don’t be lazy” commandment made me be less lazy, so that’s a start.

2. Use pictures

Yep. Almost always. Apart from in this one. Maybe I’d better fix that.

3. Keep it short


4. Consider your audience

Since my audience is sometimes the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, sometimes feministy type people from Twitter, sometimes people from my work think I’m funny (not sure if it’s in a laughing-at or laughing-with kind of way, but they do think I’m funny), and sometimes people who google “lufthansa bra plan”, I’m not sure how I can consider them as a group. But I’ll try not to piss them off. Or not all of them anyway.

5. Drive traffic

Somehow it feels like I’m being annoying or boasting when I ask people to read my blog. Who am I to tell you what to read? Anyway, do I do the things Esther says? Comment on other blogs – yes, although I normally make my name be a linky rather than saying “READ MY BLOG!” at the end of a comment. Putting famous names or easily-searchable things in titles – no, but I may start. Twittering – yep, definitely do that.

So, how am I doing? I don’t think I qualify as “person who is a blogger”, but that’s OK. “Person who has a blog and sometimes writes stuff on it” will do for now.

Oh, and that “use pictures” instruction? Look at this!

Alot of cake

Someone at work found this and thought I’d like it. It’s “Alot of cake”

If you don’t know what I’m on about check out Hyperbole and a Half.

For more tips from someone who knows how to do it, check out A Blogger’s Guide to Blogging from Lynn Schreiber, who I believe has also recently written a book.

Vegan chocolate cake

This recipe courtesy of “No bread is an island”. No particular reason why I’m making a vegan cake, I just came across the recipe and thought it looked nice, but one nice thing is that it requires nothing that could go off or that needs refrigerating. It could be “bomb shelter cake” or “post-apocalypse cake”.

Mix 165g SR flour, 25g cocoa, 200g sugar. Add 80g oil (vegetable or sunflower or something, not olive) and 250ml (250g is you are measuring by adding things to a bowl on a digital scale, which is the easiest way to measure it all out) water.

Mix it all up, put in a cake tin, bake at 180C for 35-40 minutes.

It looks like cake. I’ll have to wait til tomorrow to comment on the taste, as I’m planning to take it to work.