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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hmmmmmelon

For several weeks now I've had a craving for melon salad. At one point I had it twice on one day! The combination of sweet watermelon, acidic balsamic vinegar and salty feta makes this salad a great summer salad and a keeper. Since it is mostly water this salad is ideal for hot days. It will leave you satisfied without making you feel stuffed.

Watermelon salad:

half a watermelon (serves 2)/ whole watermelon (serves 4)
200g/1 cup feta cheese (I choose very good light feta but unless it's good I wouldn't go for light)
1 red onion

1 tblsp. olive oil
2-3 tblsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
frehly ground pepper





Monday, August 6, 2012

Doesn't get more British than the Victoria Sponge




I have always been a little suspicious of the Victoria Sponge. Two layers of sponge with whipped cream and jam…. that’s all? How can this cake be named after the most influential woman and monarch of her time? Probably even of all time... no offense Hillary and Angela. Is this a British joke?  No it isn't... according to Wikipedia the cake was named after Queen Victoria because sponge cakes were her favourites (clearly a sign of her German heritage by the way). So the cake wasn't invented in her honour. My version of the Victoria Sponge would probably be considered blasphemy by the Women's Institute  (apparently the authorities of all British cake matters). It contains whipped cream (a big NO NO as the 'original' does not), blackcurrant jelly instead of raspberry jam and it is fatless (at least the sponge). I didn't change the recipe because I'm a conceited human being who doesn't appreciate the artistry of the British cake but because I like my summer cake to be light and slightly sour. 

Victoria Sponge: 
225g / 2cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
6 eggs
220g / 1 cup  sugar

5-6 tbsp  jam or jelly of your choice
125ml / 1/2 cup whipping cream

- preheat the oven to 180 Celsius /350 Fahrenheit
- sift the flour and baking powder two or three times and put aside
- beat the eggs with an electric mixer for about 7minutes until foamy
- add the sugar by the spoonful and continue beating
- fold the flour in carefully with a spatula and pour batter in two prepared cake tins (lined with baking parchment) 
- bake for 20-25mins until slightly golden
- let cool completely

- whip the cream with a little bit of vanilla sugar until stiff
- spread the jam or jelly with a knife and make sure to leave some room to the side
- add the whipped cream and sift some powdered sugar on top
- ready!