Victoria Sponge Take 2, Halloween and Bonfire Night...

As it's taking me quite a while to blog about what I was baking while the net was down, I thought I'd do a round up post to cover the rest so I can then get on with posting about the Christmas goodies I've been making this week!

I resurrected the failsafe Victoria Sponge recipe for Mike's sister's birthday at the end of October and we decided to just cover it with sweets (another clever tactic to mask the fact that I'm actually quite rubbish at proper cake decoration). I really liked the effect and she seemed pleased too! Looking at it again now makes me feel a bit sick, as I had to bake 3 Vic sponges in October, so think I will have to lay off it for a while now...

Next up was Halloween, and I'd been on the lookout for some scary recipes. Mike bought me this fantastic book, Lilli Vanilli's A Zombie Ate My Cupcake which has some amazing recipes in! But this year I decided not to try any of them, as I didn't feel confident that I'd be able to do them properly... looking back I'm a bit disappointed in myself for not giving it a go, but by posting about it I'm officially challenging myself to try them next year! Anyway, I did make some spider cakes from the BBC Good Food website which were really easy and fun to make!

They are just chocolate chip muffins with chocolate spread for the body, and liquorice for the legs and eyes. Mike ended up doing some too and we were experimenting with different body textures and shapes for the mouths! Here are some of the rest of our spider army!

I wanted to make some treacle toffee for Bonfire Night but didn't get around to it in the end. We had a good Bonfire Night, and went up to the local community centre where I couldn't actually believe the size of the bonfire, which also looked alarmingly close to the houses behind... we actually had to move away from it because it was giving off so much heat we were starting to feel like our faces were sliding off!

This was followed by one of the best fireworks displays I've ever been to - I should have some quality pictures to share with you from Mike's fancy SLR camera, but somebody forgot the battery (I'll give you a clue: it wasn't me!) and so the Blackberry snaps will have to do!

And finally, I'm sorry to report that I have a disaster to share with you. I'm always in 2 minds whether to post about things going wrong, especially as one day I'd love for this blog to be connected to a little cake business of mine, but I started it up to document my attempts at learning to bake and so it only seems fair to admit when I arse things up, plus hopefully it'll be good to look back on in future!

So anyway, after all of the plain sponges I'd been making I fancied something slightly different and so found a recipe for Peach and Raspberry Buckle in one of the BBC Good Food books - pretty much the same as this recipe on the website which just uses apricot instead (I have to say, just reading the comments there about how easy it is to make is raising my blood pressure a little!). I was so excited about it that I went out and spent a tenner in Lakeland on a new cake tin, and so you can imagine my disappointment (and blind fury) when this is what it turned out like:

VILE. The crumble topping was soggy, there was no sign of any sort of cake inside, and the eggs had gone a bit odd. It was basically some peaches and some raspberries mixed with with scrambled eggs. Ugh! I'm still not sure where I went wrong - the mixture did seem a bit runny when I put it into the oven so I don't know if there was too much juice and water from the fruit. I did cheat and use tinned peaches and wondered if it was that but I've seen some of the smug commenters on the BBC website also used tinned, so it can't just be that. Anyway, I need to stop thinking about it now and move on!

It feels bad to finish the post on such a sour note, but I'll be back very soon with tales of the Christmassy stuff I've been trying out this week!


  1. Oh, I wonder why it didn't work. Ah well, trial & error! Love your spider cakes they are so cute! And what do you put on the outside of your victoria sponges? More buttercream? All those sweets on it look yummy! I haven't baked anything yet after our sickness bug - hopefully this weekend!


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