For Blokes Baking night had come round again and I had promised sponge cakes. I have never made sponge cakes, so it is a good job that the baking group is all about learning together. Sue makes sponge cakes by the dozen, whenever we have an accumulation of eggs, just simple loaf cakes with various ingredients added, sultanas, date and walnut, almond and cherry, lemon.... eating them all can be a real chore!
I eventually chose two recipes which seemed very simple. The all-in-one method seemed the most appropriate for the Blokes Baking Group, basically concrete mixing but with different ingredients! So we would try a basic sultana sponge in a loaf tin, followed by a coffee and walnut cake made from two rounds sandwiched together.
It all seemed very quick and simple compared to some of our bread-making efforts, but I was aware that sinking sponges would be a potential pitfall. Luckily, Sue would be on hand to help out if we got stuck... or so I thought. Little did I know that the Widows of Blokes Baking Group had arranged to go down the pub for the evening!!!
|Sunken, soggy and sorry.|
A post mortem left us puzzled, but upon the advice of experts (no less than the revered catering secretary of the Fenland Smallholders Club), we decided that it was all Mary Berry's fault!
Our first day back from Rome was an exciting one for another reason. For we had put a dozen eggs under Elvis, timed to hatch on our arrival back in the country. Our plan worked perfectly with Elvis contentedly clucking and the distinctive sound of new-born chicks cheeping and the sight of tiny feet and beaks protruding from Elvis's protective feathers.
By this morning Elvis had moved off the nest and I could count nine healthy chicks.