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Cooking with Tallyrand

RECIPE DESSERT - cake (easy peasy)


The science of cake baking can be long and complicated, to the point where it can put people off baking thier own. Resulting in store bought cakes or (worse still?) packet mixes used. Yes, if you want a cake that will win awards, technique is all important. But if you just need a cake for home, to take to a friends or for the school fete then lets KISS -Keep It Simpley Simple ! (see chef notes also) 

This recipe is a simplified, stripped down version of the victoria sponge or pound cake. Pour the mix into a loaf tin and call a loaf, into a cake tin and call it a cake, into cup cake moulds ..... well you get the idea 

Now, ignore the amounts stated and concentrate on the ratios, equal quantities of each, how easy is that? What size cake will this make? A good sized one, but who really cares? We all have different sized cake tins etc, why worry about it. If this amount works for your cake tin, great, if it doesnt just adjust it next time. Too much? Make a few cupcakes. Not enough? Increase amounts next time. KISS (=[;-)


butter 250 gm
sugar - castor or granulated 250 gm
eggs 250 gm
flour - self raising  250 gm
vanilla essence (optional) 1 tsp
  1. pre-heat oven to 180C
  2. in a large bowl, warm the butter in the microwave to soften (don't worry if it melts slightly) 
  3. add the sugar and beat it together with a wooden spoon 
  4. gradually beat in the eggs a little at a time (don't worry if it looks to have curdled, just beat it some more) 
  5. sift in the flour and give it a good beating along with the essence
  6. lightly grease and floured your cake or loaf tin or cup cake moulds (no more than 3/4's full)
  7. spoon in the mixture
  8. place into the oven and bake until it has risen and a light golden brown (do not open the oven until it reaches this stage)
  9. to test if it is cooked, place a pointed knife through the centre and withdraw. If the knife comes out clean it cooked, if batter is stuck to it carry on baking 
  10. remove from the oven when cooked and allow to cool in the tin/moulds for 5 minutes
  11. turn upside down and remove
  12. use as required: sprinkled with sugar while still warm, allowed to cool and add a frosting etc

chef note

dont have scales? Don't panic, this recipe has been KISS (ed)

  • eggs  - depending on size, eggs can vary in weight (out of shell) from 60gm to 80gm, so the 250gm could be 3 or 4 eggs (or even 5 if they are quite small) but remember KISS! If your not sure, just add another egg, eggs are the raising agent so a little extra won't hurt
  • butter - a block of butter is 250gm
  • sugar - 250gm is a heaped cup full
  • flour  - 250gm is 2 cups full


this recipe can be varied in many different ways 

  • replace vanilla essence with another: mint, raspberry, rum etc
  • add a little food colouring, eg red if you want to call it a red velvet cake
  • add a little sieved cocoa powder
  • add a little strong flavoured liqueur (grand marnier etc) 
  • fold through some dried fruits (sultanas, cherries etc) 
  • fold through some chopped citrus peel with equivelent essence (orange peel and essence etc) 
  • fold through some chocolate chips 
  • fold through some mini marshmallows
  • fold through some blueberries or similar


split the mixture into two, colour to suit, spoon both into the mould and with the handle of your wooden spoon stir to partially combine to give a marbled effect


want a perfectly flat top like the professionals? (shhhh i didnt tell you this trade secret), simply turn the cake out and LEAVE it upside down, that perfectly flat base is now your perfectly flat top! If the cake raised quite unevenly and you now have a wobbly base, just trim a little off and enjoy the trimmings with your tea while your waiting for it too cool down or freeze it for a trifle later


Remember to just KISS it 



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