It came as a big shock to me, when I was a teenager, to discover that people regularly eat shop bought cake!
Seriously…..I was genuinely surprised!!
My Mum, and my Nan before her, always cooked and baked! Chips from the chippy were a treat for me, as was a fishfinger sandwich on sliced white bread, and this wasn’t because we were food snobs, but because we always had home-cooked food….Sunday roasts, casseroles, soups, layer cakes, scones, savoury pies, home-baked bread, cupcakes, lemon meringue pie, the list is endless!
I believe there are a few reasons for this…. my Nan and Grampy had a smallholding with chickens, a pig, and crops, (and they lived in a house in the middle of the smallholding which my Grampy built). My Nan, was what you called a proper Housewife…..cooking the home-grown veg, baking with the hen laid eggs, sewing, knitting etc etc.
My Mum on the other hand is NOT what you’d call a proper housewife, she was a working Mum, but she was very close to my Nan and clearly the best of the housewife qualities were passed on (and yes we did, and still do, wear homeknits).
Growing up in a house where homecooking is the norm teaches you a thing or two. Spending hours in a kitchen with 2 ladies who are demons with a mixing bowl and an oven has had its advantages, and I also now have a passion for home cooked food. (Sadly my knitting isn’t too hot, but I can sew.)
I don’t have children, but that hasn’t stopped my Mum and I finding someone to pass down our ‘housewifely’ skills to. My 12 year old niece, who calls my Mum ‘Nan’ has caught the baking bug.
On Saturday, whilst selling 150 cupcakes I’d baked the day before, I started getting emails and texts from both my Mum and my Niece….all food creation related.
My Niece was spending the day in my brothers kitchen, and sent me photos of her fresh out of the oven Blueberry Muffins and Cookies, whilst my Mum had spent the day experimenting with the slightly more complicated venture of Turkish Delight
My Nan, if she were alive today, I’m sure would be proud to see her Housewife genes being passed down through the ages.
Sadly I can’t share my Mum’s or Niece’s recipes with you, but I can give you tips on how to make yummy toffee cupcakes, which was the flavour that sold out first at The Daisy Cakesale on Saturday
(pictured at the top of this post)
Use your favourite Vanilla Sponge Cake recipe. Whether its a recipe handed down through your family, or a packet mix, any will work.
Substitute the white sugar in the recipe for light bright brown sugar.
Add a good glug of toffee sauce to the mix – you can either make your toffee sauce by melting sugar and butter etc, or if you’re not feeling so goddess like, buy a good quality Toffee Sauce for ice-cream. My Vanilla Sponge recipe makes 12 – 14 cupcakes and I add about 100ml to get a good flavour.
For the frosting, mix up a nice fluffy buttercream.
I use one part butter to 4 parts icing sugar (e.g. 100gms butter to 400gms icing sugar).
Beat with an electric whisk, but watch to put a clean tea towel over the bowl at first or you might end up in a cloud of icing sugar. Then add milk a dibble at a time to loosen it up.
Again add a good glug of toffee sauce and whisk till its light and fluffy.
Either pipe or spoon the frosting on top of the cakes and add a chocolate button or Cadbury’s Caramel Nibble for decoration.