Archive for January, 2008


Victoria sandwich cake

January 31, 2008


Mr Rice’s favourite ever cake. A classic, guaranteed to warm the coldest of hearts. This recipe is so simple – equal quantities of butter, sugar and flour, and light, lovely butter cream melting into sweet strawberry jam.

I’ve changed the recipe a little to make it even more light and fluffy. Nigella Lawson recommends replacing 25g of flour with cornflour. And I’ve added my own touch – creme fraiche. It just gives the cake that extra lift. Try it, and you’ll you know exactly what I mean!

NB: it’s best made in a food mixer with a K beater

Recipe for Victoria sandwich cake:
225g unsalted butter
225g golden caster sugar
200g plain white flour
25g cornflour
4 eggs
3 tsps baking powder
2 tbsp creme fraiche
6 tbsps strawberry jam
Buttercream recipe
150g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line two loose-bottomed cake tins. Put the butter and sugar into the food mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time, with a heaped spoonful of flour in between each one. When all the eggs are added, put the rest of the flour in, plus the cornflour and baking powder. Mix it all on a medium speed until it’s well combined, then add the vanilla and the creme fraiche and beat again until well mixed.

Transfer equal amounts of the mixture into each cake tin and place both tins on the centre shelf of the oven. Cook for 25 minutes at 180ºC. Be careful not to open the oven before 25 minutes or they might sink in the middle.


When the cakes are golden brown and springy to the touch, remove from the oven. Run a knife run the edge of the tin to loosen the cake, then carefully remove the cake and lay on a cooling rack. Carefully remove the loose bottom, then even more carefully peel away the paper.

To make the buttercream beat the butter and icing sugar together until it’s light and fluffy. It’s up to you how you put the cakes together. I put both tops facing inwards, which gives  perfectly flat top, plus if the cakes have sunk in the middle you can disguise this by filling up the gap with jam and buttercream, which is never a bad thing! So, spread a good dollop of jam on each cake, then spread the buttercream all over one side, as close to the edge as you can. Then sandwich the two cakes together, and finally dust with icing sugar. Irresistible!


©2007 Katheryn Rice


Exotic chicken satay

January 29, 2008

Just a really quick post to share this cool way to serve chicken satay:


Throughout our trip to Thailand, chicken satay was an easy, harmless option. When we stayed on Klong Nin beach on Koh Lanta, we spent most of our time at the Lanta Paradise bungalows, a lovely place with a pool and restaurant right on the beach. The satay sticks were served upright, with the wooden sticks poked into a slice of pineapple. Not only did this make for an impressive-looking dish, but also the pineapple went really well with the chicken and peanut sauce. It’s an exotic take on the cheese and pineapple hedgehog, and definitely one for a tongue in cheek show-off starter!


Banana Beach Restaurant, Klong Dao beach, Koh Lanta, Thailand

January 23, 2008


Banana Beach restaurant, one of the prettier beach-front fish restaurants on Khlong Dao Beach.


Our next stop in Thailand was Koh Lanta, one of the islands off the south east coast of Thailand. The entire west coast of the island is dedicated to tourism, with white saned beaches and clear blue sea flanked by small bungalows or respectfully erected, low rise resorts. The Banana Beach restaurant was Khlong Dao beach, about half way down the coast. As you can see, the day’s freshly caught fish was laid out on ice on a stall on the beach.


The chef was there to recommend ways to prepare each catch, so we selected our fish, agreed with her how it would be cooked, and off she went.


I chose this mackerel with tiger prawns, cooked with garlic and lemon grass.


Freshly barbequed fish, garlic prawns and a pina colada, Served at a table looking out to sea, where we could see the lights of the many shrimp boats on the horizon, preparing to bring in tomorrow’s catch.

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