Monday, 7 August 2017

Frasier the English way: a berry custard sponge recipe

I saw a wonderful cake on a French website and decided I had to make it. The original cake, a Frasier, it's a strawberry cake made of sponge and filled/covered with custard that requires 8 eggs. I wanted to make an English version without the butter, so here it is, with less eggs and ingredients that are found here. I also added blueberries, why not?

Strawberry & blueberry custard sponge
  • For sponge: 3g baking powder; 63g white flour; 46g sugar; 2 eggs; bit of oil for the tin
  • For custard:1/2tsp vanilla extract; 27g cornflour; 2 yolks; 50g sugar; 250ml milk
  • To decorate: a punnet of strawberries and one of blueberries

Start with sponge. Separate the eggs and beat the whites until stiff, as if you are making a meringue. Add sugar gradually, yolks, flour and baking powder. Oil your baking tin and pour in the sponge mix. Bake at 180C (gas mark 4) for 30 mins or until it's cooked. I use a toothpick to find out if the inside has cooked. Let it cool.

While the sponge is baking, you can make the custard. Boil the milk with the vanilla extract and half of the sugar. Let it cool. Beat the yolks with the other half of the sugar and add cornflour. Add the yolk mixture to the cooled milk one and place on the hob. Cook, stirring often, until it thickens (see pic for consistency). Cool the custard. 

Cut the sponge in half with a bread knife. Sandwich with fruit and custard. Keep some fruit and custard for the top. Voila' a frasier with an English twist!

Friday, 4 August 2017

Back to school... already!

Mural at Michela's school

As soon as the school finished, the uniform offers arrived. Some shops cunningly discounted their old stock and pushed the new stuff out. Michela, aged 10 and looking forward to be a 'senior' in primary school, was outraged. "It's too soon, I have just finished Year 5," she complained.

Michela stays the same size for ages and then grows in the summer months, so I am not that tempted to buy ahead. I bought a few bits in size 11 years because I know she will fit them come the autumn. However there is the issue of the handy-me-downs, which I am grateful to receive but do not meet uniform guidelines... 

What to do? An email from Dylon's PR pinged into my inbox and asked me if I wanted to try some colours from the new range. I jumped at the chance and selected three shades of blue, all compliant to the school's guidelines. I put selected handy-me-downs, added an acqua pashmina of mine that looked a bit faded.... I was very pleased with the results. I followed the instructions carefully and no dye remained in the washing machine's drum, my partner's main concern (if something breaks or malfunctions in our house, it's my fault). See for yourself.... I am pretty chuffed.

Before Dylon

After Dylon, perfect uniform hue!
As you can see, even my pashmina looks great! These were not new clothes and they do look new now (I have not ironed them yet, sorry). In the bundle there are tops, shorts and tees - ready for school... My daughter likes them so much she wants to wear the shorts (previously pink and purple respectively) in the holidays.