Victoria Sponge with a Lemon Curd Filling

This week I made a victoria sandwich with homemade lemon curd filling like they used to in the Victorian times.

The lemon curd was easier to make than I thought it would be.  To make it you mix eggs, sugar, butter, lemon juice and lemon zest and you stir for about 5 -10 minutes then you reduce the heat and simmer until it thickens.  I learnt how to sterilise jam jars but I managed to burn the seal in some of the lids but leaving them in the oven to long.

The sponge went well but I need to improve on getting an even bake.IMG_1581

Did you know:-  The Victoria sponge is an English bake and was called a Victoria sponge because it was made for Queen Victoria.It was invented as a sweet treat for her to have at tea time with her royal friends.

Victoria sandwich cakes became her favorite sweet treat.  Lemon curd would be used for the middle of Victoria sponge but today we use jam.

Queen Victoria would invite her friends to have tea with her and they would dress finely.  It was traditional to have a pot of tea with the victoria sponge.

Lemon curd is an English recipe and was known as Lemon Cheese” It was made as an alternative to jams and jellys, but it isn’t known as a jam because it only lasts a few weeks.

 

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Millionaire’s Shortbread

This week I made Millionaire’s shortbread and it was a fun bake but it didn’t challenge me like some of my bakes do.

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Millionaire’s shortbread is a layer of shortbread with a toffee middle and topped off with chocolate.

When I bake shortbread I find that the recipes with semolina in them are the best because it gives the shortbread a nicer crunchier taste and is not as floury as some shortbreads.

The toffee sauce took a long time to thicken and you can’t stop stirring the mixture as the sugar will burn. My arm now aches.

Did you know:-  the reason millionaires shortbread has the word million is because of the caramel and the chocolate which was very expensive to buy & make in the Elizabethan times when it was thought to have originated.

Shortbread is a scottish biscuit and candied orange peel and almonds were added for special occasions in the 19th century. At the same time baking chocolate and sweetened, condensed milk were also added which created the millionaire shortbread.

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Baked Alaska

Baked ALaska is a pudding that has a sponge bottom with an ice-cream filling and then covered with either a pastry crust or meringue.  The pudding is then baked at a high temperature for a short time, long enough to cook the outer layer but not long enough to melt the iscecream

It is also known as omelette surprise, Glace au four, Omelette a la Norvegienne or Norwegian omelette.

This bake was full of lessons from making a sponge with no butter to forgetting to put all my egg whites in the bowl and trying to rescue my meringue mix as we had no more eggs.

As for the pudding it was yum!!

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Did You Know:- Thomas Jefferson the third American President served ice cream covered in pastry at a banquet in the White House and this is where Baked Alaska is thought to have come from.

The 1st of February in America is Baked Alaska Day.

Brioche

This weeks bake was Brioche and they weren’t as hard to make as I thought they would be. This bake was one of my favourites and I will defiantley make them again.

The dough is made the night before and left in the fridge to rise.  The next morning I divided the dough into 16 equal pieces and then took a small piece of each of the 16 pieces which I then used to make the bobble on top of the roll.

Once all shaped up the dough is then placed into moulds.  Never having made brioches before I had to buy some moulds to add to my baking tin collection!  I’m don’t really like silicone bakeware but that was all I could find that didn’t cost too much money and would get to here in time for my bake and they turned out to be very nice moulds.

The moulds were then placed on a tray in a plastic bag and put in a warm place for just under an hour until they doubled in size and then I glazed them with some egg and put them in the oven for 20 minutes and this is what I got

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Did you Know:- Brioche comes from France and is often thought of as being a pastry but it is really a bread.  It is the butter and eggs that make it light and flaky and probably why it is confused as a pastry.

The saying “To Make A Brioche” means make a mistake ‘to drop a brick’.  The saying came about when musicians of  the Paris Opera decided to punish members of the orchestra who played out of tune by making them pay a fine. The fines were then spent on brioches which were eaten by all of the orchestra at a later date. The musicians who were fined had to wear a badge representing a brioche in their button holes. Eventually word got around of this tradition and the expression ‘to make a brioche’ came about when someone wanted to say that someone had acted foolishly or made a silly mistake.”

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