When the leaves start to turn into deep golden amber, when the morning feels a little chillier, and the evening becomes sharp and crisp that makes you hunger for the warmth of home, you know that you're in the middle of welcoming the changing season of autumn.
I made a fuss of clearing up the wardrobe that has been in need of ruthless attention for a while. Toby has been busy around the flat trying to finish off the last bits of our never ending home renovation.
We've turned the heating back on and lit the candles for cosy nights. We put the jumpers on and cuddle up a little bit closer for the comfort of our silly souls.
Nothing much else is happening other than being as still as we could be to enjoy this lovely blue thing; the autumn, that seems so full and so empty.
How is your changing season?
Victoria sponge cake
for the cake
225g self raising flour
225g golden caster sugar
225g softened butter
4 large eggs, room temperature
2tsp baking powder
1 vanilla pod
1 lemon zest
pinch of salt
for the filling
jam of your choice
whipped double cream (optional)
fresh fruit of your choice (optional)
I don't think I need to tell you much about Victoria sponge cake. Everybody knows how simple it is to make it and how wonderful it is to taste it.
I'm not sure if there is any other cake that can beat freshly baked Victoria sponge cake, straight out from the oven, served still warm with a nice cup of tea, on a rainy day like today.
The basic is simple.
You mix equal amount of fat, sugar, eggs and flour.
Start by fluffing up the softened butter with sugar. Gradually add the eggs and whisk to mix.
Shift the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture. Add pinch of salt, lemon zest and vanilla seeds scraped from the pod then fold in gently to incorporate, making sure not to over mix.
Divide the cake mixture into two lined cake tins and bake them in the oven for 25-35mins or until golden at 180º.
You could just use one cake tin that is deep enough to hold the entire cake mixture then just cut them in half later. In which case, you'll have to bake the cake for little longer.
Once the cakes are baked, take them out of the oven and rest them on the cooling rack.
When the cakes are slightly cooled down, sandwich them together with your choice of fillings.
I used homemade rhubarb and strawberry jam, whipped double cream and some fresh strawberries.
I think the beauty of this cake is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you like and the flavour combinations that you can work with are vast.
I often use vanilla butter cream instead of fresh whipped cream. Lemon curd would be lovely too.
Get creative and enjoy!
Oh, by the way, Toby's new website is now up and running and it needs a little attention from all of you lovely foodies our there.
Please check out on www.tobyscottphotography.com.