As I mentioned in our most recent “Life lately” post, I plan to do more baking again now that we’re in Autumn. I haven’t made any bread yet, but Izzy and I have made more fairy cakes.
I do like making new things and trying new recipes with the kids but I think, just as when I was growing up, Fairy Cakes, will always be our most baked recipe. I have also noticed that we own a lot of the same traditional baking equipment that I grew up with.
I preheated the oven to Gas Mark 4, while the Izzy put the cases into the bun tray.
I see lots of modern fairy cake recipes where they give you the measurements of ingredients needed. When we make fairy cakes we always weigh the eggs first and use the same quantity for the rest of our ingredients.
We only wanted to make 12 fairy cakes so we used two eggs. Our two eggs came to 5 oz, so we used 5 oz of butter, 5 oz castor sugar and 5 oz flour. Izzy helped me weigh out all of the ingredients.
I love traditional style kitchen scales. I find them a lot stronger and more robust than modern plastic versions. They are also often easier for children to read the scale.
She then whisked the eggs in our measuring jug. I have a Pyrex jug, “just like at Mum’s” as I believe their products still offer the “beauty and transparency with remarkable durability” today that they offered 100 years ago.
Although we have a selection of baking bowls, including glass and plastic, my favourite bowl is the iconic Mason Cash Ceramic Mixing Bowl. Mason Cash have been making traditional pottery bowls for 200 years. It’s quite hard to believe but the bowl I own was designed in 1901. I also love the more modern pastel versions that they make.
When I first left home and started to buy my own kitchen equipment, I really wanted a rotary whisk. I couldn’t find one anywhere and had to buy a standard one. Nowadays, they are easy to find again, and not just in the vintage shops. My sister gifted this one to me and it makes baking more fun again. The kids love to use this whisk, just as I did.
We then weighed out the castor sugar and added it to the bowl. Next we measured out our butter and began to cream the two ingredients together using a fork.
We weighed out the flour.
Izzy then sifted the flour into the bowl a little at a time- this is her favourite part (excluding licking the spoon at the end, of course!).
“Look, I made it snow, Mummy!”
In between adding the flour, we poured in some of the egg mixture, until evenutally all the ingredients were fully mixed together (look at the flour on her nose!).
We also added some chocolate chips. Once our ingredients are fully mixed, we then do an extra 100 stirs to make the fairy cakes light and fluffy. This began as a way for the kids to practise their counting when they were younger, but it has stuck. The kids think it is our “special secret” for making the cakes lovely, so this is just between me and you, ok? Izzy has now added an extra 10 stirs as at the end of counting to 100, she likes to do a countdown from 10! So, our mixture is very well mixed indeed!
Izzy then put a spoonful of mixture in each bun case. We had to use some muffin cases too as the kids kept using up our bun cases in the holidays when crafting for some reason.
We then washed up while the fairy cakes baked. I find they take between 10-20 minutes.
This batch were overcooked slightly more than I like but still tasted as nice.
We melted chocolate, using a Pyrex Bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and then poured onto the cakes. We added the leftover chocolate chips for decoration- sprinkles and sweets are good too. You can of course, use icing or butter icing instead of chocolate.
The older kids were happy to come home from school and be greeted with fresh chocolate fairy cakes.
Izzy starts back at school (nursery) doing just mornings from tomorrow, so, I may have time to make our “first loaf of the school year” sometime then!
Do you love traditional baking equipment or do you prefer the modern gadgets?