Super Simple Victoria Sponge

Queen Vic swore by it. Two sponges, sandwiched together with strawberry jam. Bit of cream too, if you’re that way inclined.

Mind you, if you make this with the help of a glass of Chardonnay, be warned. Go easy on the jam and cream. It might get a little over-exuberant…IMG_9212

I’m not kidding. This recipe is fool proof. You can’t go wrong.

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Chocolate Orange Meltdown Cake

Whilst I wait 1 1/2 hours for my pork ribs to simmer I thought I’d share with you my latest BB. That’s ‘Baking Balls-up’.

It was looking good, and in fact, if I had been in the right mood,  I could have passed this one off as a deliberate creation. I could have called it Chocolate Orange Melt-in-the-Middle Cake. But I cannot lie. Ask the wife. I come out in a cold sweat and start stammering.

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Nothing much wrong with this right? Wrong…

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Mary Berry’s Apricot Frangipane Tart (or could it be a Quiche?)

But first a Random Rant.

What the hell has happened to the BBC news website? It’s my go-to primary source of news (If, on the other hand, I want non-news I wind myself up by reading about the latest shenanigans relating to Kim Kardashian on the Daily Mail Online).

The BBC website used to just tell you what was going on in reasonably impartial terms (not bad for a leftie organisation). But now they seem to have employed a 21 year old to redesign the site so that it feels like you are looking at….well I’m not sure. It’s like its designed for people who don’t read the news. GREAT BIG pictures. Sentences of no more than a few words. Lots of videos.

They say it’s because most people view the BBC site on phones and tablets. But people know better than to view lots of videos on the move because it uses up the battery and their network credit.

So what’s the real reason? Money. Austerity. Over here everyone who has a TV has to pay the BBC a license fee. It began a looooong time ago. Before commercial channels with advertising and of course well before cable or satellite subscriptions.

But now, in the brave new world of dog-eat-dog, the license fee is under threat. We have to pay it even if we don’t watch it. Even Sky hasn’t managed to pull that trick (although you know they wish they could).

So the BBC is trying to shrink into the background. You can imagine them sitting in their very expensive new offices in Manchester sweating it out.

‘What can we do?’

‘Can we make them forget?’

‘Forget what?’

‘The license fee.’

‘How?’

‘Well, let’s not increase the price. They’ll forget about it.’

‘Well how are we going to afford our inclusive diversity training weekends at Gleneagles?’

‘We’ll slash the online budget. We’ll create one website that works across any device. It’ll look crap because it will have much less content, but it’ll be super cheap to run.’

‘Excellent! Pour the champagne and give yourself a pay rise.’

So there we have it. A vanilla news website which seems oddly devoid of news. It’s got big pictures and large areas of white space. Groovy.

Still awake? Looking for some food? How about this. It came from BBC GoodFood. Now they aren’t messing around with websites. They do spend a bit too much time messing around with foods you’ll never try (like most recently wild garlic. Come on, wild garlic) but they also do really good things. For instance, Apricot Frangipane Tart.

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Mississippi Mud Pie

I definitely do like a good pie. Pie and chips. Pie and ale. Pizza pie. Pie-eyed (that’s me). All things pie (except the maths version, which you were taught at school, which is useless information unless you are paid to draw circles, and it doesn’t have an ‘e’ on the end).

But nothing resonates in this food blogger’s brain more than the term ‘Mississippi Mud Pie’. I mean come on, what dish, what culinary creation, has a name more evocative? Dirty water and dirty…well dirt.

Of course, as we all know, Mississippi Mud Pie is so called because its biscuity base reminds one of the banks of the Mississippi. Actually I have no idea what the banks of the Mississipi look like, except from what I have seen watching Mel Gibson in Maverick, and possibly an episode of National Geographic at some point.

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But can a Mississippi Mud Pie really evoke a dirty big river? I can feel a scientific analysis coming on…

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Coq au Vin Redux

You know that thing where you think you can cook a recipe because you did it before so you must know how to do it again without Googling it? You don’t? So you remember how to boil an egg? It’s 3 mins of course.

Actually maybe its 4 mins….See, those that cook can easily get trapped in the ‘Valley of Indecision’. That deep, dark area where you start second-guessing the amount of flour, the exact proportion of water and milk, the number of seconds to leave that fillet steak frying in butter…

So this is what happened when we had Coq au Vin with Croissant. Coq au Vin with Croissant? What kind of messed-up tomfoolery is that, I hear you yawn at your PC/laptop/mobile device. Well it’s what it says on the tin;

You make a Coq au Vin, and then you stick some croissant on it. Easy. Except this version didnt’t turn out exactly as I remember it.

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Yes this is Coq au Vin…

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