I do volunteer work at a missionary church nearby about once a month. I was more or less coaxed into it by the very enthusiastic pastor who thought there were way too few young people at church, so he signed my up for the Sunday church café rotational.
I don't mind, it's nice to have something to do on Sundays, and I do love baking. I work with a lady named Irene and we have decided I should bake a cake, and the waffle mix for each Sunday that I'm on duty. Two Sundays ago, I was too lazy and bought a packet of a "just add water"- waffle mix and the whole thing was a disaster. Didn't know you could fail such a basic instruction...
Anyways, during my first two cafeteria-Sundays I made chocolate muffins and no one bought them. I realised old people do not like chocolate. For the third Sunday I made a roll-up cake filled with strawberry jam and served it with a big dollop of whipped cream on top. It went down a treat. I realised old people love stuff covered in whipped cream.
With this in mind I set out to make a classic sponge sandwich with a strawberry jam and whipped cream filling for last Sunday's café. Little did I know that this Sunday most of the old people in church were away and left were the slightly younger crowd (40+) and they were apparently not too fond of whipped cream and jam... I was left with 4 pieces of cake... Irene's cake sold out. Her cake was more "modern" and "youthful", I guess.
I had no idea doing cafeteria work, once in a blue moon, required demographics.
So, here's a great recipe to make for granny's birthday.
Sponge sandwich cake
Adapted from BBC Good Food
200 g soft butter
200 g self-raising flour*
1 tsp baking powder
200 g sugar
2 tbsp milk
142 ml double cream
50 g sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
100 g strawberry jam
icing sugar, for dusting
1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease and base-line 2 x 20cm non-stick round sandwich tins with baking parchment, then lightly grease the parchment. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, then tip in all the other sponge ingredients. Using an electric whisk, beat everything together until smooth. Divide the mix between the cake tins, then bake for 20-25 mins until cooked and golden. When cool enough to handle, remove the cakes from the tins, then leave to cool completely on a rack.
2. To make the filling, whip the cream with the caster sugar and vanilla until it holds its shape. Build the cake by spreading one sponge with jam and the other with cream. Sandwich the whole thing together, then dust with icing sugar.
*= if you live in a country where it is impossible to find self-raising flour, like Norway, you can make your own. Here's how:
For each cup of flour, add 1 ½ tsp baking powder and ½ tsp salt. I put about 4 cups flour in a big jar and added in 1 ½ x 4 tsp baking powder and ½ x 4 tsp salt. Closed the lid and gave it a good shake. It's a great store-cupboard essential.