Picture taken by my passenger when driving back south yesterday. A driver who has his/her priorities right.
As promised to Veronica’s mother, the recipe for the chocolate cake I took to the NE group summer party on Sunday. It’s a recipe my sister and I grew up making and was taken from the Be-Ro cookbook
Thomas Bell founded a wholesale grocery firm in Newcastle in the 1880s. Among his top-selling brands were ‘Bells Royal’ baking powder and a self raising flour. Following the death of Edward VII, it became illegal to use the Royal name. So Bell decided to take the first couple of letters from the each of the two words of the brand name and turn them into the more catchy sounding ‘Be-Ro’.
Along with Ringtons tea I had always known that Be-Ro had northern connections, but it became a Rank-Hovis brand in the late 1950s and is now part of the Premier Foods group empire.
7 oz SR flour (175g), 8 oz caster sugar (200g), 3/4 tsp salt, 2 tbsp cocoa, 4 oz butter (100g), 2 eggs, 5 tbsp milk (75ml), 5 tbsp water (75ml), 1 tsp vanilla essence
Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and cocoa. Rub in the butter. Beat the eggs with the milk, water and essence and add to the dry mix. I usually only use half the water until I see how liquid the mixture is, which will depend on the size of the eggs. It should be a thick batter which will pour out of the mixing bowl. I now make it in a food processor, although then you don’t get niblets of butter and sugar under your finger nails.
Divide between 2 x 7 or 8 inch cake tins, which are supposed to be not loose bottomed, but I never have a problem with leakage, I just line with some greaseproof paper. Cook for about 35 minutes at 180oC
2½ oz butter (60g), 4 tbsp cocoa, 8 oz sifted icing sugar (200g), 3 tbsp scalded milk, 1 tsp vanilla essence
Melt together the butter and cocoa, stir in the remaining ingredients. Allow it to cool so that it doesn’t run off the top of the cake. Cover and sandwich the two cakes together using this icing.
The original recipe says to use margarine where I have said butter and evaporated milk instead of milk, but what do you do with an opened tin of evaporated milk now that no one uses it on their tinned peaches?
For larger numbers I make a rectangular cake in a tin 11 x 7.5 inches and use 1½ times the quantities. I then cut it across horizontally to make two layers for icing. The resultant cake can be cut into bars or squares which are sometimes easier to deal with. Or you can be even more adventurous …….
When she left, the lovely Sarah Barton gave us an ‘office’ present of this silicon mould and it now hangs on the notice board for when inspiration calls.