Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fairy cakes for the market

It's market day tomorrow. Once a month I run a stall at the local market to raise funds for our kindergarten - mostly this means baking fairy cakes, decorating them garishly and selling them along with my surplus jam stocks and second-hand children's clothes. Sometimes we make a decent amount of money, but mostly we are there to let people know that the kindergarten exists.

Anyway my standard recipe originally came from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat, which has for a while been my culinary bible. I have used this recipe so many times that I feel like I've acquired squatter's rights in it - for all the background writing go and read her book, but I'll share my version of the recipe here and hope she doesn't mind. One thing about recipes is that they are handed down the generations of cooks, with adaptations here and there, ever evolving, so no one person ever has intellectual property rights over it - food culture is about sharing after all.

Fairy Cake Recipe
125g self-raising flour
125g caster sugar
125g butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
pinch saltl
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk

Put all the ingredients except the milk into a food processor and blitz. Add the milk, so it gets to a soft consistency. Line a muffin or tart tin with paper cases and put a generous dessert spoon of mixture into each. Makes 12. Bake at 200C for 15-20 mins. Cool on rack. Once cool, choose between tasteful and lurid decoration. My favorite is plain white icing (icing sugar with a little water added) topped with a Smartie and hundreds and thousands. Or you can do a grown-up version with two-tone chocolate and white icing piped on in different patterns.

Surprisingly or not, adults do like these. They are light and fluffy and if you are sparing with the icing, not too sweet. I get into trouble for taking them all to the market and not saving some for my husband at home. Must go and check the clothes for the market stall, my youngest daughter has a habit of reclaiming her outgrown clothes from the market stock and squeezing into them to assert ownership. It's hard being three.

1 comment:

  1. For me, rather than chocolate, I'd use carob, just because my family and I are really health conscious.
    I have been buying carob from Holy Food Imports, and it is absolutely delicious.


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