Kid’s eyes popped, Mr A loved em, I wolfed my cake – Penny
A little while back, I helped my pal Sophie with a design problem. It only took 5 minutes, but so lovely is she that she held on to that thought and paid it forward in a fantastic story of random kindness at a supermarket checkout.
Recently, the amazing Liz entered a draw to win a designer satchel. She won, and promptly gave it away to a friend who she knew would love it more.
When my family were poorly with a bug on Christmas day and refusing a proper dinner, my lovely friend and neighbour, Penny offered to come around with a plate of vegetarian dinner just for me.
And last night, when Penny found out she wouldn’t get to do something she’d been looking forward to all week, we clicked the oven on, made some some cakes and dropped them over.
You see, kindness is such a simple, easy thing to pass on, and it happens all the time. I’m going to try very hard to keep remembering to do so, not just this week, not as a New Year’s resolution, but forever more. And being me, it’ll more often than not involve random acts of baking.
If you want to make the cakes for yourself, here’s what to do to make about 20 – they’d be great for Valentine’s Day too.
For the cakes:
- 230g butter
- 230g caster sugar
- 4 free range eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 200g self-raising flour
- 35g cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 35ml natural red food colouring
- Pinch of salt
- Icing sugar for dustings
- Heart-shaped silcone cupcake moulds (ours are from John Lewis)
For the frosting:
- 300g unsalted butter
- 600g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract or the seeds of 2 vanilla pods
- Preheat the oven to 160C (140C fan assisted)
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla
- Fold in the flour, cocoa, baking powder
- Stir in the food colouring
- Divide between the cases on a baking tray, filling about 1/3 of the way up. I had enough to make about 20 in my heart-shaped silicone moulds
- Bake for 25 minutes until springy if gently pressed
- Allow to cool a little, then pop out of the silicone moulds and stand on a rack to cool completely
- Meanwhile, prepare the icing by beating the butter until fluffy and then slowing adding the icing sugar
- Add the vanilla and beat again, then add the milk drop by drop until you have a good firm icing
- Using a sharp serrated knife, cut a cake in half
- Spread one half with a good dollop of frosting, pushing it to the edges with a flat knife, then put the two halves back together to create a little sponge sandwich
- Repeat until all your cakes are little sandwiches
- Dust with icing sugar if desired and enjoy!