Cookery School Ingredient - Spreadable butter
When the first edition was published the arrival of soft-whipped vegetable fat was in a way liberating because you could make a cake by whipping up all the ingredients together (an all-in-one) and this may still suit some vegetarians best. It does make a very, very light cake indeed. There was only one problem: the loss of the wonderful flavour of butter. So we moved on and started to make cakes with very soft butter.
This was fine, except that getting block butter soft was always a real pain and you could never be spontaneous.
Now at last the problem is we and truly solved, as we can buy what's called spreadable butter that can be used straight from the fridge. What's happened is that some oil has been added to make it spreadable and, in our case, perfect for instant cake-making.
What we've also discovered is that a little oil in the butter is good for the cake and keeping it moist. These so-called spreadable butters do, however, vary and we have found Lurpak is the best because it has the highest butter content, and because it has the least additives it is the purest.
This is a revised, more contemporary, version of one of the original sponge cakes in the earlier book. I am still very fond of it and have continued to make it regularly over the years.
A friend of a friend of mine always grinds cardamom seeds and adds them when she drinks coffee. It has to be said the two flavours together are sublime. So here they are combined in a very luscious cake topped with roasted pistachios
This is where it all begins: what I am aiming to do here is get you started on cake making. Once you have mastered the art of the classic sponge cake you can then move on to all the variations and never look back.
You can obviously make this with ready-shelled walnuts, but in the late autumn when English walnuts are about, if you sit down with music or a good radio programme and shell some new season’s walnuts yourself, you will appreciate their pure flavour.
Will anyone still make a Swiss roll? we asked ourselves. We made one and guess what, it was absolutely lovely, so here it is, and actually it’s very easy to make.