Monday, April 27, 2020

Things To Bake During Lockdown

It seems with the lockdown the whole nation is baking. So here are some things I've been baking over the last few weeks. From cakes to breads, scones to brownies: there is something for everyone to get stuck into and everyone to enjoy!

Victoria sponge:

  • Ingredients
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g softened butter
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the filling

  • 100g butter , softened
  • 140g icing sugar, sifted
  • drop vanilla extract (optional)
  • half a 340g jar good-quality strawberry jam (we used Tiptree Little Scarlet)
  • icing sugar, to decorate

Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper.
In a bowl, beat 200g caster sugar, 200g softened butter, 4 beaten eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp milk together until you have a smooth, soft batter.
Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.
Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
To make the filling, beat the 100g softened butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in 140g sifted icing sugar and a drop of vanilla extract (if you’re using it).
Spread the buttercream over the bottom of one of the sponges. Top it with 170g strawberry jam and sandwich the second sponge on top.
Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.

Tiny Cheese, Onion and Olive Scones:

40g Parmesan
25g Butter
1 Large Egg
1 Medium Onion
1/2 level teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons of milk
6 black olives, pitted and chopped
Freshly milled black pepper
40g strong cheddar
1 tablespoon olive oil
175g self raising flour
1/2 level teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 level teaspoon mustard powder

Fry the onion in the oil over a highish heat for about 5-6 minutes or until it's a nice brown caramel colour and darkened at the edges.
Keep it moving about so that it doesn't burn. Now transfer it to a plate to cool. While that's happening, take a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour, salt, mustard powder and cayenne, and add a good grinding of black pepper (the scones need to have a piquant bite). Now rub in the butter, toss in the cooled onion, the olives and two thirds of the grated cheeses, forking them in evenly.
Beat the egg and pour this in, mixing first with a knife and finally with your hands, adding only enough milk to make a soft dough – it mustn't be too sticky.
Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, knead it gently till it's smooth, then roll it out to about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick, being careful not to roll it too thinly. Next, use a 1¼ inch (3 cm) plain cutter for cutting: place it lightly on the dough and give a sharp tap to stamp out the scones. Lightly knead together and re-roll any trimmings.
Then, when all the scones are cut, brush them with milk, top them with the remaining grated cheese and bake them near the top of the oven for 10-12 minutes.



200 g quality dark chocolate (70%) 

250 g unsalted butter 
75 g dried sour cherries , optional 
50 g chopped nuts , optional 
80 g quality cocoa powder 
65 g plain flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
360 g caster sugar 
4 large free-range eggs


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line a 24cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper. 

Snap the chocolate into a large bowl, add the butter and place over a pan of simmering water, until melted, stirring regularly. Stir through the cherries and nuts (if using). 
Sift the cocoa powder and flour into a separate bowl, add the baking powder and sugar, then mix together.
Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate, cherry and nut mixture and stir together well. Beat the eggs, then mix in until you have a silky consistency.
Pour the brownie mix into the baking tin, and place in the oven for around 25 minutes. You don’t want to overcook them so, unlike cakes, you don’t want a skewer to come out clean – the brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle.

Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato Bread:

  • 425gStrong white bread flour
  • 1 tspSalt
  • 40gParmesan (freshly grated)
  • 50gSundried tomatoes (chopped and drained from oil)
  • 3 tbspSundried tomato paste
  • 2 tbspOregano (or rosemary, Plus a few extra sprigs finely chopped)
  • 1Easy bake yeast sachet
  • 225mlWater (warm)
  • 1Rosemary (sprigs)


Put the flour, salt, parmesan, sundried tomatoes and paste into a large bowl.

Add the chopped herbs and easy bake yeast, then pour in the warm water.

Mix together with your hands until the mixture combines to make a rough dough ball.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and stretch and knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Shape into a 23cm (9inch) round. Put into a greased 23cm (9inch) round tin. Press lots of indentations into the top of the bread with your finger. Scatter over a few extra herbs, drizzle with some of the olive oil from the sundried tomatoes and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Cover loosely with cling film. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size (this will take about 30-40 minutes.)

Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan 200°C, gas mark 7). Remove cling film from bread and reduce the oven temperature to 200°C (fan 180°C, gas mark 6). Bake the bread for 35 minutes until golden.



  1. That Victoria sponge looks delicious! I’ve only been as adventurous as biscuits 😂

  2. Ooh I’m really enjoying baking at the moment. I’m definitely wanting to make something on my own so going to save that Victoria Sponge recipe - it looks so yummy!

  3. Ohhh I’ve just realised that I have all the ingredients for a Victoria Sponge 😍 thanks for the recipe!

    Katie x

  4. Yummy! i'm planning on baking a lemon drizzle this week!

  5. I can’t wait to start baking! Hoping that all of my ingredients arrive on our next online shop! Fingers crossed! These recipes sound (and look) fab! I might give one or two a try! xx

  6. Love, love, love a Victoria Sponge. Light and fluffy :)

    Amy x
    The July Rose

  7. I really want to bake a victoria sponge but we don't have any cake tins!

    Gemma Louise

  8. cheese and sun dried tomato bread sounds amazing, defo want to make that! x

  9. I’ll have to try these, especially the Victoria sponge cake - it looks delicious!

  10. I haven't made scones for years! I'm going to give brioche rolls a go this week.


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