Katy Walters

About Katy Walters

Katy lives on the South coast with her husband and a loving hyper friendly dog who likes to greet and lick everyone on sight. She has a BA Hons (Psych) BA Eng.Lit. MA in Religion and Mysticism and a Hon Dr. Science for research into pain control. She was a psychologist and hypnotherapist before changing direction for full time creative writing, Her main genres are historical romance, crime and science fiction.

Glorious Trifle – made in a jiffy.

Last month I put on a recipe for a homemade quiche. I promised to put on another for the desert. So here is a delicious trifle.

Please note that some of the ingredients are shop bought. The only difference is not in the taste but the amount of hard work put in to achieve this desert. As an author I need all the time I can get. Especially when coming to crucial points in the novel I am writing at the time of posting on a blog.  Yet even authors need to eat besides drinking gallons of coffee.

So Trifle a la Maison and the shop.

INGREDIENTS.

Have one trifle dish ready large enough for one pint of trifle.

One packet of bovine gelatine cubes to your taste.

One tin of custard sold by your nearest supermarket.

1 tin or tube of double cream.

Nine sponge fingers especially produced for adding to the jelly. Chop them up into cubes.

Fresh berries, either strawberries, blueberries rinsed through under the tap. Or, add your favorite tin fruit.

1 small packet of sugar sprinkles.

CAUTION: Timeout to explain why there may be typing errors.  If there it is because my sixteen-week cockerpoo puppy is at the teething stage and is nipping my toes as I type. She has a special penchant for my designer sandals. I don’t own many pairs of shoes actually I can count them on one and a half hands, but I do have a weakness for the odd designer pair. OOO-OO-OOuch  she’s managed to nip me again.

So to return to the menu, after giving her my tee shirt to chew on. It was a freebie from a buy one get one free sale. It already has neat little holes from those baby teeth. Now she’s engrossed in adding a few more. She’s just looked up at me and I can’t resist picking her up and giving her a big hug and kisses on her soft furry baby cheek.

To continue.

Melt enough cubes for one pint of jelly in half a pint of boiling water.

Add another half pint of cold water.

Stir in the rinsed fruit.

Add the sponge fingers – remember to chop them up into cubes.

Put in fridge to cool and set.

When set, add the tin of custard or as much as you wish.

Whip the cream up and carefully and lightly spread over the custard.

Sprinkle over some ‘thousand and one’

Then garnish with some berries.

Voila!!

One superb trifle.

Put in the fridge to set even more.

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Delicious Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Pie.

SMOKED SALMON and ASPARAGUS QUICHE.

PASTRY

Use shop made pastry quiche or cook your own and use the recipe here for processor or hand

For two  8 inch pastry cases

10oz. self-raising flour

Five ounces butter

1 egg

Milk or water to mix

QUICHE ingredients:-

Six generous slices of smoked salmon finely flaked or narrow slices

2 finely chopped onions

Twelve spears of asparagus

Six ounces of Swiss curd cheese

Pepper 1/4 teaspoon, 1 tablespoonful of dried dill, half a teaspoonful of salt

3.1/2 ounces of milk, 7.1/2  fluid ounces of double cream

 

Three quarter baked pastry cases set aside 

Keep oven at 380F or 190C 

Beat eggs, add salt, pepper, and dill.  Add milk and double cream. Set aside

Spread finely cut pieces of the salmon and half of the cheese in both pastry cases

Add six spears of asparagus for each pie.

Pour beaten mixture of eggs, milk, and cream over the salmon cuts and asparagus spears in both pastry cases

Sprinkle rest of cheese over both

Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Test by inserting a knife into the center. It should come out clean.

Serve with a glass of sparkling prosecco, followed by raspberry and blueberry trifle with single cream.

The trifle recipe in the next blog.  Happy eating.

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The Royal Wedding

It was a glorious Royal Wedding on a gorgeous sunny day.  I am not really enamored with ceremonial occasions and cringed at the thought of watching an hour-long wedding in a church. However, hubby encouraged me to wait to see Megan Markle’s dress. I am so glad he did.

The elegant simplicity of her gown portrayed the modern elegance of Givenchy reminding me of the lines of a medieval maiden’s courtly dress. In my view, the artless veil embraced a timeless Arthurian theme, as the bride walked through an abundance of hanging rose bushes decorating the ancient archway of the chapel.

I was enchanted with the romance of this bridal scene, the soaring ancient stone walls, the beauty of the bride and yearning glances of the groom, as he watched his bride walk towards him. Prince Harry’s look of love for his bride would pluck the chords of anyone’s heart.  Along with millions of other viewers, I was charmed.  This was magical; one was drawn into the timelessness of the imagination

People listened in awe to Bishop Michael Curry’s electrifying sermon, his exuberance sweeping the congregation to the ‘power of love’.   Viewers swam in a wave of emotion, lifting up the soul.  He talked of love, the core of our being, he talked of poverty and starvation, of slavery and the vale of tears, yet he led us to the power of love that can overcome any obstacle.

It was a ceremony that will ever be imprinted in my memory, a memory where along with millions of other viewers, I smiled, laughed and wept for the sheer passion, sweetness, and poignancy of this ceremony. Why poignancy? Our prince has given so much to so many and now joined his bride in the power of love.

It was particularly pleasant for my husband and me to watch some scenes from the procession and the chapel. We grew up in the shadow of Windsor Castle and enjoyed summer picnics by the river Thames. I was taken back through the years as the procession drove slowly past my first flat over an antique shop and only minutes away from the Long Walk to the castle.  Later Brian and I had our first basement flat nearby.

I was excited to learn of the titles bestowed upon Prince Harry as we now live in Sussex amidst a wealth of historical towns both medieval and Regency.

We wish the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex much happiness and fulfillment in their future plans which will help people and organizations in so many avenues.

 

 

History of the Victoria Sponge Cake and a time consuming recipe.

 

I do love to know the origin of recipes.  On looking up the history of the Victoria Sponge I find it is possible the earliest references come from the English poet Gervaise Markham, ‘The English Huswife, Containing the Inward and  Outward Virtues Which ought to be in a Complete Woman’. This is from the year 1615. So cakes and recipes say it all.

Hmm … Huswife indeed, (swear word here). We’ve come a long way, girls.  Margaret Wolstenholme, our mother of feminism would have had enraged words and actions about that, as would Emmeline Pankhurst, a political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. (Wikipedia).

Her famous quote says it all:

“Trust in God – she will provide. Justice and judgment lie often a world apart. The argument of the broken window pane is the most valuable argument in modern politics.”

So having cleared that up, I can proceed gently into the case for the Victoria Sponge.

According to Wikipedia, it is claimed to be the first of non-yeasted cakes. The recipe can also be found in Lydia Mana Child’s book, The American Frugal Housewife (1832). The sponge cake is thought to be one of the first of the non-yeasted variety.

There are several variations of the cake, ranging from European patisserie to the Anglo-Jewish ‘Plava’ the Italian genoise and the Portuguese Pao-de-Lo. Wikipedia has it that it is possibly the ancestral Italian Pan di Spagan (Spanish bread). 

So have researched and appreciated the antiquity of the sponge cake I can also say it was a favorite of Queen Victoria as well. In the end, she did wear very big knickers. Blame it on the cake.

And now without any more ado, I will proceed with the recipe for this virtuous sponge.

Sponge Mixture

6 ozs of self-raising flour

6 ozs caster sugar,

6 ozs margarine preferably a buttery one.

3 large eggs. Don’t throw them at hubby., (Save the argument for later.)

2 tsp. baking powder.

1 tsp vanilla extract optional use.

Filling:

7 ozs butter

7 ozs Icing sugar.

Good quality jam – strawberry, raspberry or blackcurrant.

Eight fresh strawberries, a few blueberries and some blackberries to your taste.

Now, if you’re feeling especially virtuous you could grab your wicker basket and skip beaming down to the field if you have one there. Sing the latest ditty as you run through the long grasses, bosoms bouncing,  picking the berries fresh from bloodthirsty thorns. And yes … yes. You could milk the goat and get the fresh cream that way instead of opening a tin. Mind your bottom though, goats have vicious horns.

Utensils:

Food Processor

2 –  7 inch baking tins.

Baking parchment to line 2 seven inch baking tins.

Palette knife.

Method:

Oven preheat to 180 C or for gas setting, no. 4.

Make sure no-one puts their head in it. I had to fight the urge after reading the Virtuous Huswife.

So, prepare two seven inch baking tins by placing a round of parchment paper for each. This will ensure the cake or your skin does not stick to the tins.

Process together the butter and sugar.

Add eggs one at a time.

Add the flour, baking powder, and vanilla extract.

Mix thoroughly.

Use a tablespoon to test if the mixture has a soft dropping consistency. I resist testing with my tongue or even licking my fingers as people have to eat it. If the mixture is too stiff add a little milk, not too much, but enough to get the dropping consistency. Rather a drop at a time than spoil it by making it too runny, bursting into tears and throwing the whole ruddy mess across the kitchen. But then the dog would have a field day licking it all up, so all is not lost. Cheer up.

If the cake still exists, allow 20 – 25 minutes for baking or until it is a warm golden brown. To test, just use a clean palette knife, pushing it gently to the bottom of the baking tin.  No, don’t stab it, even if its burnt you can still give it to the cat. She will love you forever.  Now if we’re still cooking, the blade should be clean when withdrawn. Don’t keep it in your hand if hubby is giving snide remarks. The cake will be delicious, don’t listen to him. If there is a sticky residue, bake a little longer and push him out of the kitchen. Then vent your rage, by throwing the knife at the door.

If the cakes are still around, wash and prepare the strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  Dry using paper toweling.

When ready, remove the two cakes from the baking tins and peel off the parchment. Pull the knife out of the door and test the ruddy cakes again. Calm down,

Place both cakes on a wire rack or grill rack to cool and …  your dear self as well. You see, I do love you, I understand just how you’re feeling. All you wanted to do was bake a bloody cake and the world and his wife are bombarding you. They haven’t forgotten when dearest aunt Lou’ choked on the meringues. Look, it’s not your fault,   See, I’m here, you’re not alone.  I’m here, I’ve got your back.

Filling:

Place the butter in the food processor mixing bowl and gradually, whilst processing, add icing sugar.  If it is too soft add more icing sugar. Mind the processor knives, they’re not called Ninja for nothing. I actually sent mine back when I saw them. I was terrified, the last thing you want is to be near the Ninja knives when someone’s insulting your buttercream. And I have a nasty temper at times, but never violent, well only when I’m cooking.  I can see you feel the same, so hang in there.

After the cake is cool enough, use the palette knife to spread jam on one cake, follow with butter icing. Place some of the fruit on this lower cake, saving some for the topping.

Proceed by spreading more buttercream on the top layer cake and placing more berries on by pushing them gently into the butter to stay in place. Oh, I see, hubby’s back.  Look, resist the temptation. Don’t … don’t do it. He can be in your face as much as he wants, but you’re not going to plaster your beautiful cake over his bloody face.  Don’t let him win.  Resist the temptation. Right – good; now you’re calm.  I love you, don’t forget that.

Carefully sandwich the two cakes together. God – you’ve done it.

Lastly dust with icing sugar. Cover and when thoroughly cool, either serve on your cake plate or place in the cake tin, not your husband’s head, I meant your cake.

Present with edible or fresh flowers.

Note. With regard to the fantastic photo of this famous cake, I think Shutterstock take’s a far better photograph than me. Actually, the cake doesn’t exist, it’s all in my mind. I can imagine it but I just can’t cook the darn thing. :))

So getting back to ‘The Virtuous Huswife,’ one can either bake the damn cake or, for goodness sake, pop out to the nearest Supermarket and buy one. They make delicious Victoria sponges there, and it does give a girl time to  write that masterpiece or paint another mind-blowing portrait for the Tate Gallery, or direct the latest box office smash hit or train for the London Marathon or … knit?

Have a wonderful week.

xoxo.

 

Thrilling new novel. Will have you on the edge of your seat.  Fantasticj.  Now for sale  On Amazon.

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