The due date is fast approaching. The hospital bag is packed. Everything Chez Roff and Chez Roff/Cutt is now baby proofed and baby prepared (seriously, it is astonishing the amount of paraphernalia a baby needs, or at least, what my sister and mother think it needs). Until last weekend my role in this build-up, with little parenting advice to offer and what turns out to be a very short attention span when it comes to discussing the relative merits of prams, could only be described as limited. However, when talk turned to the baby shower, it was like, hey, I bake, here is my in.
I had a role. A role, as I am sure you can all imagine, I took very seriously, meticulously planning and organising the perfect spread for Afternoon Tea.*
We had the perfect afternoon. The food went down a treat, we played a few games (yes, when holidaying in France one year Katharine did run naked around the tent for the whole of ten francs) and cooed over the lovely gifts her (very generous) friends showered her with.
I took the recipe for the Sticky treacle, ginger and lime cake from the August edition of BBC Good Food (the recipe is now available online here). Baking with the treacle and ginger flavour combination is a relatively new foray for me, not being a huge fan of treacle, but I have been enjoying the results and this cake, with the edition of lime, really intrigued me. Having found that cakes of this ilk definitely grow in taste I made the sponge and filled it a couple of days in advance, leaving just the decoration to do on the morning of the baby shower.
This summer I have increasingly been using Paul Hollywood’s recipe for scones (from How to Bake), which I would definitely recommend.** When I first tried it I have to admit, I was slightly unnerved by the use of strong white bread flour by hey, in the spirit of pushing boundaries I rolled with it, and I have to say, they are coming out a treat every time.
As for the Mini banoffee pies (described by one guest as “little bites of heaven”) and the Raspberry trifle cupcakes, I will be posting their recipes later this week.
*Thanks to my friend Lizzie for the loan of her beautiful tea sets and cake stands – the third time we have used them this summer.
**Like many of the recipes in this book.