Thursday, May 7, 2009

Peaches, Herrings, Victorian Spring Posy Cake

Something this morning made me thing of Melocótons which is Spanish for peaches. At the end of his life, my father loved the cans of whole peaches which you could buy in Spain, admittedly I haven't looked very hard, but I have never seen them anywhere else. They were absolutely delicious. My father couldn't eat a lot just before he died, but he could consume those canned whole peaches very easily. I wish I could get them, they were good. I found this picture and a Greek company who make them, but as far as I know they are unavailable here. I must do some research. I have an icon on my desk top called Blog Notes and I add 'stuff' if there is anything I want to remember. I have herring noted and I have no idea what that is about. So not much use to me. I know I have written about herring before as it is one of my favourite fish but tends to be pretty rare these days due to overfishing. I know I have written that herrings in oatmeal used to be one of our favourite breakfast dishes, my dad and me that is, but what on earth was I going to write apart from that. Search me. Oh well, no doubt it will come to me again one of these days. I have been coming across Mother's Day recipes this week, I wonder why? One that caught my eye was this Victorian Spring Posy Cake. It looked so pretty as well as looking delicious. It also reminded me that I used to make Lemon Curd. Homemade curd is delicious. Victorian Spring Posy Cake for Easter or Mother's Day 8 oz butter, softened 8 oz caster sugar 4 eggs, beaten 8 oz self raising flour, sifted 2 large oranges, zest and juice 8 oz mascarpone cheese 8 Tbs lemon curd or orange curd lemon curd, to spread crystallised violets or sugar flowers to decorate orange, curls 1 Pre-heat oven to 150C or 300°F. 2 Grease and line two 8" sandwich tins/sponge cake tins. 3 Beat the sugar and butter together until light, fluffy, and almost white in colour; this can take up to 5 minutes, and is crucial for a light sponge cake. 4 Gently add the grated zest of two oranges. 5 Add the beaten eggs and then GENTLY fold the flour in with a metal spoon. 6 Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until light golden brown and risen. To check whether the cakes are cooked - insert a skewer in the middle of the cake, it should come away clean if it is cooked. 7 Pour a little of orange juice over the cakes slowly, allowing them to absorb the juice. (Save the rest of the juice for other cooking or to add to drinks!) Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool; allow to cool completely before decorating and icing. 8 Meanwhile, fold the lemon or orange curd into the mascarpone cream and mix well. (Add more to taste, I sometimes add at least half a big jar!). 9 When the cakes are cool, spread some lemon or orange curd on to one side of both cakes, this stops the mascarpone cream from making the cakes too soggy. Place one cake on to a cake plate, curd side up and swirl some of the mascarpone cream over the cake, place the other cake, curd side down on top of the other cake, making a sandwich! 10 Finish decorating the top of the cake with the remaining mascarpone cream, swirling it over the top of the cake. Just before serving, decorate with crystallised violets or other preserved/sugar flowers. Grate some orange curls, sprinkle them over the top, and serve. 11 Keeps for up to one week in a tin, in a cool place. 12 Sponges can be frozen for up to 2 months - allow to defrost for 4 to 6 hours on a cooling rack, before icing and decorating. Servings: 8 Recipe Source Author: French Tart Author's Notes: One of my recent cake inventions - a standard Victoria Sandwich Sponge with a few delicious additions! Fresh oranges and lemons, lemon curd, crystallised violets and mascarpone cheese make this basic sponge cake moist and special enough for the Easter Sunday tea-time table, or for Mum on Mother's Day! I used lemon curd for the icing, but orange curd would also work if you wanted a mellow flavour. I have a recipe for crystallised violets on Recipezaar, Recipe #216296, and if you don't have any fresh violets, use any sugar paste flowers or cake decorations that work for you - the object is to make a Posy of flowers! This makes a big cake with one layer, you can cut the cakes again and make a three layer gateau if you wish. This cake disappeared quite quickly, but if you have any left, it keeps EXTREMELY well in a tin for up to one week. The sponge cakes can be frozen before icing, cutting back on time if you are going to be busy for the special event.


  1. Nice looking cake , Jo. If only I bake ...

    Baltic herring is quite a popular first course here - served with cream. Must be very fattening I presume.

  2. I don't bake a lot but am very tempted by this one it looks so good.

    About the only way we see herring here is pickled in jars.