This vanilla layer cake is one of our bakery staples that we are frequently asked for and if you make it in a food processor it takes no time at all. As with most vanilla cake recipes, the list of ingredients is fairly standard, but factor in good-quality ingredients, careful measuring and weighing and setting the correct oven temperatures, and the result is fantastic. We use this as the basis of many a birthday cake, not least because it can be iced and decorated to any effect. Vanilla layer cake is a fairly simple dessert to make, and it is certainly cake that will be popular in your family. What makes this vanilla layer cake our favourite is the fact you can use different fillings, different tastes and adjust the recipe to any season to use fresh products.
Vinegar is one of the most important and underrated store-cupboard ingredients. It has the ability to totally transform your cooking, so use it with confidence and authority. That contrast of rich and fatty flavours with vinegar and pickles is amazing. That’s why having pickles in a kebab, and vinegary mint sauce with lamb, is so good. Vinegar is also a wonderful stomach settler, and helps you digest rich foods. Give it a go. Make your own vinegar. There are two main, easy ways you can have a go at making your own vinegar. To start off with, you need a bacteria called a vinegar ‘mother’ to essentially spoil wine and turn it into acidic vinegar. These spores are floating around in the atmosphere invisibly all the time.
Lobster bisque is a soup recipe that is not cheap, but it is well worth the effort and cost. Bisque is a smooth, creamy, highly seasoned soup of French origin, classically based on a strained broth of crustaceans. It can be made from lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish. Bisque is a method of extracting flavor from imperfect crustaceans not good enough to send to market. In an authentic bisque, the shells are ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup. Valentines day for 2 or New Years Supper, this bisque is never out of place and so mild on the seafood taste that even the most difficult guest will be very pleasantly surprised.
Green beans should have a bright, strong colour, with crisp pods with a satin-like sheen. They should not look wilted, discoloured or brown. They are best eaten when young and tender. To tell how fresh they are, snap one in half. The ‘snap’ should be clean and clear. Don’t buy them if the ‘snap’ is lacking, and if the insides do not seem juicy when you break them open. Home-grown green beans are in season from June to September. Thin green finger-length beans that are also called French beans or haricots verts. They also include the fatter snap or bobby bean, and the yellow wax bean. Confusingly, green beans are not always green; some varieties you might find at farmers’ markets and farm shops are yellow or purple – but all are delicious.
Red velvet cake is traditionally prepared as a layer cake topped with cream cheese or cooked roux icing. The cake can be a dark red, bright red or red-brown color. When foods were rationed during World War II, bakers used boiled beet juices to enhance the color of their cakes. Beets are found in some red velvet cake recipes, where they also serve to retain moisture. Traditionally, red velvet cake is iced with a French-style butter roux icing (also called ermine icing), which is very light and fluffy, but time-consuming to prepare. Cream cheese frosting and buttercream frosting are variations which have increased in popularity. The rich red colour of this recipe makes this cake very attractive and well-known around the world.