Greetings! This was an eventful week for us. Eventful in a good way. The short story is that Ben and I have been working with an immigration lawyer on getting his green card for about three years now, and this last Friday, it was finally granted to him! He flies back to me in about a week! He’s been in Mexico for about one month, and while it was hell, it was definitely worth it!
I’m so jazzed!!!!!
This was a goal literally since we started dating back in 2004. In some ways, it feels the same, but there is something slightly different in the way I feel that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s sort of like someone removed a pair of glasses that made me look at everything with a cynical bent, if you will. Which is definitely a good thing.
For those that know me well, I’m not someone that smiles a lot. But lately, I find myself spontaneously smiling. Smiling as I walk by strangers, which I’m not prone to do usually, but also just smiling by myself. Like when I’m taking the bus, usually alone in the back corner of the bus. Which probably looks a little odd, but I don’t care.
Plus things that used to bug me, don’t seem to have the teeth they used to have. Even politics. Yes, we historically have the dumbest, most narcissistic, idiot Republican presidential nominee in US history. I don’t care. Not to a point that I won’t be voting, of course, but seeing and hearing about the usual “Trumpisms” in the news doesn’t affect me like it used to. Not that I’d like to see him be POTUS, of course.
Anyways, that’s what’s going on lately. Now to the matter at hand.
Mini versions of Victoria Sponge!
These mini-cakes came about pretty much because a good friend of mine is celebrating his birthday on May 23rd in Canada. And for Canada, May 23rd this year is Victoria Day, so what better than to celebrate with mini versions of Victoria Sponge? I was able to find a recipe for mini Victoria sponge cakes at the BBC food website.
The mini-cakes have great flavor, with a good bite and texture, almost like some cornmeal was added. Not sure what helped, but I didn’t want to make substitutions for the self-rising flour, so actually made a trip to the grocery store to buy a small bag of the stuff.
These came out very easily, but I suspect these are best eaten on the same day that they are made. And Happy Birthday, Rick!
Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes
6 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature (I used 4 ounces unsalted butter + 2 ounces margarine)
6 ounces granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temp.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces self-rising flour (you can substitute 1 cup all-purpose with 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt, but make sure you sift it very well a few times to ensure that the baking powder and salt are evenly dispersed, especially if you are using a small amount to begin with. I didn’t want to risk it, so bought a small bag of self-rising.)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
about 1/2 cup raspberry jam, plus fresh raspberries for garnishing
vanilla buttercream (recipe in method section)
dusting of confectioners sugar
garnish of mint leaves, if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour (or use baking spray) a six count pan of mini cheesecake molds (each mold measures 3-inches in diameter with a 2-inch depth. The recipe on BBC suggests these are the same size molds, but I think they are using the ones that are half the size, thus, they make 12.) Set aside.
Sift together the flour, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add each egg one at a time and mix thoroughly with a handheld mixer until blended. Add vanilla and do the same.
Sift the flour a little at a time and blend on lowest speed possible until incorporated. Divide into the molds. Each mold took approximately 6 Tablespoons of cake batter.
Bake for about 20-30 minutes. You want a very slight golden browning to occur on the edges, and definitely not still wet in the center. Use a toothpick test test to the center to ensure it is baked in the middles. Mine took almost 22 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Unmold and return right side up to cool completely. Cut each mini-cake in half horizontally with a bread knife. To make buttercream, I blended 2 ounces cream cheese with 2 ounces of butter, and one cup of confectioners sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, all at room temp. Blended until smooth and creamy. I placed it into a pastry bag fitted with a star attachment, placing a dollop in the middle, followed by a dollop on four sides around first dollop, creating cross shape. Then I added about a tablespoon of raspberry jam for each mini cake, letting the jam go down the sides of the buttercream. Top with each half minicake to sandwich the jam and buttercream.
Sift confectioners sugar over the top and serve with any remaining buttercream, raspberries, and mint leaves, if desired. Enjoy!!!