Week One – The Coffee Victoria Sandwich Cake

Ok, here we go, week one and the challenge is on.

I made sure I got all the ingredients in and sat and read through the recipe. Mary Berry’s instructions are clear  and concise but with no fancy terms, she inspires confidence that i can do it…..

After a confidence bolstering cup of tea, I ventured into the kitchen and got out all the equipment I needed and all the ingredients.

Putting this cake mix together didn’t take long and to be honest, it felt like I was back at school in my home economics class. At the moment it didn’t feel so much of a challenge but a revision on what I already knew but I ploughed on regardless.

The mix done, I carefully divided it into the prepared tins,  put them in the pre-warmed oven, set the timer and it was time for that ever-so-english tradition of another cup of tea again.

“PING” went the timer and I approached the oven with trepidation.  How would they look?  Was it too soon?…..or too late to take them out? Had I been a bit too blasé in setting the timer and not checking every so often?

Phew- I wiped by brow with relief, they looked risen, brown and didn’t immediately subside when I looked at them, I removed them and set them aside to cool and then removed them faily easily from the tins onto the cooling rack.

I then set to making the coffee buttercream – I love making buttercream icing but the initial mixing always creates clouds of icing sugar which seem to settle on every surface nearby!

The final step, putting it all together, would it resemble in any way the picture on Mary Berry’s book? Well, not so pretty or precise but not bad for a first effort…..

Well,, I will leave that up to you, but week one’s challenge is under my belt, i will now spend the week browsing the challenge bible and deciding what week two will bring……


Inspired by “The Great British Bake-Off” !


One day last week, I was browsing the news online and came across the above article, a young mum who set herself a challenge to bake EVERY recipe in Mary Berry‘s “Baking Bible” cook book. I read it with interest as I have always liked baking but have pretty much stuck to fairly easy stuff such as cupcakes which look great with little skill or effort.

This young mum worked her way through Mary Berry’s book, not front to back, but ensured she covered every recipe – boy was she eager! She baked 2-3 recipes a week even when she was on holiday.

I admired this lady and decided that after watching “The Great British Bake-Off” that I should set myself some culinary challenges and this article inspired me.

So, I went online (ahhh retail therapy…), ordered my copy and waited for it to come through. I then sat and flicked through all the recipes, some I had no worries of completing, others I had fancied making and some looked a real challenge!

I decided that one recipe a week, most likely a weekend challenge is what I would go for and announced on Facebook what I was going to do.

My hubby , work colleagues and in-laws will become the taste panel and hopefully give their verdict and (hopefully not too much) constructive criticism!

Watch this space – week one – decided to start with a fairly simple (hopefully!) coffee victoria sponge cake………