A right royal knees up
Friday, April 29th, 2011
Not only is it a bank holiday weekend which elicits joy for all of those able to enjoy an extra day off work but the building fervour of tomorrow’s royal wedding has certainly gripped us all here at the studio.
Whatever the weather it’s an excuse for a party and the very British street party definitely sets a rather wonderful tone. Street parties were first recorded in 1919 to mark the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Since then jubilees, national holidays and landmark occasions are marked across the land with much community spirit. Whether your celebration is big or small or you are joining the masses in parks, restaurants and stately homes it’s the perfect excuse to dress up, don a hat and join in the fun.
We are thinking cotton bunting, union jack flags, games, music, laughter and trestle tables groaning with fabulous British food. The dish of choice has to be the fantastically regal and retro Coronation Chicken. Rosemary Hume’s 1950’s recipe is the original version devised for the coronation celebrations and is definitely the perfect place to start. If you want something sweet Victoria Sandwich can not be ignored and is certainly fit for a queen. Named after Queen Victoria, this delicious sponge is filled with jam and sometimes cream. Mark Hix’s raspberry filled version ticks all of our boxes. And the ultimate treat to finish the day – a perfectly brewed cup of tea. We love this clip from 1941.
Mark Hix's Victoria Sandwich Recipe...
150g (5oz) Butter, at room temperature, plus extra to grease 150g (5oz)
3 Medium eggs,beaten
Few drops of vanilla extract
150g (5oz) Self-raising flour, sifted
Strawberry or raspberry jam, or whipped cream and raspberries or strawberries
Icing sugar, to dust
1. Preheat the oven to 170c (fan oven 150c), gas mark 3 and butter two 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins, 2.5 (1 inch) deep. Line the bases with greaseproof paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until you get a pale mixture that drops off a spoon easily. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating the mixture thoroughly after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
3. Sift the flour into a bowl in 4 stages, each time gently folding it in with a large metal spoon to keep the mixture light.
4. Divide the mixture between the tins and cook on the centre shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes. To test if the sponges are cooked, gently press your finger on top and the imprint will sping back into shape. Leave the sponges in the tins for a couple of minutes, then run a knife around the edge and turn them out on to wire cooling racks. Leave to cool completely.