Victoria Sponge

We love baking in our house and when I saw ‘Children’s Book of Baking (Usborne Cookbooks)‘ sitting on the shelves of our local charity shop I simply had to buy it and got a little excited to try out some recipes. Since it’s Valentine’s we thought we make a Victoria sponge, well who doesn’t love cake?

Apron donned and hands washed let the cooking commence….

Here’s what you will need if you’d like to join in;

Cake

2 x 20cm cake tins

4 medium eggs

225 g softened butter

225g caster sugar

225g self raising flour

Filling

100g softened unsalted butter

225g icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

4 tablespoons of strawberry jam

Victoria Sponge making

Method

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 4.

Wipe the insides of the tins with cooking oil. Place parchment paper in the bottom of each tin.

Break the eggs into a bowl and beat together with a fork.

Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat them until they are pale and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time and if the mixture curdles pop in a little bit of flour.

Sift the flour over the mixture and gently fold in with a metal spoon.

Divide the mixture equally between the tins.

Smooth the top (Emily and I find this really tricky).

Bake the cake in the oven for 25 minutes. Pop on some oven gloves and carefully remove the tins from the oven.

Press the cakes to check they are cooked.

Leave the cakes in the tins for five minutes to cool. Then run a knife around the edges and turn them out onto a wire rack.

For the filling

Put the jam in a bowl and beat it. Spread it over the top of the bottom cake.

Make the butter cream by mixing the icing sugar and butter together until they reach a delightful texture then spread that over the bottom of then top cake (we ignored this and tried to pop it on top of the jam but this didn’t leave a nice clean typical Victoria sponge white and red line but more of a gorgeous pink marriage).

Sandwich both cakes together and gently press together.

Scatter some caster sugar on top. We decorated our cake with strawberries but this is optional.


TYummy cakeotal Time
: 70 mins Taste: Fabulous (if we do say so ourselves).

Check out Emily on Instagram.

Be our Valentine

Love from Sofa Stories x x

Jord watch and gift box

Buying beautiful items that are designed to last is an absolute joy. Never being a fan of throwaway fashion I love pieces that withstand the fickle fashion trends.

Step into the frame JORD wooden watches. Made by ‘artists, designers, marketers, and minders’ they are beautiful, different, classic and designed to last.

In a world where every second counts, having a beautiful timepiece on your wrist is a luxury worth paying for.

Undeniably, the JORD wooden watches are stunning to look at but I was as interested in their ethics; sustainability being at the top of the list.

In JORDs own words they are

‘Focused on creating timepieces that are modelled after a modern lifestyle. They value sustainability, efficiency, and experiential living.’

It took an age to chose the dark sandalwood and smoke watch to review. It’s so different to the white ceramic watch I’ve worn for years. The wooden box is a beautiful touch, presentation is important and the box looks fab alongside my trinkets and treasures but helps make JORD watches a great present.

jord watch

You can see from the images the clarity of the watch face and how minimal the design is. The watch case is thicker and the face larger than those I am used to, but it is comfortable to wear, chic and the wood even warms a little as you’re wearing it!

Taking care of the watch means using an oil to clean the natural wood. And storing it, using the box and keeping it out of extreme temperatures (hot or cold) is advised (don’t store it near a radiator or wet environment.

At £149 this watch is a reasonable price for an exquisite piece of craftsmanship. Even better, there is an amazing $50 discount if you’re shopping for a JORD watch for yourself using the code 16ML6XTHYN3. I’ve set my sights on the Frankie 35.

Nic x

Wood Watch Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have embraced turning 40. It’s been a cracking year. Highlights include: me faux pants

1. I’m happiest than I’ve ever been. The rest of this list exists because of this one, undisputable fact. Sharing life with so many wonderful people in it, makes me a very lucky lady.
2. I work harder than I ever had. And am more focused than I have ever been.
3. I will always, if possible, work for myself.
4. I am acutely aware of time passing. And making sure moments count.
5. I’m passionate about helping other women in business to feel confident in their own abilities and embrace all that digital technology can offer.
6. At some point in the day I always acknowledge how lucky I am.
7. I like speaking to big groups of people.
8. I stick up for what I think is right.
9. I acknowledge what I am good at and am happy to say it out loud.
10. I know what I am rubbish at and am happy to ask for help.
11. I care far less about what people think of me. I happily acknowledge I am not everyone’s cup of tea.
12. I spend my hard-earned on things made to last rather than loads of cheap stuff. I value quality.
13. I own two white pairs of jeans. For 2 decades I wouldn’t put my backside in them.
14. I own faux leather trousers. They were my best buy in 2015.
15. I freely indulge my shoe obsession.
16. Travel has become a really important part of my life.
17. I love digital technology and want to be part of it rather than left behind.
18. I’m not fit enough.
19. I own a bona fide pair of Ray Bans.
20. I often work from the bath.

If you’re reading this and you’re approaching 40, don’t worry about it in the slightest. And if you’re already there, what would you add to this list?

Nicola x