My friend Jo invited a bunch of us over for Christmas. After checking in with her to see what she needed help with, I naturally got busy in the kitchen. Usually I spend a good amount of time rummaging through the recipe books looking for the perfect recipe to cook. There's a real art to choosing something that can feed a lot of people and well, Jill Dupleix made it easy for me. My copy of 'Totally Simple Food' was lying around and the 'Little berry cakes' looked like it would be an easy recipe to knock up the night before and feed a large-ish group of people.
Ingredients: 125g softened butter, 125g caster sugar, 3 large eggs, 180g self-raising flour, pinch of salt, 60ml milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, assorted frozen berries.
Heat the oven to 170 degrees. Line 2x12 mini mould trays with paper cases. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift in the flour and salt, and fold through until well mixed. Finally, stir in the milk and vanilla until smooth. Spoon the batter into the moulds. Drop a single berry on top of each little cake. Bake cakes for 12-15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
The recipe recommends you cool to room temperature and dust with icing sugar to serve. I think it can do without; just pop one into your mouth whilst it's hot. Observe large human eating a little berry cake!I took this with me to dinner the next night. Personally, I thought they tasted better when they came out of the oven. Overnight, the cakes seem to have shrunk into themselves and were quite sticky to hold; the smell of the egg was also quite overpowering. Next time I'll probably just bake them before a party so I can serve them fresh out of the oven. Call me fussy but I'm just not a big fan of overnight cakes!