… a couple of years ago I baked some scones for Sheila’s 80th birthday… Sheila is the mum of my friend Tina and very sadly she died last week… Sheila, Tina and her family live in Aby, our nearest village and we’ve been good friends since we moved up here almost 10 years ago. With the wonderful sense of community that you have out here in the middle of the country it is always so sad to lose anyone and it really does effect the community as a whole… i’m sure Tina won’t mind me saying that Sheila was a powerhouse of a woman… always at the centre of any village get together, usually with a whole box of outstanding cakes… a staunch member of the WI, she was the woman to judge if a Victoria Sponge was good enough… and she didn’t mince her words…
… Tina asked me to make some cakes for her funeral and of course I could hardly say no… I’ve gone for three easy, classic crowd pleasers, a Victoria Sponge of course, a Banana Loaf and i’ve also made a mixed fruit and candied peel loaf cake which contains some rather wonderful homemade apple jelly.
… these should send Sheila off in style!
a four egg victoria sponge
… the recipe for the banana loaf is my classic and can be found here… and the fruit loaf is a very simple adaptation of this recipe, using 2 tablespoons of apple jelly instead of the mashed banana… the reason the victoria sponge is a 4 egg not the traditional 3 egg is that I couldn’t find my 18in Victoria Sponge cake tins and had to use by 20 inch ones and didn’t want to stretch the mix and end up with flat cakes… I have, however, followed Sheila’s traditional method of weighing the eggs and then using the equivalent weight of flour, sugar and butter…
4 eggs (weighing in at just over 9oz) – beaten
9oz caster sugar
9oz self-raising flour
1 teaspoon little pod vanilla extract
4 tablespoons damson jam
– pre heat the oven to 170C and line and grease 2 20inch cake tins
– cream the margarine and the sugar until light and fluffy… I did this with a wooden spoon, which took seconds… add the vanilla and beat again.
– add one third of the eggs and beat until combined, then add one third of the flour and beat again until combined… continue this way until all the eggs and flour have gone.
– divide between the two cake tins and bake for 20-25 mins or until risen and golden
– let them cool and then sandwich liberally with the jam of your choice
eat and of course, enjoy!
little macaroon. says
they look perfect. Tina will be so grateful to you.
Lovely post Dom, and great cakes!!!
From the Kitchen says
sorry to hear about your friend , Sheila. I'm sure she would have given your sponge a thumb's up!
Magnolia Verandah says
Condolences but great cakes – I am sure she would be impressed.
Sue/the view from great island says
So sorry, it sounds like a sad loss for the whole community. Your cakes are a sweet tribute.
Sorry to hear of the loss – but what a great way to honor Sheila!
Susan Lindquist says
What a loss for all … so sorry, dear Dom! Making a Victoria Sponge seems a fitting tribute … as long as it's up to snuff and Sheila's specs! Her family will be so appreciative!
Sorry for your loss. Your cakes looks like a great homage to her.
Sheila would certainly have approved of those cakes Dom. She was, as you say, a powerhouse of a woman with a ready sense of humour. I, too, was very fond of her. Lovely tribute.x
My condolences to you, to her daughter Tina and to the whole of the close-knit community on the loss of Sheila.
What a fitting tribute for a fabulous sounding lady x
Ruth Ellis says
What a lovely and fitting tribute. Every community has old ladies like that, and they really are awesome. And she was right about the Victoria Sponge – weighing the eggs ensures a light sponge every time. Rx
Javelin Warrior says
So sorry to hear about your friend's passing and my condolences. It's wonderful that you have an opportunity to share something baked with her loved ones – food often seems to say more than words ever can…
Marmaduke Scarlet says
A lovely way to send someone off and a happy memory for her family.
Thank you Dom, the cakes were wonderful and everyone enjoyed them. Mum would have been very proud of all your efforts. What a better tribute to mum's memory then her friends making lots of lovely cakes. Bless you. xx Tina
Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments.
debby emadian says
Sorry to hear about your friend Dom. But it looks like she was celebrated in the style she would have wanted, true to the WI.
These sound like really good recipes to have up your sleeve…
What a great way to send off your friend. The comfort of food and the joy of baking. GG
The KitchenMaid says
What a woman she must have been – and what a lovely tribute x
Shu Han says
I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of a friend. May she rest in peace, and thank you so much for sharing this lovely recipe to remember this lovely woman.
Baking Addict says
Sorry to hear about Sheila. Condolences to Tina and her family. I'ts lovely that you baked these cakes for her – a great tribute to a great person!
Lovely post Dom and I'm sure Sheila would have been proud that she's brought you around to making the sponge her way – very fitting and of course very sad.
Karen S Booth says
A lovely post Dom, and Sheila would have have been so pleased to see these cakes made especially for her…….Karen