STrawberry cream cake

I do think that when you’re on holiday, that the last thing you want to worry about is producing some technically superb piece of sugar craft art. A whisked sponge is the easiest thing you could make in the cake world…

This particular cake has always been a family favourite: My mama knows how to make a light, fluffy and perfect cake with a whipped cream filling, spiked with fresh fruit. What could be more English?

You will need:
2 x classic 8″/20cm tins, preferably loose bottomed, Springform
4 medium eggs
100gms caster sugar
100gms self-raising flour
Small carton double cream
A punnet of strawberries, chopped, with seven reserved and halved to decorate the top.
Icing sugar to sift over the top
Psycho bunnies and fluffy chicks

STrawberry cream cake

Grease the 2 x 8″/20cm tins, and then tip a spoonful of flour inside, and shake about.

Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, and add the sugar. Whisk together until thick and pale. When you can lift the beaters and leave a thin ribbon train sitting on top the mixture is ready. (This will take somewhere between five and ten minutes depending on the freshness of the eggs.)

Turn the oven onto 180C/350F/gas mark 4

Carefully fold in the flour using a metal spoon, being careful not to over mix it, as you need as much air as possible in the batter to allow it to rise successfully.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen, and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the tin, and allow to cool

Whip the cream, pile onto one cake half, and top evenly with the chopped strawberries.

Sift icing sugar over the top, decorate with halved strawberries, and arrange pyscho bunnies around the cake stand.

STrawberry cream cake


(For style notes, see end of post)

So last week was a bit of a bugger on the getting things done front, hence lack of blogging. Juggling of multiple balls has never been my strong point, (I tend to run around in circles, not knowing where to start, and consequently getting nothing done) and, when I finally got around to looking at my schedule upon my return from Paris on Tuesday night, I realised that there were nearly thirty AW14 press days happening on Wednesday, and again on Thursday.

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London: The Olivier Awards 2014 with MasterCard UK

by Sasha Wilkins on April 15, 2014 · 6 comments

Olivier Awards 2014

However many times one gets to trot up a red carpet, the experience never, ever pales. The sense of anticipation, the sheer enjoyment of the situation, the grade A people watching and rubber necking, the frocks, the hysteria…

Goodness the hysteria: Nothing, nothing prepares you for the high decibel shrieking that happens along the red carpet. Or the wailing. There’s a lot of wailing too. All 2000 guests, from the A-listers to the seat fillers, approach the Royal Opera House the same way, walking up Bow Street for a good 100metres on the red carpet, hemmed in on each side by barriers, against which are pressed the shriekers and the wailers.

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2014-03-30 10.22.36

I’ve been making this so often that I think mushrooms might start sprouting from my ears. Its delicious appeal springs in part from the way in which the top of the omelette puffs up like a souffle under the grill – although it collapses very quickly – I couldn’t capture its puffiness on film, because by the time it had stopped steaming up my lens, it had gone flat!

Mushroom omelettes are tricky beasts: Sometimes the mushrooms suffer from being folded into the middle of the omelette, and become a little, well, claggy. And, horror, sometimes they are either cooked in the egg batter from the beginning, so they become leathery (that’s a diner trick), or they are not sauted properly first, so they end up tasting raw.

The secret is to always saute the mushrooms separately in plenty of butter and a little oil – this stops the butter burning, and to season them well with crunchy Maldon salt and several grinds of black pepper.

grilled mushroom omelette

I find a small pan like this takes about three eggs, and this is enough for two people for lunch with a large green salad alongside – I like soft butter lettuce – (Webbs in the UK, Boston in the US), mixed with an avocado, peeled and chopped cucumber, and lots of chives snipped over all.

Do make sure that your omelette pan has a metal or heatproof handle as otherwise it WILL melt under the grill.

Three eggs
A generous handful of white mushrooms, chopped, and one of oyster mushrooms, torn.
Sea salt & black pepper

Simply beat together the eggs vigorously. Place two pans on the heat, one with a knob of butter, and one for the mushrooms with a large spoon of butter and a splash of oil – olive or rapeseed, for preference.

Throw the mushrooms into one pan, and cook gently until soft. Season well.

Turn on the grill to top heat.

Whilst the mushrooms are cooking, pour the egg mixture into the pan. As it starts to catch swirl the egg mixture around the pan, scooping the cooked edges up, and allowing the uncooked egg to swirl underneath. When it seems as though the bottom is cooked, and lifts up, tip the cooked mushrooms onto the top of the omelette, and whip the pan on a high shelf under your hot grill. Keep an eagle eye on the pan: you want a puffed up edge, and a slight crispiness to the mushrooms, not a chargrilled omelette.

Serve with a green salad.

grilled mushroom omelette


Blast from the Past…

April 6, 2014 My Life in England

A few months back I spent about four hours in my mother’s attic, searching though an enormous 1930s leather suitcase, which had been co-opted as the family photo archive. I needed some pics for an upcoming project, but I turned up some gems from my past, which I thought I’d put up on here. At [...]

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A Week in LLG: London to Paris

April 4, 2014 LLG Fashion

Bonjour from Paris! I’ve made a lightning trip over here for an event with Van Cleef & Arpels in Place Vendome last night. (I’m writing this at 0735 in the breakfast salon of the Hotel Mansart, propping my eyes open with matchsticks.)

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Fashion: Vogue Festival 2014. Phoebe Philo in Conversation with Alexandra Shulman

April 2, 2014 LLG Fashion

On Saturday I went down to the South Bank, to the Queen Elizabeth Hall for the third year of the Vogue Festival, sponsored this year by Harrods. The hands down hot ticket of the day, even at £40, was Céline’s Phoebe Philo, in conversation with Alexandra Shulman. Philo is known for rarely speaking to the [...]

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Mothering Sunday 2014

March 31, 2014 My Life in England

As I am actually in England at the moment, I was able to spend Mothering Sunday with my mother, for a change. I flew up to Gloucestershire on Sunday morning, roof down, Posetta Baddog co-piloting, to meet her, my sister and Billy the Whippet for lunch at The Fox at Oddington, a dog-friendly pub restaurant [...]

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A Week in London: From AW14 to I Can’t Sing to The Boat Race…

March 30, 2014 My Life in England

(SUNO AW14) Last week was a mixed bag. I have never, ever had jet lag that bad before. Sure, I’ve dropped off into a cat nap mid-afternoon in Los Angeles, or woken up every morning for a week at 6am in New York, but waking up every day for a week at 3am, and then [...]

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Hotel: The Greyhound on the Test, Stockbridge, Hampshire, UK

March 27, 2014 LLG Plays & Stays

The lovely thing about living in London is how easy it is to escape from: in under an hour you can be in the countryside, and by ninety minutes you are far from the madding crowds. I had a long-standing invitation from The Greyhound on the Test in Hampshire, a 600year old pub, which promises [...]

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