This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Pru is 66 years old and has a secret. In fact, she has many secrets, but this particular one is rather delicious. Pru, owner of Plum Patisserie, a world renowned patisserie, could effectively help herself to any of the fancy cake delights in her bakery any time she liked. Any.
Yet, in the very early hours of the morning, Pru would get up, put on her apron and prepare her ingredients, ready to start baking. Fairy cakes. She could have anything, but this is what she would make. Just as her nan had taught her many years ago.
The author, Amanda Prowse, then treats us to a tantalising description of how Pru makes the cakes. She uses a wooden spoon and bowl – no fancy mixer here – and creams the margarine and sugar, describing the 'gritty crunch', which is oh so familiar to me after years of making the same cakes myself. When the cakes are baked, Pru makes a cup of coffee while they cool, then proceeds to decorate, simply, with white icing and hundreds and thousands.
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Then she proceeds to eat each and every one of them.
When she bites into them, pausing at that first most pleasurable mouthful as the sugar and vanilla pops onto her taste buds, she's also eating and savouring a memory. A memory of her nan baking the exact same cake, the exact same way, and tumbling them out onto a wire rack whilst she, and her three brothers, would wait, hypnotised, until they could take a precious little cake each.
A Little Love is out on Kindle now and in paperbackin July.
Mixing bowl, wooden spoon, fairy cake cases, bun tray.
For the fairy cakes
4oz/115g margarine or butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten slightly
4oz/115g self-raising flour
For the icing
Approx 250g icing sugar and water according to instructions on packet
hundreds and thousands
- Heat oven to 180c or 160c fan.
- Cream the sugar with the butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Give it a good mix.
- Stir in the eggs and a spoonful of the flour.
- Add the rest of the flour and vanilla until you have the cake batter. If it gets too stiff, add a splash of milk.
- Half fill each fairy cake case.
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
- They will be done when you prod gently with your finger and the sponge springs back.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool on wire rack if you have one.
- Make the icing up according to instructions.
- Spoon a blob onto the top then sprinkle with hundreds and thousands.