...of a true Nigella Victoria Sponge*...
Who would have thought a sudden craving for a weeknight omelet supper, followed by Saturday brunch (featuring my special gingerbread waffles and a healthy dose of scrambled eggs) would have caused a near crisis for my cuppycake-baking plans on Sunday? Did I mention that I also completed the Lemon Meringue Pie Daring Baker Challenge as well?
Yeah, that's a greater-than-normal eggy business in my scullery.
Normally I'm on top of my pantry's essentials, but I admit I slipped last week: it was probably the heady rush of a week's hols to thank for my poor planning. I'd love to blame Beelzebub for this, but I can't.
I had grandiose plans to celebrate My Most Marvellous Manager's birthday. Okay. Not grandiose, but I wanted to bake some cocoa and vanilla cuppycakes to mark his special day. Whipped up the cocoa cupcakes with ease (to be blogged about later) before starting on the vanilla ones. I decided to use Nigella's Victoria Sponge (p14, How To Be A Domestic Goddess) batter for the cakelettes--super easy, yummy and one of my "go to" cakes when in a baking mood.
Unfortunately, I didn't count the number of eggs I had on hand...and wound up one short. This wouldn't have been so bad if I'd set up a proper mise en place--I could have run out for a carton before I started mixing things--but I didn't. So I creamed the butter and sugar, added the vanilla extract and then began adding the eggs one at a time, interspersed between good spoonfulls of flour...and then I realised I was short one egg.
This is where I am compelled to say "If you don't have a copy of David Joachim's The Food Substitution Bible, get one and keep it on top of the microwave for easy access. You won't regret it."
It's the cookery reference equivalent of that friend you call at 11pm for advice about trapping the chipmunk who's running around in terror in your living room because it came through the cat door while you were out and now it's being stalked by said cats and is obviously scared poopless as it's leaving **prezzies** everywhere, but you can't catch it because it's just so darned quick, and quite honestly you aren't sure if it really is a chimpmunk or just a mutant rat, so you don't want to get too close to the vermin, but at the same time you want it out of the house, but it's too late to call animal control, so you have to take things into your own hands, but you don't have a live trap big enough for the thing and the friend then comes over and grabs your wastepaper basket and that bit of light card backing from the new sheetset you just bought and traps the critter (the chipmunk, not one of the cats) and releases it into the backyard, but only after the cat door is locked, and before pouring you both very healthy G&Ts and popping in the latest Gerard Butler DVD.
Yes, the book is *that* friend...
Thank goodness for Mr. Joachim...and his egg substitution for eggs needed in baking:
3 Tbsp milk
3 Tbsp flour
1.5 tsp shortening (for which I substituted butter)
0.5 tsp baking powder
I was worried how this would affect the crumb. No need--the cakes turned out beautifully and you really can't tell that I had to do the emergency substute. Now, I probably wouldn't substitute all four eggs needed with a quadruple of the above mixture, but one egg was just fine.
* Although I'm sure there are certain ones out there who claim that I'm usually one egg short of a full dozen.