Weekend Baking- Cornflour ribbon cake

This is something I found in my grandma’s recipe notebook and thought it sounded interesting. The notebook is a little scrappy one, with no cover (shock horror! If Grandma Wheeler were still alive, she would have recieved a fancy new notebook for Christmas) and the contents are often equally scrappy, meaning there’s often a small amount of guess work. Here’s the recipe as it stood, word for word:

Beat 4oz marg and 5oz caster sugar together. Add 2 eggs and beat until smooth.

Sift 4oz S.R. flour and 4 oz cornflour tog. and add to ingredients with 1 tbsp milk.

Divide mixture into sections and to each add a diff. food colour, or cocoa to one mix. 

Grease a 7″ baking tin and drop a little of each coloured mixture into the tin, till all mixture used up.

Bake at mark 4 for 3/4 to 1 hour.

Now, this seems quite straightforward, but if you are going to attempt this, here are some handy tips…

DOs: Use butter instead of marg if you wish, it’ll be fine. Really make sure the flour is mixed in well; there’s a lot of it! Thus, when it says ‘drop a little of each mixture’ what it should really say is ‘thwack it off the spoon’. Seriously, with all that flour it’s never going to be dropping consistancy. I made a MESS doing this.

DON’Ts: Be careful what kind of tin you use. I used a round one, which was fine, but it meant that the mixture went in lumps side by side; I think it would be much easier to use a loaf style tin, and try to layer the mixture. If you do dollop, (which does provide a nice effect still) when you’ve dolloped the mixture into your tin, don’t just leave it; I was in a rush and made the mistake of leaving mine in dollops, and ended up with a… textured surface… I think perhaps trying to level it would have been a good idea.

However, once it was cut up it did look rather pleasing.

Due to the cornflour, the taste and texture was a bit different to regular sponge cake; however, not at all stodgy or heavy, which was my worry. It was in fact rather tasty.

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