New baking and new plants

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to do some baking. Usually, I find a recipe that works and then I make that same recipe for a month. Thus, my month of apple pies, then my month of lemon tarts.

So, rather than doing the same lemon tart again, I decided to try a new recipe: a Chocolate Victoria Sandwich.

I’ve been eager to try a recipe which involves using coffee, because I do like the taste of coffee in cakes (tiramisu!) even though I don’t drink coffee.

Chocolate Victoria Sandwich

Chocolate Victoria Sandwich

Here is the end result – conveniently cropped so you can’t see the original recipe image. 🙂

As you can see, the top and bottom layers were baked separately… and are different shapes. I had to use a cake pan (top cake) and a slightly larger springform pan (bottom cake), so that’s why they look a bit funny…

I also replaced the chopped walnuts with hazelnut meal instead (the stuff that looks like sand on top), because I didn’t have any walnuts.

How does it taste? Pretty alright! You can definitely taste the slight coffee tinge and smell it in the icing. The hazelnut meal, alas, has contributed nothing to the taste, lol.


  • 3 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp boiling water
  • 125g margarine/butter
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup self raising flour – sifted
  • 90 g margarine/butter
  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar – sifted
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp coffee essence
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Mix cocoa and boiling water.
  2. Cream margarine/butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in cocoa mixture.
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time, adding a tbsp of flour with 2nd egg. Fold in rest of flour.
  4. Divide into 2 x 7 inch cake pans and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until springy.
  5. Turn onto wire rack to cool.
  6. Icing: beat margarine/butter with half icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Add rest of icing sugar with milk, coffee essence and vanilla essence. Beat until smooth.
  7. Mix half of icing with half walnuts. Sandwich cake together. Spread rest of icing over cake. Sprinkle remaining walnuts over the top of the cake.

We’ve also recently started growing guw gae vegetables in our garden. I’m not sure of the English name for those vegetables (the tall stem ones with small green leaves at the top), but will ask my mum.

Shallots and guw gae

They’re really easy to grow. We bought them from an Asian grocer, snipped off all the leaves (which we then used in our food) and then placed the soil. Tada, regrowing now!


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