Perhaps to some the words vintage and bakes aren’t ideal partners, bringing to mind images of stale rock cakes rather than the tempting teatime treats on pretty floral china I have in mind.
But a recent village hall fundraiser with a vintage tea party theme has inspired me. Copious amounts of pretty bunting, ladies dressed in forties style frocks and tea dance music playing in the background created such a lovely feel-good atmosphere. Not to mention trestle tables laden with a wonderful selection of home-made cakes. Rosemary madeira cake, mini bakewell tarts decorated with pale blue flowers, cake stands heaped with cupcakes and millionaires shortbread were all so beautifully presented.
Having enjoyed the lovely vintage vibe of this tea party, I’ve been keen to savour it a little longer. Yet while sitting around like a lady in a pretty frock all day sipping Darjeeling may occasionally be appealing, it isn’t likely to happen in this house. Fitting in a bit of vintage recycling and baking seems a little more practical.
Ruby has been given a lovely little girls tweed jacket that was found in a friend’s attic. It’s missing buttons and my daughter has suggested bright pink. I’m thinking “why not” if it means it’ll be enjoyed and worn again. Even better, Grandma and Granny have both offered us a choice from their button tins.
Our current run of rainy days means that sorting out our cupboards (not normally high on my list of priorities!) seems a good thing to do. We have had lots of moths in the house too, so I need to have a clear and a clean and make more lavender bags. I often take old clothes to charity shops or sell them on ebay rather than letting them end up in a landfill, but musicmagpie seems like a good option too for recycling clothes as well as old cds, dvds etc. They give you a valuation of items online, arrange for free courier collection or you can post for free. Payment is then made by bank transfer, cheque, e-vouchers or you can choose for the money to be donated to your choice of charity. It could be a good source of fundraising for schools too.
Unsurprisingly, pottering around in the kitchen baking is a much more appealing activity to me than clearing and cleaning! So, feeling smug from all that Spring cleaning, this is the sort of wholesome baking that I think fits perfectly with the vintage vibe as well as making good use of the lush, May countryside.
Primrose Curd Muffins
Primrose curd from Liz Knight’s lovely recipe here.
120g plain white organic flour
100g spelt flour or other wholemeal flour (flour from heritage varieties of wheat gives a lovely flavour and wholesome feel)
2 teaspoons baking powder
100g caster sugar
1 free-range egg
125g plain yoghurt
75g butter, melted and slightly cooled (I put it in a dish in the oven while it’s warming up – but don’t forget it’s there!)
3. Divide half the mixture between the muffin cases and top with a teaspoonful of primrose curd. Add a final spoonful of muffin mixture to encase the curd and three-quarters fill the cases.
4. Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/gas mark 4 for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. They’re lovely to eat with a cup of tea (in a vintage china cup of course!) while still warm though. You can also have fun decorating these cakes with pale yellow primrose flowers.
I’ve adapted the River Cottage recipe for Lemon Curd muffins here. If you’re in a slightly less wholesome mood and want lighter muffins, you can follow the original recipe more closely and use 220g white flour instead of the mixture I’ve used above.
For those who make the primrose curd, it’s great with meringues and thick cream too and I can also recommend spooning some into greek yoghurt. A classic Victoria sponge cake with primrose curd in the middle, dusted with icing sugar and decorated with primroses is also on my baking list. I have lots of mismatched pretty plates and saucers to serve on, bought (very luckily) from a garage/barn sale a couple of years ago for 10p each. Now I just need the retro floral pinny!
This post was sponsored by musicmagpie.co.uk. All of the rambling opinions are my own!
Dear Andrea, I like the idea of a ‘vintage cake’ and the primrose curd sounds very good too (I think it would work well into a Victoria Sandwich cake!!). I am going to browse musicmagpie website for fundraising inspiration. PS I truly envy your mismatched plate/saucer set.
I think it would be fab in a Victoria Sandwich cake too. Very lucky to have found my mismatched plates so cheaply – I keep seeing similar ones for sale at crazy prices. It’s nice to be able to be relaxed letting little girls use them too as I have lots, they were cheaper than paper party plates, so no need to be precious about them.