Red Velvet Cake

My favourite niece (okay I’ve only got one, but she’s still my favourite!) gave me a sweet book for my birthday… with a sweet title too: “Sweet Tooth” by Lily Vanilli. I had never heard of Lily before, but apparently her bakery in London is rather famous…


I chose this recipe simply because it looked pretty, and I’d been wondering what is so special about this cake – I have seen so many recipes for red velvet cake, but had never eaten a piece. Until now.

Yummy! It’s really smooth, and most definitely velvety. It’s also only slightly chocolatey, not too sweet, and the colour is very attractive too. But you can easily leave out the food colouring as the texture is, I think, the best thing about it!

Red Velvet Cake


This is Lily Vanilli’s recipe, not at all adapted! (Buy her book!)

  • 115g butter
  • 280g (caster) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsps red food colouring
  • 325g plain flour
  • 30 cocoa powder
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 round cake tins or muffin pans and/or mini cake tins (I had six mini cakes and four muffins from this quantity)

Preheat oven to 180°C and grease/line baking tins.

Cream butter and sugar together for about 4 minutes with an electric mixer. It should be really smooth. Then add in the eggs and continue mixing. Add the food colouring and mix to combine. Sift the flour and cocoa together and add half to the mixture. Beat agin until just incorporated. Now beat in the buttermilk. Then add the rest of the flour/cocoa. Beat in, but don’t overmix.

Now the funny part – mix the bicarbonate of soda with the vinegar in a separate dish and watch it fizz! Pour over the batter and carefully fold it in – don’t beat it!

Divide between your pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on the tins you are using. (Use a toothpick to check if the middle’s done). Cool on a rack before decorating. If you’re making a cake the filling is up to you. Lily recommends cream cheese frosting. I just plopped a little whipped cream or creme fraiche with a raspberry on top!


Have you ever had red velvet cake before?

Tuesday at Two (November 12th)


I kept it up for a whole year!

Here’s today’s view…


And precisely one year ago…


Not much difference, except for the rock, which is much brighter now since it had a clean up in the spring. And I haven’t cut back the tall Miscanthus yet.

Here’s a look back over the past few weeks, since my last round-up in the summer.

If you’d like to look back over the whole year, here’s the slide show…

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Links to Tuesday at Two:

November 2012 – January 2013 (Winter)

February 2013 – April 2013 (Spring)

May 2013 – August 2013 (Summer)

Today’s post shows August 2013 – November 2013 (Autumn)


My favourite shots were hard to choose… maybe this one from May?


May 21st

Or this one in October?

October 15th

October 15th

I shall continue with a Tuesday View, at different times of the day this time, and a different view. Let’s see how far I get this time!

What time of year is your favourite in your garden?

Glamorgan-style Sausages (Vegetarian!)

We’ve tried so many different veggie sausages, and after chewing our way through either soft, tasteless, too salty or simply oddly flavoured ones we have finally given up…

So I made these, and when we took the first bite… wow! This is how a veggie sausage should taste!


Crispy on the outside and bursting with flavour on the inside, these sausages are based on a traditional Welsh dish: the Glamorgan sausage. Originally Glamorgan cheese was used, but now Caerphilly cheese seems to be the norm. No chance of finding that here, so I improvised and mixed parmesan and feta… perfect. The melting consistency of parmesan and the slight sharpness of the feta combine to produce a pretty good sausage!

Glamorgan-style Sausages

To serve two people as a main meal (making 8 sausages) you will need:

  • 1 leek (approx. 125g/5oz), thinly sliced
  • 25g (1 oz) butter
  • 100g (4oz) and 75g (3oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 150g (6oz) grated cheese – I used 100g(4oz) parmesan and 50g (2oz) feta, but cheddar and feta is also good
  • 1-2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsps chopped fresh thyme (or 1tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp dried English mustard
  • salt and black pepper

Gently fry the leek in the butter until softened, but not brown.

In a large bowl mix the 100g of breadcrumbs, the cheese, and the herbs. Season with salt and black pepper.

In a second bowl mix the egg yolks and mustard.

In a third bowl whisk the egg whites lightly with a fork.

Add the leeks and egg yolk to the breadcrumb mixture and stir well. Divide into 8 and form sausage shaped rissoles. (Mine were a bit fat!) Spread the 75g of breadcrumbs on a plate. Dip each sausage into the egg white, coating well, and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Fry the sausages in sunflower oil until golden brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes.


Serve with salad and chips.

And enjoy!

Tuesday at Two (November 5th)

Just one week to go before completing a whole year of “Tuesday at Two”, and the gradual change from autumn to winter is very noticeable now.


A few winter pots are dotted around for some cheer when the sun doesn’t shine, but November has been wet but kind so far, with plenty of sunny intervals.


Have you planted any winter containers yet?