Recipes: A Vegetarian Picnic

Now that summer has officially arrived, picnic season is upon us again. 

This quick picnic took me exactly an hour to rustle up from bits and pieces I had in the fridge and freezer, and has the advantage of looking like it was far more effort than it really was to prepare!

Mini Rolls

Most major supermarkets sell a version of these mini rolls and they are perfect for picnics or parties.

These are filled with:

– Mature cheddar, homemeade chutney, rocket

– Cheddar, sliced pickled shallots and cherry tomato halves

Grown-Up Butterfly Cakes

– Make the sponge mixture and bake as below.

– Slice off the tops and slice in half.

– Dollop a teaspoon of greek yoghurt and a teaspoon of rhubarb compote onto the base of the cake, then replace the tops sideways-on, as shown.  Sprinkle with icing sugar

Mini  Morello Cherry Victoria Sponges

– Make the sponge mixture and bake in a square or rectangular tin as below.

– Cut out 6cm circles from the cake with a pastry cutter.

– Sandwich them together with whipped cream (or more greek yoghurt) and morello cherry jam.

Super-Quick Sponge Recipe

This is a very simple way of remembering how to make a sponge without any need for a recipe:

– Preheat the oven to 180°C

– Decide how many eggs to use (3 eggs will make 6 mini-victoria sponges plus 4 butterfly cakes – scale up or down accordingly).

– Weigh the eggs (in their shells) – this is your base measurement. Measure out exactly the same weight of butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour. (Since buying Peyton & Byrne’s British Baking I have been adding 2 tbsp of natural yoghurt to sponge mix, but its not crucial if you don’t have any to hand).

– Tip all the ingredients into a food mixer and beat thoroughly, (or a mixing bowl with a hand-mixer is equally as good).

– Line a square or rectangular baking tray with baking parchment, and put muffin cases into 4 holes of a muffin tin.  Fill each muffin case three quarters full (in order to get a high peak), and tip the rest of the mixture into the baking tray and smooth out.

– Bake for 15 minutes or until the top springs back when pressed gently. (NB the individual cases are likely to need slightly longer than the baking tin – keep an eye on them!)