Manipulation Before Breakfast

I think we would all want to look like this while making pasta. Look at how neat the kitchen is, how spotless the dress and how non-tied-back-in-a-scrappy-bun the hair is. I think we all definitely would not mind.

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But there are two problems with this which may have the slightest interference with your cooking:

1. You would need to have a huge fan constantly facing you so your hair can look ‘naturally’ blown back

2. Considering you are not actually looking at the pasta while putting it through, you will need to make sure your finger doesn’t go through with it

I’m just saying…

pancak
I’m just saying that the grass is not always greener on the other side (to quote my mum). We wish for lots of things but when you actually get down to the crux of it, truly I don’t think you would want it

My friends tell me I am a wrong century kid and should have grown up in the 1900s – love to cook things from scratch, enjoy old TV shows like ‘Cheers’ and ‘Family Ties’, love old horror flicks and the 70s-80s rock music. Plus I would have loved to experience being a hippie. I kid you not, I am serious ;)
Yep, sounds like it right? I started to wish and daydream about it. But would I really be happier? Brick mobiles, black and white TV to fuzzy colour, no smartphones! How would I survive – most importantly no blogging? Hahahahaha – NO – I don’t think so!

pancak 16
Sometimes we need to just sit back, relax and enjoy what we have. See the positives in them rather than be pessimistic and say ‘but I don’t have this’ – when it comes down to it, you can live without that O.P.I nail polish – no matter how brilliant the shade ;)

Putting things into perspective is the best way to go about it. Placing yourself in respect to the millions of people who have 100th of what you do. Perspective and happy singing. I mean just look at this guy grin and sing away :)

If anyone so Barbie’s Ken-like can do it, I think the world still has more than just a chance :D

Now I do not want you to get me completely wrong though either! I am not saying Hitler style ‘if you want things, you are evil!’ Please, I would be taking away humanity :P – I was talking about further appreciation for things you do have :)

But when you do wish for something, and realistically, you cannot have it at that moment, sometimes we need to have a wee bit o’ cleverness and a lil’ bit of manipulation to make it happen. It is possible for me to go back to the 1900s and enjoy that century.

pancak 10
I can:

  • Look at my dad’s first ever mobile
  • See photos of my parents and grandparents
  • I can hear their stories
  • I watch the old reruns on Go! Channel
  • I try to find vintage lollies and bars at special sweet shops
  • Do modern history in school

See, master of manipulating time much ;)?
Super easy too :D

*****************************************************************************

You know what I wished for today? I think the title and the photos are kind obvious but just in case – I was wishing for a nice big slice of Victoria Sponge Cake.

pancak 19
Fluffy, soft golden cake split and layered with heavenly whipped cream, generously topped with strawberry jam and rained on by strawberries. Heaven forbid if that came into my kitchen because the only thing that would have come out today would have been a very shiny plate,

But it was impossible for me to make it or buy it. Make it? Not enough butter (I know sacrilegious) but more importantly, not enough time. To buy it? It would require eating a whole cake since they rarely come in slices and shops use store bought whipped cream (sacrilegious again!)

What was I to do? Hehehehehe… I created this: Victoria Sponge [Pan] Cake [Tower]

pancak 20
“With all the goodness of a Victoria Sponge in 20 minutes” - I really should sell that ;)

I kid you not, I could actually have served this good ol’ Queen Vic back in the day and she would not have noticed the difference – except for maybe the fact that cutting it is extremely messy :P

So how did I bring about my wished for Victoria Sponge in 20 minutes?

pancak 15

Step One: Make a batch of whipped cream – the simplest and most delicious recipe can be found here and tasted heavenly all on its own (take that you canned frostings!)

Sorry for the dark pic!

Sorry for the dark pic!

Step Two: Find your favourite plain batter pancake recipe and make a batch – if you make a full batch just eat the ones you don’t need, no hassle :D
I used this recipe from my favourite Exclusively Food. It is soft, fluffy and actually infallible. Simple like crazy and tastes superb, truly it is the way to go. The pancakes are super simple to shape as well – you cannot go wrong! Here are some tips and changes to them:

  • Golden Rule: Never squish a pancake when frying – you take out the air and therefore the fluffiness
  • Golden Rule #2: Let each pancake sit on a wire rack after making it opposed to a plate so there is no condensation making the bottom of the pancake soggy
  • I started making them on medium heat then reduced it to medium low since the stove gets really too hot to make them on properly
  • I add vanilla essence (1-2 tsp) into the actual recipe but subbed it with strawberry since I was serving them Queen Vic style ;)

pancak 11
Step 3: Wash and dry a punnet of strawberries gently with a towel. Hull them (cut in half). Any leftovers are allowed to be consumed with cream. You know you want to :)

Step 4. Warm up approximately 1/2 – 3/4 cup strawberry jam slightly to make it more easy to spread (Mine took 15 seconds, 20 max)

pancak 13

Now we hit the big guns – ASSEMBLY! Pictorial Style (see the captions for any explanations) :D

So thick and fluffy...

So thick and fluffy…

Slather time...

Slather time…

Note: If these are not properly dried, their colours will run in the cream...

Note: If these are not properly dried, their colours will run in the cream…

pancak 8

pancak 14Et voila! Here you have an exquisite tower of fluffy, soft golden pancakes dripping with strawberries and strawberry jam and overflowing with spoonfuls of whipped cream. Sound familiar to you?

Oh that’s right, A Victoria Spongecake – looks like I got what I wished for didn’t I? ;)

UPDATE: 20TH APRIL 2012 – Check out these cross section pics – you want them, you got them :D

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253 Comments

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  14. anne says:

    I love the way you made that pancake ! And everything homemade are always delicious ;) Yup ! I can live without that particular OPI shades but some other brand will do !hahahaha

    • Thank you :D – and I agree homemade has such a yummy fresh quality!
      And good to know – as hard as it I supposed we will have to make do with maybelline ;)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  15. Ha, I love your analysis of that photo- So spot on! Yeah, pasta-making is not a pretty scene when I’m in charge, but I can promise it’s always tasty. :) You’ve got wanting to make pancakes now, though.

    • Haha I agree with you – no one has the right to cook and look perfect ;)
      Tasty results like yours are undoubtedly better!
      Glad I got you in the mood for pancakes :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  16. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    You are so funny!!!! If the fan facing you while making pasta, probably you will be all white with the flour. Your writing was hillarious. And the pancakes stack is brilliant. My kids will LOVE me if I make these for their breakfast. ;-)

    • Haha I love making people smile :)
      And you are so right! That dress would be all white by now :P
      I am so thrilled you enjoyed the pancake stack my friend – sincerely hope your entire family loves it like mine did :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

    • Thank you so much :D – I prefer for breakfast (it comes earlier in the day ;))
      And that was so not my intention! Old = at least 19th century, not the 70-80s!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  17. Whew… at first I thought that the entire “cake” pictured was meant to be eaten by one person, in one sitting. I realized, after moving on in the picture gallery, that you cut out slices for serving. Or were you trying to fool us by cutting out those tiny little pieces just for the photos (which by the way, were all very good)?! There you go again, CCU, tantalizing our tastebuds with another of your yum-m-m-m-y creations. Most amazing, you did it! — without chocolate even!

    • Haha do not worry, even my sweet tooth could not accommodate this entire stack…. Maybe if I did not eat anything the whole day I could try :P
      Thank you so much my friend :D
      You are so sweet!!! I too was surprised how much I enjoyed this sans chocolate ;)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  18. Karen90 says:

    Yeah, I can finally read your blog, miss your blog.

    hahaha, good pasta observed experience.

    Aw, I’m drooling with the Strawberry!! I mean your Victoria Sponge [Pan] Cake [Tower] is so Awesome, if I can make this for my future husband, he sure love me forever!

    • Awww thanks so much :D
      I am so glad you enjoyed this dessert-come-breakfast! I think anyone would fall in love with you for making this – good plan ;)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

    • Thank you very much my friend – they certainly were most fluffy :D
      And I hope you have a wonderful week – my exams begin on thursday so I am quite skittish… ;)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

    • Haha I think the add in itself is hilarious ;)
      And I would love to serve you a stack of twenty provided you will help me from becoming a tumbled mess of pancakes, whipped cream and strawberries :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

    • They actually would! I was planning on making minis but I was scared I couldn’t get a full stacker – definitely something to try :D
      Can’t wait to see your ideas come to life!
      And obviously, if you are not wearing a black dress why cook at all? ;)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  19. Tisa says:

    I try to look like that picture in the kitchen, but instead end up a visual (kitchen) train wreck. Entertaining post Uru- I absolutely love the strawberries and cream – can I just eat straight from your pictures :)

    • I too always tell myself I will be neater but um, yes let’s not go there ;)
      I am very happy you enjoyed both pancakes and post my friend :D
      Strawberries and cream is an unbeatable combo!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  20. This looks SO good.

    Now about that woman with the blowy hair.
    1. You need to keep the dough floured so it doesn’t stick when cutting
    2. If there was flour AND the fan, she’d be covered
    3. Every time I’ve made pasta (and I do it often) I’m covered in flour – that’s why they make aprons which she is NOT wearing.

    Cute post!

  21. hotlyspiced says:

    What a great looking stack of pancakes. And my husband had one of the first mobile phones that ever came out. We paid $2,000 for it. It had about 30 minutes of talk-time before the battery went dead. Calls were astronomical and the monthly bill was about $500 – and with so little battery life we hardly made any calls. I think it’s very easy to look at the past with rose-coloured glasses and see the wonderful but not the day-to-day difficulties. And just think of how old you’d be now if you were born way back when! xx

    • Thank you :D
      Wow that mobile sounds a lot like my dad’s first one! I cannot believe people even considered them but I guess the novelty of having a phone in your pocket/briefcase was huge :)
      And you are right – though I am not keen of thinking myself even over 20 yrs yet – too much responsisibility :P

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  22. Soni says:

    Gorgeous!!I would love to make these for my kids, I’m sure they will enjoy it !!Will be making these very soon, my dear!Thanks for sharing :)

  23. Hannah says:

    I’ve long known that I should have been born in Jane Austen’s era – there are so many parts of my life, including values and hobbies, that fit best NOT with our current society!
    What a gorgeous gorgeous breakfast/treat :)

  24. When I saw that add I was laughing! I made pasta this morning, and sure didn’t look like this after ten minutes of kneading semolina flour dough! On contrary, my hair were pinned, my tong was sticking out from hard work (semolina flour dough is really hard to knead!), and my kitchen was far from perfect! Lovely post, and great pancakes! Have a great weekend!

    • Haha sounds like a dose of reality against the world of advertising ;)
      Thank you for enjoying both post and pancakes my friend!
      Hope you too have a wonderful weekend :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  25. Let’s start with that first photo. How are you going to cook with all that hair in your face? It’s a freaking drag. And how can you wear such nice clothes when cooking? I have kimchi stains all over my shirts that don’t come off in the wash.

    As for this sponge cake, oh man! It looks so incredibly fluffy and oh-so-delicious. Looks like I know what I’ll be making come Sunday morning!

    • You have been straight on the photo exactly like how I saw it – it is such a ridiculous advertisement attempt :p
      I am so happy you enjoyed the fluffy pancakes – I hope your sunday morning will be wonderful :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  26. Oh how I love the way you think! Three messages sing loud and clear to me here….live simply…..and in the moment…..and make the best of what you have! Like these ‘Victorian Sponge Pancakes’! They look SCRUMPTIOUS! There is nothing better, to me, than whipped cream and strawberries with your pancakes! And that woman in the first picture of your post….not only is her hair not pulled back….but how did she manage not to get flour all over that BLACK dress! Ha! Such a fun post and a great recipe! : )

    • You got the full gist of what I was trying to say :D
      Thank you very much my friend for enjoying the pancakes! I always thought maple syrup is a girl’s – I mean – Pancake’s best friend but I am rethinking ;)
      I agree completely with you – if I was her, my black dress would be white and my hair even whiter ;)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  27. I never heard of Queen Victoria’s sponge cake before- this version is positively scrumptious! My husband was sitting beside me and saw the picture and said they looked wonderful, also. I had to laugh at your picture of the woman making pasta- too funny and totally impractical. Such is advertising. That makes me think about what I heard on The Chew TV program- how motor oil is used in place of syrup for food pictures since it doesn’t soak in, shaving cream in place of whipped cream, etc. Nice post and entertaining, as always.

  28. shannon says:

    those are the lightest, fluffiest, most beautiful pancakes i’ve ever seen. i love the whip cream and strawberry pancake tower, and i’m so happy it’s the weekend, because that looks like the perfect saturday morning breakfast.

    • You are too kind – I am so happy you enjoyed it so much :)
      This is definitely the way to begin your weekend so I hope you indulge as happily as I did :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  29. This looks absolutely delicious. I totally didn’t look anything like that during my most recent pasta foray. Hair pulled back in a a do-rag, flour covered apron.. crusty hands from the mixing process. Overall, not at all close to the windswept romanticised kitchenaid lady.

  30. How in the world did you find that video? And how does he do it without moving his mouth? Now for the pasta model – I just didn’t realize they were photographing me!
    Those are some serious, awesome strawberry pancakes though.

    • My source = my brother ;)
      And I think it is dubbed but it looks and sounds too funny! And you are the model? Honoured to make your aquaintance :)
      Thanks – they actually are seriouslly awesome :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

      • Oh absolutely, she looks just like me… well except for the hair…and well her figure seems a little different but that could have been photoshopped, but the dress is the same color as my Hanes sweats so I’d have to say we’re almost twins. I’ve passed that video on to a lot of people & I still can’t stop laughing.

  31. Corina says:

    I am so impressed you actually managed to cut into that stack of pancakes without it all collapsing and the cream oozing out! Very impressive dessert.

  32. Kristina says:

    Hahah I love Cheers!! I grew up watching it with my parents :) Really pretty post, its so important to be in the moment! Your pancakes look superrrr yummy too! I’m craving some of those fluffy little cakes!

  33. I second, third, fourth….112th all these yummi-licious comments. Thanks for a well-layered post. Wishing I could enjoy a big forkful of this ‘pancake’ strawberry whipped delight! ; )

  34. pencilkitchen says:

    please… My hair is like that without the fan! jkjk! that’s so unrealistic, why are we even mesmerized by pictures like that… btw, that is one plate I’d want to bury my face in every morning! :)

    • Haha totally, so is mine ;)
      I do not understand this human tendency either! And I know what you mean, wouldn’t mind waking up to this instead of drool on my pillow :P

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  35. eliotthecat says:

    That is a serious stack of pancakes. And, I really don’t see what’s wrong with that advertisement. I mean I always wear a black dress whenever I am using flour in the kitchen. (But where are her pearls?) :) Seriously? This made me laugh!

    • Haha it is a little overwhelming :D
      And omg you are so right – she is actually underdressed! I will not stand for it she is not wearing spiky heels :P

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  36. It looks delicious and I got such a chuckle about the fan on constantly blowing your hair back! As sweaty as I get in the kitchen – the fan would be going full blast and my hair would look a different than hers!

    • Thank you :D
      And I am glad you enjoyed this post – During summer, my hair looks a bit like a birds nest, all clipped up and blown out of proportion :P

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

    • Wow that is so cool :D
      I bet you looked like a real cook as opposed to a prom queen in the kitchen ;)
      Nothing wrong with trying to look good while you cook though (I am sure you did :))
      And I was wondering why her black dress was just so… black :P

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

      • Yep totally fake with no flour on, anyway, better to wear white because black speckles from fabric can get into the pasta dough :-) (so do the white, but you don’t see them hahahaha!).

        I didn’t realize that you were Aussie, can call you cuz from over the ditch :-)

        Ciao
        A.

  37. Right now I wish ,I could grab that plate from your hand. the pancake tower looks beautiful and I checked your recipe from your favorite blog. Next time I remember to add lemon juice for a nice fluffiness.

    • Haha I wish I could share them with you like I did with my family :D
      And I am glad you enjoyed their wonderful recipe – I could not believe the difference lemon juice made!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  38. These look insanely good….
    Who can resist them???? No One I can bet…
    B/w I have never ever ever in million years looked so neat and dressed up when in Kitchen… But would love to some day… Provided someone else cook and I get clicked…. LOL

    • Thank you so much – and you are actually right since for the first time in a while, my entire family enjoyed something I made :D
      Haha I know right? It would be pretty cool to waltz in all dressed up and see breakfast get laid out for you while you smile prettily for the camera ;)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

    • Are you kidding? I remember slobbering all over that delight :D
      Looks like we are both strawberries and cream lovers during breakfast time! And lols, I would love to see this arrive after a plane trip ;)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  39. Janet@FCTC says:

    Oh, those look good! I’m not sure which part of them I would be digging into first!

    I wanna know how they kept a fan on her to get her hair to blow back but she didn’t end up with blown flour all over that dress or pasta up her nose :-P

    Also… old shows!? Lol. I was your age or so when those came out hehe

    • Thank you my friend – I got a fork and just skewered everything on ;)
      I know right? I was thinking of that – they probably just had a mini fan or sprinkled the flour on superglue :P
      Sorry sorry not old shows! Umm… retro shows? I love them so much :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

    • Haha I love it ‘yesteryear’ – I need to start using that :D
      I am so glad you enjoyed ‘em flapjacks (I have heard of that but pancake girl ;))
      Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  40. I love this – mostly because I can make it without an oven (I am oven-less!)! Yay! also, to add to fancy pants pasta maker’s problems – she’d be completely covered in flour in real life. I know this, because I am always head to toe in flour when I cook in school and the children are spotless. Therefore, all other adult cooks are the same and she wouldn’t last five minutes!

    • Awww you poor thing – I know it must be hard but hang in there ;)
      I am very happy to help with your problem :D
      And I agree completely – she should be full on white, not just her hand! I know I would buy the mixer is she looked more like a real chef rather thana model in the kitchen!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

    • Thank you so much! It is actually autumn here but I am glad it is screaming your season :D – So happy to get strawberries all year round :D
      Seems like you certainly do not have a long time to wait!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  41. Jasline says:

    I love cooking in pajamas… hehe. I can’t imagine wearing a tight-fitting dress trying to cook… the pancakes look so delicious and sinful! But one must indulge once in a while! ;)

    • Me too! (though my mum always complains about me smelling buttery at night ;))
      I cannot imagine wearing a tight fitting dress anytime :P
      I am so glad you enjoyed these – believe they are a once a year treat eaten 6-7 times at least :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  42. :) My friends always told me as well that I was born in the wrong time :)) I love old movies/shows, 17th-19th century, and rock music:)) Wanted to be hippy when I was your age too:))
    Your cake tower look great, nice recipe! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  43. navane64 says:

    I suppose we have to narrow down on our needs and what we want. I have learned not to judge people against what they have and if they have more, I am happy for them.

    Btw, the pancakes looks superb but somehow I can’t make them as good as you did. Maybe its time to try out your recipe and see whether I can get it as wonderful as you did.

    • That is such a good attitude and which I am trying to constantly follow :D
      I am so glad you enjoyed the pancakes – I am sure you can make them like me if not better! You are a wonderful cook!

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  44. Well I almost hate to say this but I’m probably close to your moms age. I grew up in the 60s and 70s and loved it. We were the first to have a color tv on the block and while we had no cell phones and rarely watched tv, our entertainment was playing hide and seek with the neighbors.

    Life was simple them and less stressful even with the Vietnam war. I remember seeing the Beatles appear for the first time ever on Ed Sullivan among many other huge stars. The list is endless. Quite frankly as advanced as we are today and relieve me I use it all, I’d be happy going back to those days. Life was different but food was still loved by everyone. We’d never heard much about fat free foods and all the other grains, etc like we do today.

    Your lovely dish would be loved by all. Food is timeless especially dishes like yours. Such a pretty presentation.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe and my past.

      • Don’t hate it to say it my friend – your experiences sound so wonderful! I wish I could have been there for them ;) – The Beatles? Awesome!
        And food is definitely timeless :D – I am glad you can enjoy this dish and now :D
        Don’t worry about the typos either (I do them more times than I can count :P)
        Thanks for sharing your past!

        Cheers
        Choc Chip Uru

  45. juanitascocina says:

    These look simply amazing!!! I cannot believe you make a pancake cake! It’s just …. GENIUS!!!

    I’m so excited to try this out!

  46. Ramona says:

    That fluffy pancake tower looks amazing!! I just want to grab and stuff my face. :) I really had to laugh at the beginning of your post… you are so right. I wish my kitchen was so tidy when I am the midst of creating a “masterpiece”. It usually looks like a hurrican came through. I also need a big fan to blow my beautiful mane of hair (wish I had one) and pose in a expensive dress instead my jeans and t-shirts. Ahhh.. the power of advertising. I would much rather pay money to eat your lovely pancake tower that looks like a fluffy clouds than by the product they are trying to sell. I’m glad you’re clever enough to see that it’s all smoke and mirrors….

    • Thank you so much :D – Believe me I did!
      Really glad you enjoyed my post as well my friend – these adds sometimes seem very sad to me because they are so unrealistic – would you rather not see a baker completely out of control in the add with just the mixer in the middle perfectly clean with a small circle of clean space around it? It certainly would inspire me more to buy it ;)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  47. I was a hippy! I knew we were kindred spirits you and I. You echo my thoughts and feelings about the world and life in this blog. It was a great era to live through. But, so is this one! Love you recipe, very ingenious. Keep spreading the happiness word. :-)

    • Haha I like that – kindred spirits indeed :D – I can imagine the dancing through flower fields and knotting grass bracelets ;)
      You get the best of both worlds :D
      I am happy you enjoyed and I promise I can’t seem to contain its spread :)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  48. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    Honestly I can’t cook at all dressing that way…certainly she looks more delicious than the pasta she makes..

    Love those layered strawberry pancakes!

  49. I have never been able to master the art of making pancakes – but YOU make them like my nana did……I can taste them from here. The whipped cream and strawberries with jam are such a lovely addition…………YUM!!!

  50. Tandy says:

    I got side tracked when I got to the stack of pancakes photo’s :) They look really good. I think the advert is so amazing – women buy kitchen equipment so ad companies should use men to ‘show off’ the appliance! I know I am never going to look like that when rolling pasta :)

    • Haha that’s ok – I understand ;)
      And I never really thought of that but you’re right – a man in the kitchen is a keeper as it is :P
      And trust me I am the antithesis of this advert in the kitchen – but I like it :D

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

  51. You’re just the queen of cool recipes!! I love this and can imagine cutting into it from top to bottom and trying to fit it all in at once:) Yummy!! You’re so hilarious, loved the video and I think you could be a hippy anyway (I’m still trying;) xo Smidge

    • And you are the queen of nice comments – way too kind :D
      Haha the cutting was perhaps the part when it all falls into a slight strawberry cream mess – mind you the taste is awesome still though ;)
      I am glad you enjoyed the post my friend and thanks for the encouragement – flower crown here I come (much to my parents’ dismay :P)

      Cheers
      Choc Chip Uru

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