Diary: Tuesday 14 July
I am a huge fan of Betty’s Café and Tea Room in Yorkshire.
However at camp it is Betty Crocker I have to turn to for help in making a birthday cake.
Betty’s is famous for its Fat Rascals. This is most unique: a cross between a scone and a rock cake, it is filled with dried orange and lemon peel and currants. We have friends who bring us back a box or two of these delightful treats each time they return from one of their weekend trips up north.
Here at camp we have no fat rascals…the boys run around so much they can almost eat unlimited cake everyday and still lose weight.
Today we celebrate a birthday at camp. This is always special and calls for a small treat.
The whole group has gone for a picnic and walk but I don’t live a go-go-go life in London and I certainly don’t want to do this on a 10 day camp. I haven’t been able to breath at a regular rate since arriving, much less pee at regular intervals.
To pace myself I am staying back to do some tidying up and baking.
It is perfectly possible to make a bespoke cake at camp, given the right ingredients and equipment, but I assure you the boys will not love the Betty Crocker cake any less should you wish to take a short cut to chocolate happiness.
That being said, you still need some basic equipment if planning to make this at camp.
For the Cake:
1 x Betty Crocker Devil’s Food cake mix
250 ml water
90 ml (6 tablespoons) oil
Betty Crocker chocolate fudge icing
Large mixing bowl
9 inch square foil tray
Butter to grease or baking parchment to line the tray
Balloon whisk or a hand-held electric whisk
How to Make:
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the cake mix, eggs, water and oil together in the mixing bowl.
Whisk for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
Pour the cake mixture evenly into the foil tray.
Bake in the centre of the oven for around 40 minutes or until a rounded knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack, then spread the ready made icing on the cake.
Decorate as you like: popular toppings would be anything chocolatey like Flake, Maltesers, Galaxy…or just some simple sprinkles.
The above method assumes that whilst camping you still have access to an oven. We have a hired a small hall which has an oven, gas hobs, a small fridge and freezer, sinks, worktop and some tables and benches.
We also had scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam for tea, along with chocolate Rice Krispies squares. These were not by design – the only chocolate bars I could get in the small shop in Yarmouth were Cadbury’s Bournville, which failed as a coating for some strawberries. Having melted it I didn’t think it should go to waste so I tipped in half a packet of the cereal left over from breakfast. This was poured into a foil tray and chilled. I have to say the texture was perfect and it cut neatly into squares. This was hugely popular with the boys.
Despite having a late tea, the boys still managed to have their dinner of teriyaki beef and rice noodles, followed by strawberries and cream. Where does it all go? Tonight some of the boys are bivouacking, that is to say, sleeping outdoors under a plastic sheet. It would horrify me to sleep like this, but they are so excited. I guess that’s where the energy from the food goes to – in keeping up with all their camping adventures.