As the reign of Elizabeth I is referred to as 'The Golden age', I wonder what they will call the reign of her namesake Elizabeth II.
Elisabeth, born in 1533 was known as the 'Virgin queen'. She never married as she never wanted to be ruled by a man. She might be the first feminist in history. As the previous two queens in English history both failed and her reign was of such epic importance, the role of women changed quite a bit. It started with noble men who started to educate their daughters so they wouldn't look ignorant in the presence of the highly educated queen. But in general, independent women were still being called spinsters, witches or prostitutes.
When her sister 'Bloody Mary' died, she inherited a bankrupt nation scattered into pieces due to religious conflict. She had to breathe new life into Britain.
With her came the flourishing of British drama, she was a great supporter of Shakespeare and Marlowe. How would the world have looked like without Macbeth, Hamlet and King Lear?
We wouldn't suddenly shout "Romeo oh Romeo" when we found ourselves on a balcony, we would just look at the view. The English language wouldn't be what it is today without Shakespeare as he invented nearly 1700 words for his plays, sonnets and poems. Words you wouldn't expect like 'frugal', 'gloomy' and 'monumental' were all invented by the man himself.
It is fair to say Elizabeth I reshaped Britain, made it "British", gave her name to an era and reigned supreme.
This weekend we are celebrating the current queen Elizabeth.
The Diamond jubilee is inspiring people to celebrate Brit style with street parties, cake contests and an explosion of Union Jack bunting everywhere.
If only Britain could look like this every day.
Shop windows competing for celebrating Britishness the best, biggest and most typical.
As an Anglophile, these are good times for me. I can buy Union Jack pajamas, purses and… shoes!
I finally have an excuse to decorate my cake with it, get out the bunting and watch the boats on the Thames while reading a British classic.
I celebrate, not my love for a monarch but for a land, its culture and its pride.
So this cake is for you, Britannia.
May the tea flow plenty in flowery teacups, the cakes be decorated with joy and the discussion scone-cream-jam versus scone-jam-cream go on until eternity.
'Union Jack' Britannia Sandwich cake.
I've tried a few Victoria sandwich recipes before I came to this one after testing.
This cake is slightly more solid than your average sponge cake.
What do you need
for the cake:
200g softened unsalted butter (I made butter recently, it's so easy. Go to the tutorial >)
200 g golden caster sugar
200 g self raising flour
4 medium eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of milk.
for the filling:
500 g double cream
if you can't get hold of double cream, you can use mascarpone
0,5 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Strawberry or raspberry jam
strawberries, tips for the top and slices for the filling
go traditional with a icing sugar finish
Preheat your oven to 180°
Line the bottom of two 20 cm cake tins with baking paper.
Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and whisk until creamy.
Add the eggs one by one, whisk well so the egg is completely mixed in before you add the next one.
Add the milk and vanilla.
Add the flour and fold it in gently.
Divide the dough over the two prepared tins and spread out well with a spatula.
If you only have 1 tin, bake one first and then the other.
*If you have smaller tins, you can make some little cakes too!
Put in the oven for 25 minutes, whatever you do do open the oven or the cake will collapse.
For the cream
Whisk the double cream with a hand mixer until you get a stiff mixture.
Add the vanilla
Decorating the cake
Put the cakes with their good side down on a tray.
Spread the jam on the cake for the bottom side, then add the strawberry slices
Spread half of the cream on the other side and then sandwich this side on top of the other, the cream side down.
Press down so they stick together.
Spread the rest of the cream on top of the cake.
Use the tips of the strawberries to create the St George's cross and then next the other red cross for Northern Ireland.
Now fill up the gaps with the blueberries to create Scotland.
Now make a cup of tea!
Please feel free to leave a comment, I love reading them!
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