National Baking Week – Introducing our Cooks

National Baking Week will take place from 14th to 20th October 2022.  National Baking Week happens in the UK every October. Pyrex initially started the Week back in 2007 with other baking companies, to inspire people of all abilities to try their hand at baking at home.

As part of our celebration of this Week, we interviewed our Cooks, Hayley from Whalley Range and Rachel from Gatley:

Hayley has been with Honeybear for 17 years and has over 25 years’ experience of cooking.  Hayley told us that the best thing about her job is helping to ensure that the children have a nutritional, balanced diet and seeing the children’s faces when they love the food.  Hayley prefers to bake savoury foods and her favourite food to bake is cheese and onion quiche.  Her top tip for great baking is to use great quality ingredients and produce.  Hayley commented: “I have really fond memories of baking cakes with my mum when I was little.  We always had so much fun together in the process.”  Hayley shared her favourite simple Victoria sponge recipe:

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g softened butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the filling:

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 140g icing sugar, sifted
  • drop vanilla extract (optional)
  • half a 340g jar good-quality strawberry jam
  • icing sugar, to decorate

Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper.

In a large bowl, beat 200g caster sugar, 200g softened butter, 4 beaten eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp milk together until you have a smooth, soft batter.

Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

Bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.

Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

To make the filling, beat the 100g softened butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in 140g sifted icing sugar and a drop of vanilla extract (if you’re using it).

Spread the buttercream over the bottom of one of the sponges. Top it with 170g strawberry jam and sandwich the second sponge on top.

Dust with a little icing sugar before serving. Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.

Rachel, our Gatley cook has been with Honeybear for 18 years, and has been Gatley’s cook for two years.  Rachel told us that the best thing about her job is knowing she’s making nutritious and tasty meals and helping the children to develop a varied palette of food choices. Rachel loves all baking, both sweet and savoury, and her favourite thing to bake is traditional puddings such as bread & butter pudding and fruit crumbles.  Rachel told us: “the first thing I ever baked was butterfly cakes with my mum when I was very young. I’ve always enjoyed baking and cooking with everyone in my family and I’ve now passed this love onto my daughter who often bakes with me or makes meals for our family.  The secret to great baking is having fun – and recognising that it’s not an exact science.”