Tottenham cake is a sponge cake originally baked in large metal trays. Tottenham Cake “was originally sold by the baker Henry Chalkley, who was a Friend (or Quaker), at the price of one old penny, with smaller mis-shaped pieces sold for half an old penny.” The pink colouring was derived from mulberries found growing at the Tottenham Friends burial ground.
There was a time when you could only buy it in North London but it can now be found all over London and is sold in Greggs. They don’t sell it outside of London though which personally I feel is a sin against humanity but, hey ho.
It’s a simple recipe and one even a beginner baker can get their head around.
This is not a Victoria sponge, it’s a denser cake.
Lightly grease and base line a 9 inch square baking tin and put to one side. Preheat your oven to 150 (about 140 on a fan oven but don’t quote me on that).
Cream together 170 grams of baking margarine (or whatever they call it these days) with 170 grams of caster sugar.
Add two teaspoons of vanilla essence to 3 beaten eggs and beat them into the mixture a little at a time. If the mixture looks as if it’s going to curdle then add a little self raising flour from the amount you’ve set aside to use.
Stir in 230 grams of self raising flour gently so as not to knock the air out of the mixture and then stir up to 6 tablespoons of whole milk into it a little at a time – the mixture should drop off the spoon easily but not pour off it.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tine.
Cover tin with foil that is folded in the centre and then raise a peak in the centre of the fold and snip the top off it. This means that you get the flat, or reasonably flat, bake that is characteristic of a Tottenham cake.
Bake for 40 – 60 minutes– a skewer will come out clean when it is baked.
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes or so then remove it from the tin carefully, take the paper from the bottom and leave to cool on a rack until completely cold.
Mix up a mixture of icing sugar, water and pink food colouring until it’s runny but not too thin and pour it over the cake. Let the icing set a little and then it’s ready to eat.
The cake freezes well if it’s not iced first.