There is, however, one thing that Mum could make. She wasn't a big baker but she made coffee cake from time to time. It was just a Victoria sponge with coffee added, with coffee buttercream icing. As kids, we would obviously get to lick the bowl and the taste of the sponge mix with coffee added was divine.
I decided to recreate mum's sponge on a whim this evening but I decided to do it the quick way as an all in one sponge. For each large egg, you need 2oz (55g) of soft butter, self-raising flour and caster sugar. To make an 8-in sandwich, you need about 3 eggs, so you need 6oz (170g) of each. After sifting flour in to a bowl, adding in a rounded teaspoon of baking powder and a couple of teaspoons of instant coffee, you add all the other ingredients to the bowl and mix, preferably with an electric hand mixer. It takes about 1 minute, longer if you are having to use a manual whisk or spoon . If the mixture easily drops off a spoon, its fine, but if it's too stiff, add in a couple of tablespoons of milk or water to loosen it until that consistency is reached. Then divide the mixture between two greased and paper lined sandwich tins, level the tops and bake at 170 C / 325 F / Gas mark 3 for 30-35 mins until the mixture springs back when lightly pressed. Leave them in their tins for 5 mins before removing and leaving to cool on a rack completely.
I tasted a bit of the cake mix when I was making this, and was transported back to my mum's tiny kitchen - it tasted exactly the same. This cake must have been my first experience of coffee as a child, and I just thought coffee was sweet like the cake mixture. Well, I guess it was in those days - everyone had sugar in their coffee!
My verdict? Just like Mum used to make! This is pretty close to her version. Whenever I have coffee cake, as it's an option I frequently choose, it always reminds me of my childhood. This is Mum's cooking.