|chocolate orange fairy cakes|
I don't ever eat ready meals, and try to shy away from processed foods, purely because I like to know what I'm eating. (I have had problems for the past few years with chronic stomach pains, which despite numerous tests and procedures, the doctors are unable to attribute to anything, but since there is a chance it could be food-related, I try to keep tabs on what I've eaten before the pain strikes.)
I also bake, when I'm going somewhere (I was definitely brought up to believe it's rude to go to a party / event without taking something, and I tend to apply the same rule to all of the meetings I fill my evenings with).
One of my fail-safe recipes is just a basic Victoria sponge one, which I use as the basis for fairy cakes and normal sandwich cakes. Instead of consistent measurements, I tend to weigh three eggs, and whatever they weigh, add the same of sugar and butter and cream together. Then add the eggs, with the same weight of flour (I use plain flour for everything and add baking powder to it, about 1.5tsp to this mix, sifted into the flour), add 1tsp of vanilla essence and a splash of milk if I have it in the fridge (not often).
Or, if making a flavoured sponge, omit the vanilla essence and add whatever your flavour is going to be. For the choc-orange cakes above, I threw in 2tbsp of cocoa powder and squeezed the juice of one orange into the mix. I finished them off with some chocolate butter icing (same parts cocoa / icing sugar mixed with butter until you have a decent consistency for spreading) and some orange flavoured Aero bubble (?) things.
Last weekend I made the same base mix, but threw in some fresh raspberries I had in the fridge and saved some to pop on the top of the butter icing - it's a really easy, versatile mix.