Monday, July 25

. sydnEy squAres . smAll cake No.28 .

when Bumpkin Betty announced that this month's baking theme was to be Family Favourites i had a feeling that it was going to be an interesting bake . i asked my family { mum . dad . & . little sister } what they thought our family favourite had been and everyone had a different answer which made me realise that a) as a family we are fairly fickle . b) our memories of our childhood years are all very different from each others .  & . c) it would appear that baked goods in general were our favourite . which answers the question of where i get my sweet tooth from .

i reached the conclusion that our true family favourite . the one that has remained a constant through the years was actually my mUm's Christmas Pudding . but . it's jUly . as much as i love christmas . & . as much as i love christmas pudding . i couldn't quite bring myself to start baking that just yet . 

i had a look through my mUm's lovely recipe books . the ones she collated & wrote in & stuck clippings in out of magazines . the ones that brought back such lovely memories of learning how to bake . the familiar sponge cakes . the lemon drizzle cake . caramel squares { two recipes for that ! } . my favourite cheesecake made with Philadelphia cheese that was topped with tinned apricot halves that we only ever seemed to have when people came to tea .

then i remembered the recipe box . Margueritte Patten's box of recipes . { published by Paul Hamlyn way back in 1967 } . my sister & i would spend hours flicking through this box . especially the Small Cakes & Biscuits Cards . & . one recipe in particular jumped out as one that we've talked about quite often .

Sydney Squares . my sister & i have long reminisced about this recipe . one that we remember firstly my mum, then as we learnt to bake, we would bake them too . but each time we go back to this recipe we aren't quite sure why we liked them so much . a slightly strange combination of a sweet pastry base . with a sultana filled sponge filling . topped with grated chocolate . i was convinced that we had been lulled into viewing this cake through those rose tinted glasses that you often remember your childhood through . however . it did seem that this might be The recipe for this months baking club . was this going to be as good as we remember . or . was it something that we'd finally put to bed as something best left in the 70's ?

i resisted changing too much from the original recipe . but . hadn't any sultana's { not my favourite } . & . decided to soak the raisins i replaced them with in a brew of chocolate & vanilla rooibos { not something i think you'd have found in my mum's pantry but there you go . . . } . but apart from that i made it as the original recipe .

so what did we think ?

i was so expecting to taste these & go . it's ok . but . i'm not sure why we liked them quite so much .

but .

they are so very oddly lovely . & . tasty . & . moreish . & . well . i ate two . &  then very quickly drove them over to my sister before i scoffed the lOt !

and her verdict ?

the same .

p.s. i'm still a little bewildered how a seemingly strangish combination of things should be as good as they were . but . they were !

it's been so lovely reading about everyone else's family favourites . & . the stories behind them . & . how many of us have such fond memories of baking with our mums .

. Jaclyn { aka . Bumpkin Betty } made a classic Chocolate Tiffin .
. Angela from Only Crumbs Remain baked a delicious looking Date Slice .
. Jennie of Scarlet Scorch Droppers made Chocolate & Vanilla Marble Cake baked in her mUm's kitchen for added nostalgia .
. if you pOp over to the Baking Club's facebook page you can also drool over Catherine's Millionaire Shortbread . Nadine's Chocolate Hob Nobs . Linda's Battenburg . Caitlin's Peanut Butter & Honey Cake . Helen's classic Scones { with lots of lovely cream & jam } . Virginia's Blondies . & . Chloe's comforting Rice Pudding .

if you love baking & would like to bake along in aUgust then you can join the club here . & . you can read Jaclyn's lovely write up of last months " Free From " theme over on her blog .

. have a sweet and hAppy dAy .


  1. Thank you for trying this recipe again and posting it, I to had these recipe cards and Sydney squares were one of my families favourites but after several moves the recipe was lost and now with this Google thing I thought I'd try and find it I used choc chips just as yummy thanks

    1. Hello Karen. I hope these brought back as many happy memories for you as they did for me. Oh, and now I have a craving to make these again today! The chocolate chips sound a good variation too. Have a lovely day.


. thank you for taking the time to scribble down your thoughts . i lOve reading All your musings .