The simplest creamed or all-in-one cake recipe is equal amounts of each self-raising flour, caster sugar, butter and eggs with some vanilla for flavour.
Most cakes, except Swiss rolls, will bake at 180°C.
The simplest Swiss roll recipe is 4 eggs, 125g caster sugar and 125g self-raising flour.
Always remember to grease and/or line your tin.
Check the cake by pressing the top and it should spring back or using a skewer or cocktail stick and inserting it into the centre of the cake and it should come out clean.
Baking powder can lose its potency: check it towards the end of its use by date by adding some to water.
For a plain shortcrust pastry, the ratio of flour to butter is 2:1 and then cold water to bind.
For a simple sweet shortcrust pastry, I always add icing sugar equal to 10% of the weight of flour
Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick in general.
Unless the pastry filling is not being baked – e.g. a pastry cream or a mousse filling like in a Key Lime Pie, always blind bake the pastry. Particularly liquid fillings such as custard must have a blind baked pastry.
A frangipane filling is one example when the pastry does not need blind baking.