A machine for turning metadata into cake*

Posted on April 19th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

* Or “cataloguer”, as they’re sometimes known.

As I’ve already mentioned, the University of Lincoln’s Repository hit 3,000 records late last month.

The tradition now appears to be that each Repo millennium is marked by cake.

Repository cakes

Repository Rhubarb Fairy Cakes

Creative Commons Licence
The following recipe can be re-used, adapted and shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Ingredients (metric equivalents are approximate):

  • 8 oz (200g) butter
  • 8 oz (200g) caster sugar
  • 8 oz (200g) self-raising flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cornflour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Syrup left over from poaching rhubarb

Buttercream icing:

  • Approx. 2 oz (50g) unsalted butter
  • Approx. 4 oz (100g) icing sugar
  • Syrup in which rhubarb has been poached
  • Hundreds ‘n’ thousands


  1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (180°C; 350°F)
  2. Line a fairy cake pan with paper cases
  3. Cream the butter and caster sugar together in a bowl
  4. In another bowl, sift the flour, cornflour, and salt together
  5. Blend the flour mixture and the eggs into the butter/sugar, a bit at a time
  6. Spoon the mixture into paper fairy cake cases
  7. Bake for approx. 35 minutes in the middle of the oven
  8. While still hot, spoon a couple of teaspoonfuls rhubarb syrup over each cake and let it soak in

Icing the cakes:

  1. Beat together the unsalted butter and icing sugar until creamy and smooth
    (You might need to adjust the quantities to get the right consistency)
  2. Mix in about 10 teaspoonfuls of the rhubarb syrup
  3. Once the cakes are completely cool, spread a spoonful of the icing on top of each one
  4. Hundreds ‘n’ thousands are compulsory.

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