Thursday, 26 September 2013
Classic Victoria Sponge
Sometimes a simple timeless classic is better than a souped up, sprinkle laden new kid on the block.
Especially when it's choc-a-bloc full of strawberry jam and vanilla bean whipped cream.
It's been way too long since I made a cake that wasn't full of chocolate chips, sprinkles or cookie butter.
So I thought it was about time to bake up something that was classic, rustic and let the taste do all the talking.
And with blogs currently over-run with fanciful doughnuts (not that I'm dissing I have a doughnut recipe coming up for you soon) I thought I'd buck this weeks trend and roll out this baby.
Unfortunately I didn't even get to taste any of this bad boy, I was asked by my mother in law to bake it for a friend of hers.
But luckily for me I botched up the first cake (yes it happens all the time) by forgetting to line the bottom of the tin and so this led to it being stuck to the cake tin, not that I'm complaining because it gave me ample opportunity to taste test.
If you've never tasted the buttery, fluffiness of a Victoria Sponge Cake a) What rock have you been hiding under, b) you have no idea what your missing out on, and c) get your apron on and bake this baby, you wont regret it.
It's light and fluffy, with a subtle vanilla flavour and lashings of whipped cream and strawberry jam.
Now looking online I've seen plenty of Victoria Sponge cakes made with buttercream....No people, just no. The whole premises of this cake is that it is not overly sweet. Buttercream just defeats the point.
I mean if you have some uncontrollable need to eat this cake filled with buttercream feel free but in my opinion a sponge cake isn't a really sponge cake unless crammed full with a truckload of whipped cream.
Anyway I digress from the controversial topic of buttercream versus whipped cream and return to that of the cake.
The best way to enjoy this cake is at 3pm precisely, with a beautiful cup of tea in a gorgeously vintage cup and saucer.....Hahaha who the hell am I kidding. This is an anytime of day (or night) cake just as mouthwatering for tea as it is for afternoon tea.
If you want to go all British for a day do the afternoon tea thing. Me? I find it hard waiting an entire day to sample the fruits of my labour.
For the Cake:
200g / 7/8 cup or 7 ounces Butter
200g / 1 Cup Caster Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
200g / 1 1/2 Cup Plain Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
150ml / 2/3 Cup Double Cream
1 Tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
150g / 1/2 Cup Strawberry Jam
2 Tbsp Icing Sugar
Grease and line 2 9 inch/20cm sandwich tins and preheat your oven to 190c / 375f.
In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
The beat in the vanilla bean paste, followed by the eggs.
Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, the mixture may curdle slightly. If this happens just add a tablespoon or two of the plain flour.
Sift the remaining flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold it in until it is just incorporated.
Evenly distribute the cake batter between the two tins and place on the middle shelf in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Move your cakes onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Once your cakes are cool you can whip the double cream. Once it reaches soft peaks add in the vanilla, continue to whip the cream until it reaches stiff peaks.
Now place one of the cakes onto your serving plate of choice.
Slather it with the strawberry jam, spread it out evenly.
Then top the jam with the whipped cream.
Then place the second cake on top, some of the jam and cream may spill out a little, don't be alarmed it is all part of this cakes charm. However if you want it to look neat and tidy just mop up the spill.
Then sift your icing sugar over the top of the cake to decorate.