A British Quintessential

A British Quintessential eh? There’s a fair few desserts out there that could be considered British classics. I mean you have scones, madeira cakes, lemon drizzles which I all love but one of my favourite classically British desserts has to be the Victoria Sponge. It’s light and fluffy and has that perfect blend of not-too-sweet yet still tasty flavours between all that cake, jam and cream. This recipe is so simple however, I suggest following the recipe to a tee as there are little things that could make parts of the cake go wrong. For those who watch the Great British Bake Off, as Mary Berry says, “We want no soggy bottoms!”

Here is the recipe:

Victoria Sponge Cake:

Makes 12 slices

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225g/8 oz caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting the finished cake
  • 225g/8 oz self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 225g/8oz baking spread, margarine or soft butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tins

To serve

  • Good quality strawberry or raspberry jam
  • Buttercream

Buttercream:

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
  2. Grease and line the base of 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins.
  3. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the sugar, flour, baking powder and butter.
  4. Mix everything together until well combined. The easiest way to do this is with an electric hand mixer, but you can use a wooden spoon. Put a damp cloth under your bowl when you’re mixing to stop it moving around. Be careful not to over-mix – as soon as everything is blended you should stop. The finished mixture should be of a soft ‘dropping’ consistency – it should fall off a spoon easily.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins: this doesn’t need to be exact, but you can weigh the filled tins if you want to check. Use a spatula to remove all of the mixture from the bowl and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
  6. Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Don’t be tempted to open the door while they’re cooking, but after 20 minutes do look through the door to check them.
  7. Whilst the cakes are in the oven, you can begin making the buttercream. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, soften the butter in a large bowl and mix for 5 minutes so it gains some volume and goes pale in colour.
  8. Add half the icing sugar mixture and mix on medium for 5 minutes. Then add the rest of the icing sugar along with 2 tbsp of milk and a tbsp of vanilla extract.
  9. Continue mixing for 5 minutes until it’s all well combined and then it’s ready.
  10. The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch or using a skewer, insert it into the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean it’s ready. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool in their tins for five minutes. Then run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tin and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.20160309_174833[1]
  11. To take your cakes out of the tins without leaving a wire rack mark on the top, put the clean tea towel over the tin, put your hand onto the tea towel and turn the tin upside-down. The cake should come out onto your hand and the tea towel – then you can turn it from your hand onto the wire rack.
  12. Set aside to cool completely.
  13. To assemble the cake, spread plenty of jam onto the bottom cake then spread plenty of buttercream on top of the jam (it would be handy to cut the top of the cake you are going to use as the base or bottom cake so that the cakes are level). For a neater looking cake, you can pipe the buttercream onto the jam as well.
  14. Top with the second cake, top-side up. Sprinkle over the caster sugar or icing sugar and voila! You have your Victoria Sponge Cake!

image

I’m sure yours will taste every bit as good as mine did!

Deborah x

(Recipe adapted from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mary_berrys_perfect_34317)

 

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