As I have said in previous posts I rarely write about recipes the minute I try them out, so this one will break my record. Reason being that with the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee coming up, classic British food is all the rage. Imagine last year’s Royal Wedding times a hundred. So instead of the chicken recipe I planned to write about today, I give you this recipe for Victoria Sponge. I made it in a rush but it turned out OK.
I remember the very first one I made (around ten years ago…whoa!) didn’t taste all that great. My dreadful mistake was easy to spot: instead of using baking powder I added bicarbonate of soda into plain flour. You can stop there…again, major disaster! What was I thinking? No baking powder in the pantry, that’s what. We had friends over for dinner that evening and boy was our friendship tested! They *all* had a slice of the sponge and still said it was good. When I insisted on feedback they admitted that it was “soapy”. Poor things! (On a serious note I dislike people who snobbishly, *not* for health reasons of course, refuse good food cooked for *them* when they are invited over at your home. This has happened to me and I’m sure it has happened to you.)
I have finally made a sponge which I really like. It’s very very simple. All you need though are two 7 inch sandwich tins or one 7 inch cake tin. If you only have a different size you could always try it out as I have previously done. It will work but don’t give it more than 15 minutes (per sandwich tin). I recently made one using a different recipe for the top and bottom layer to try things out, like a rebel! Ha!
There are two main versions of Victoria Sponge – one with jam and whipped cream, which is perfect when gobbled up in one sitting by you and your many friends, and the jam minus cream one, like the one I like to make, great for fewer people, assuming that you won’t eat 5 slices each (or so we hope). With the Great British Summer on our doorstep (yeah..right) this is just what we need! Enjoy.
- 125g butter, softened
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 125g self-raising flour
- 2 eggs
- Raspberry jam (or strawberry)
- Heavy cream for whipping (This tastes much much better than the pre-made stuff!)
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC – 180ºC/325ºF/Gas mark 4-5 (depending on type: gas or electric).
- In a medium mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar preferably with an electric whisk until fluffy and light (turning almost white in colour).
- Beat in the eggs, one by one with a tablespoon or two of the flour after each egg. Then gently fold in (don’t beat) what remains of the flour.
- Pour the sponge mixture into greased sandwich tins and bake for around 20-25 minutes in two tins, or 35-40 minutes in one.
- When sponge is done, place the tins onto a wire rack and leave for a few minutes to cool down. Remove the sponge from the tins to cool completely. Spread one layer with good raspberry jam and whipped cream. If the jam you are using doesn’t have enough chunky fruit pieces it would be nice to add some fresh berries. Then place the other layer on top and sprinkle as much icing sugar as you want!