Alright.. it's back to basics for me. I've never tried baking a full-sized sponge cake before. It was a "now or never" moment for me. And I am over the moon, especially after stacking the top layer of cake over the bottom. I'm thinking of the birthday cakes, baby shower cakes (?) that I can bake in future.. I think we should celebrate every occasion with a cake! Ok.. the imagination is running wild here.
Ultimate Victoria Sandwich Sponge (adapted from Jamie magazine)
This classic cake is, of course, named after Queen Victoria, the only monarch to reign longer than the current Queen. It's relatively easy to make but does have a few quirks: you need to get as much air into it as possible, and be mindful of its sensitivity to variations in heat. Know your oven well and invest in an oven thermometer!
Serves 14 (I think it serves 8-12)
225g unsalted butter, cubed and softened, plus extra to grease
225g white caster sugar (I reduced to 200g, I think I could have reduced it a bit more)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, beaten
225 self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
A splash of milk
- Preheat the oven to 180*C. Grease and line the bases of 2 round 20cm sandwich tins. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Gradually mix the beaten eggs into the creamed butter and sugar. (Don't worry if your mixture curdles, mine did). Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt with a large metal spoon until just incorporated (don't overmix).
- Stir in a splash of milk to loosen the batter, then evenly divid it between the 2 cake tins. Bake the cakes in the oven for 22-25 mins, until golden and cooked through (to test, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake; it's ready when the skewer comes out clean.) Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, sandwich with your choice of filling, or your own favourite (jam is the traditional choice for a Victoria sponge; whipped cream is optional)