Step by step: Victoria Sandwich

11 06 2010

This very overdue blog post is a back to basics.  I finished my exams and during the post exam euphoria somewhere in the back of my mind was a voice saying isn’t it time you started baking again.  Well, that was always the plan but I realised something while finally relaxing after so many weeks of studying; I quite liked not stressing out about baking.  This was a strange revelation for me.  I felt like I’d lost my baking mojo.  I was still checking all my favourite baking blogs, buying new edible sprinkles and saving recipes BUT I still hadn’t actually baked anything.

I avoided baking for a few weeks but knew that I had to try something to help me decide whether I was able to continue baking.  I attempted a simple chocolate nut upside down cake.  It was a complete disaster.  Everything that could go wrong did, and it tasted disgusting too.  I figured I needed to get straight back on the proverbial horse and that led me to the Victoria Sandwich.  I hoped that starting with something I’ve made hundreds of times would be easier than attempting another new recipe.  It worked & this post is my step by step guide to a basic Victoria Sponge.

See the rest of the step by step after the jump:

The first step is to grease and line your baking tin.  As this recipe calls for 2 small 7 inch tins I doubled it and used 9.5 inch tins.  Many bakers will have their own tips and tricks for lining a tin.  I used to just judge by eye and cut out a circle, now I use this handy way:

Start with a square of baking paper just a little larger than your tin.  Fold it in half and then half again.

Fold on the diagonal twice.

Measure the triangle against your tin to estimate the size and cut to shape.

Once you fold it out you have a circle that fits the tin.

Turn the oven on to 180C/ 350F/ Gas 4.

Sift the flour & baking powder, add the sugar & stir.

Add the eggs.

Add the softened butter

Mix until smooth, approx 3 – 5 minutes.  Spread the mixture into the tin, leaving a little dip in the middle as this cake rises quite a lot.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cakes are well risen, golden and springy to the touch.

While the cakes are cooling make the filling.  Using the whisk attachment whisk a carton of double cream, a few dessertsoopnfuls of vanilla angel delight, a pinch of cream of tartar & a few heaped spoonfuls of icing sugar.  Whisk until it holds it’s shape but be careful not to overmix.

Spread one cake with the vanilla cream and the other with seedless raspberry jam.

Sandwich the two cakes together and sprinkle the top with some sifted icing sugar.

Although the traditional Victoria Sponge usually only has a jam filling I find the addition of the vanilla cream really adds a nice contrast.

Victoria Sandwich

175g (6 oz) soft butter or margarine, plus extra for greasing

175g (6oz) caster sugar (I used vanilla sugar)

3 eggs

175g (6oz) self-raising flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Filling

Seedless raspberry jam to taste

1 carton double cream

Vanilla angel delight

Icing sugar

Cream of tartar

Lightly grease and line two 7 inch tins

Combine all the ingredients and beat well until smooth.

Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in a preheated oven at 180C/ 350F/ Gas mark 4.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cakes are well risen, golden and springy to the touch.

Turn out onto wire racks and let cool.

Make the vanilla cream by whisking the double cream, a pinch of cream of tartar, vanilla angel delight and icing sugar to taste.

Spread the cream over one cake, the raspberry jam over the other and sandwich together.  Sprinkle sifted icing sugar over the top of the cake.

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