Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

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I realise how much of an English girl I sound, but nothing beats our cakes. Not only that, but only the best one get the royal seal of approval. This weekend, for a series of filming, playing and messing around with my cameraman, and good friend Jack I decided to get all patriotic and bake a British Classic. A Victoria Sponge Cake. Built like a mountain and demolished to a crumb, all in the space of four hours. Clearly it was a goodun.
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If I was to tell the WI, that I like to substitute part of the Flour ratio in my Victoria Sponge recipe with a little wholemeal, or ground Almonds, I have no doubt I would be taken in front of a firing squad and shot.

This is not the traditional way, but it is far from a mutilation of the classic Victoria Sponge Cake!

For years this cake has been an artform in the pursuit of perfect. Indeed just goggling the Victoria Sponge, and a million different versions pop up, each claiming that this is the one to get you the perfect rise. Although ‘the rise’ may be paramount to texture, what about taste..? Granted there is nothing like a bit of Vanilla to bring a sponge to life, but for me, a little something is needed.. to give the cake more of a robust stance on the stand. You don’t want it to be so light that it drifts away after all. Hence the inclusion of Ground Almond or Wholemeal Flour. Depending on my mood, I chop and change between the two. More due to convenience then anything, if I have one and not the other in the cupboard.

I use a little extra Milk in my recipe then a lot of others I have encountered. This is on account of my turbo charged fan oven, that has the tendency to blow the moisture out of my cakes quicker then you can say ‘rise my beauties.’ If you are using a gas or induction oven, you can reduce the amount of Milk by a tablespoon.

Ingredients

  • 175g Doves Farm Self Raising Flour
  • 75g Ground Almonds or Wholemeal Flour
  • 1 large tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 medium Eggs
  • 250g Butter, at room temperature
  • 250g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3-4 tbs Milk
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 1 heaped tbs Icing Sugar, plus extra to decorate
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 200g Jam, I used half a jar of Bonne Maman Apricot Jam
  • Fresh Strawberries and Blueberries and 1 tbs flaked Almonds, to decorate

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius/ Gas Mark 4

Grease a 1 (or 2) 20-inch springform cake tin – I used one tin and cooked the cake batter in batches

Using an electric whisk or a wooden spoon, cream the Butteruntil soft and pale, add the Sugar and beat until light an fluffy.

This will take a little time (10 minutes or so) if doing by hand

Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, and stir in the vanilla extract. Fold in the Flour using a metal spoon or a spatula. Add the Milk, to achieve a batter with a soft dropping consistency. If need be add a little extra.

Divide 2/3 batter between two cake tins, or add 1/3 to the baking tin and cook in batches.

Bake for 15-20 mins, you will know it is cooked with the cake is a light golden colour and a skewer, when inserted, comes out clean.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes, then gently remove from the tin. Place onto a wire rack to cool.

Repeat this process with the 2nd and 3rd batches of batter, until you have 3 equal sized sponge cakes.

Leave the cakes to cool fully before icing.

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To Ice the Cake

Add the Icing Sugar and Vanilla to a large bowl with the Double Cream. Use an electric mixer (or whisk) to whip the Cream until it forms soft peaks.

Spread a couple of tablespoons of jam, in a thin layer, over the top of two of the cakes. Top them both with a a thin layer of Cream. Sandwich together the cakes, one layer on top of each other, with the un-iced layer at the top. Cover the top layer of cake with the remaining Cream and decorate with fresh fruit and Flaked Almonds.

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