It’s been a while since I’ve baked anything – the thought of having to turn the oven on and create a sauna out of my already ‘too-hot’ kitchen gives me the shivers. So when I was asked to bring something to a girly night in, I gritted my teeth and made the quickest, the simplest and the girliest cake possible: the good old chocolate Victoria sponge.Read More »
Have you ever wondered why it’s called a ‘Victoria Sandwich’? Apparently, it’s named after Queen Victoria, who favoured a slice of this sponge cake with her afternoon tea. As for the sandwich bit – well I guess that part’s pretty obvious!
Now that my family have finally accepted that baked goods are to be a permanent feature in their lives – they’ve started to get quite demanding. Any dinner parties that take place are now required to have one of my cakes as dessert – regardless of whether I am attending or not.
In the same way, I am now expected to bring dessert to any dinner parties I am invited to. I’ve argued that, as it is someone else’s dinner party, surely they should get a chance to bake but – apparently – this form of logic is completely lost on them. And as there is absolutely no argument that I can ever win with my family, I tend to go with the flow (it also gives me an excuse to get some baking done for the blog so I shouldn’t complain!)
This particular time I was baking a cake to take to a dinner party. I actually wasn’t asked to bake until a few hours before we had to leave so I panicked and went for the trusty Victoria Sandwich. The ‘large’ and ‘all-in-one’ parts of the title bode well so I went with it.
Once again Mary Berry went for the ‘throw it all together’ method of baking but I didn’t follow the exact instructions and went for something different. I whisked together the butter and sugar (as always) and then added the eggs. Instead of whisking in the flour and baking powder, I decided to go old-school and fold it in. Why? I have no idea – maybe with a 2 hour time limit (which included getting myself ready) I decided I had way too much time on my hands. I don’t know.
Once the batter was ready, I split it between the two cake tins, attempted to make it even, gave up and put it in the oven for 25 minutes. They came out golden, even and springy to the touch – perfect! If only all my cakes would come out this way.
After a few minutes cooling time, I took them out of the cake tins and peeled off the baking parchment. I kept the nicest looking cake the right way round but turned the other one (which was also nice – just not as flat on the top) upside down. This would become the bottom layer so I figured this technique would make it as flat as possible.
Once cooled. I spread strawberry jam on the top of the flattened cake before placing (i.e. accidentally dropping) the second layer on top. Thankfully it didn’t break! Just before leaving I sprinkled caster sugar on top – et voila!
I had packed the Victoria Sandwich into my trusty cake tin and got in the car ready to leave. Somehow (and I blame this completely on my father’s driving skills), between us leaving the house and getting to the dinner party, the top layer of the cake slid half off the bottom … AARGH!
OK, so it was fixed really easily (I, quite literally, slid it back into place and cleaned off the excess jam) but it’s one of those things that only ever manage to happen to me.
Thankfully there were no other mishaps and the cake went down a treat – two guests even tried to ‘judge’ it in the same way as Paul Hollywood and Marry Berry from The Great British Bake Off – thankfully that feedback was positive (although they did say ‘no soggy bottoms’ which I believe refers to pastry and not sponge cake!).
There’s not much to say for the taste of this cake, everyone knows what a good Victoria Sandwich should taste like – and this is definitely a recipe that will create that perfect sponge!