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I had to make Victoria Sponge to deal with a bad case of cake-rage.

Recently, I had the misfortune of eating a slice of most unsatisfactory Victoria Sponge.  It was dry and crumbly.  There wasn’t enough cream.  And they were mean with the (tasteless) jam too. I got angry. I felt cheated. Denied. A little hot under the collar.  I should have complained but I think I’ve been living in Britain too long – my upper lip stiffened and it was all I could do to just keep calm and carry on. The only way to deal with it was to make a better one. And so began my quest to make lovely Victoria Sponge.

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Now, I don’t profess to be an expert at this stage in the game, but this Victoria Sponge was gorgeous.  The sponge was light yet rich and buttery, the quick-home-made jam was bursting with fresh fruity flavours (and much better than the very posh jarred version that I bought in as back-up).  I heaped on loads of lovely freshly whipped double cream (probably slightly more than necessary.  I think I was slapping it on with abandon to make a point.)

And now I am sated.  I stuffed my face full of cake and pulled two fingers in the direction of the unsatisfactory cake cafe and said, “ha!  take that”.

This recipe was arrived at after endless internet meanderings on what makes the perfect Victoria Sponge.  I use a teeny bit less flour than most recipes and a little more vanilla extract. The rest of the proportions are fairly standard.

Ingredients:

  • 175g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 170ml double cream (for the filling)
  • 200g raspberries (for the jam)
  • 50g sliced strawberries (for the jam.  An Authentic recipe would only use raspberry but I was a bit low on quantity and used strawberries to top it up.  I was very happy with the result, hence the strawberries.  You can simply use 250g raspberries to same effect).
  • 250g sugar (for the jam)

Cake Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 180*C/fan 170*C.
  • Butter a cake tin and line with parchment (either 1 x 20cm or 2 x 20cm).
  • Beat the sugar and butter together for at least 4-5mins.  Should be pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly inbetween (at least a few minutes).
  • Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  • Fold in sifted flour and baking powder til thoroughly combined but don’t overmix.
  • Pour into baking tin and cook for 20-25minutes or until the sponge springs back when touched.  Try not to open the oven too early to check or risk collapse (the cake, not you).
  • Remove from the tin and leave to cool when done.  In the meantime, whip the cream until it makes lovely soft peaks.
  • When cool, slice the cake down the middle and heap jam on the underside and cream on the upper side and sandwich together.  Sift icing sugar on top.

Jam method:

  • Either before or after the cake is done, in a pre-heated oven, place 250g of fruit at one end of  baking tray and 250g of sugar at the other.
  • Leave for between 12-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven then fold the sugar over the fruit.  It will hiss and bubble and the sugar should melt into a fruity mess.
  • Remove to a small pan.  If you find it does not cool to a jam consistency, blast it on the hob for as long as it takes. I did take it off the hob to cool for a bit to test every now and again.