This is hardly ground breaking stuff giving you the recipe for a Victoria sponge. But I feel for those who don’t often bake this is the starting point for growing to love a long afternoon in the kitchen baking sweet treats.
I have known this recipe off by heart since the age of about 13 and I intend to pass it on to my children, if I so choose to have any. It is so simple and so effective. I still use the old fashioned method instead of throwing it all into a magi-mix because; number one – where is the fun in that? And two; I truly believe you end up with a lighter cake my way.
Put on a kitsch apron, turn on the radio and get baking:
For the cake
6oz self-raising flour
6oz of soft butter or margarine (surprisingly I find marg works better)
6oz caster sugar
3 medium eggs
Two sandwich tins greased with some butter or margarine.
For the filling
1oz soft butter or margarine (again marg is best)
2oz icing sugar
Good raspberry conserve or jam.
1. Preheat an oven to 180 or the equivalent in gas mark and grease your tins.
2. Cream together the butter and caster sugar with an electric whisk until pale and soft. Add one egg at a time with a tablespoon of the flour to stop it splitting and whisk it into the mixture. Once all the eggs are mixed in give the mixture a good whisk so there is lots of air in it (approx 2-3mins).
3. Sift the flour into the mixture and fold it in gently, but don’t take too long about it. Spoon the mixture equally into the sandwich tins and roughly smooth the mix down.
4. Put it in the oven and bake for around 20 mins (try not to open the oven door too much). The test is if you gently push the top of the cake with your finger it should spring back up. If it just sinks in and leaves a mark it might need a little longer.
5. When you take it out the oven run a knife around the tin to free the edges and leave to cool for 15 mins. Then gently turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
6. For the butter icing carefully beat together the icing sugar and butter. Spread a thick layer onto one sandwich and a layer of jam on the other side. Carefully stick them together and dust the top with icing sugar. Sometimes I make double the amount of butter icing and really cram it in the cake so it is full of creamy filling.
If you are serving this at a party and it will be eaten on the day you could fill it with whipped double cream and fresh raspberries or strawberries and then pile some of the fruit on top as well. Or experiment with different jams (apricot, strawberry, blackberry).
Alternatively turn it into a lemon sandwich by adding a little lemon essence of fresh lemon zest into the cake mix. Then sandwich the cake together with some mascarpone cheese and some good quality lemon curd. Or if you want to keep it in a container for a week make a butter icing and add lemon juice and zest. The variations are endless, but the basic recipe is the same. See; you though this recipe was boring and useless but you are salivating just thinking about the different fillings you will try.
One more thing, these should always be enjoyed with a nice cup of tea.
(Drawing by Louise Morgan: www.louisemorgan.co.uk)