Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Victoria Sponge

I never thought I would say this, but I am going to miss the Olympics. Intially I had no interest at the start, but by the end of day one I was hooked and hated missing it. When I was in Amsterdam and we went into a free wifi area I would pull out my iPhone and update my BBC and Guardian app so that I could read what was happening, much to the annoyance of my other half and friends. But it's now over I don't know what to do with myself, I've even started watching old clips. I also can’t believe how patriotic I became, because that is not me in the slightest

But, there is a new programme starting, that is going to help me relieve my emptiness and that is the GBBO – The Great British Bake Off. I'd started watching this by accident last year, as I was flicking through the TV channels and came across it. After 20 minutes I was hooked. I've seen other cookery competitions but this has to be the hardest. Just 30 seconds of over baking can dry the recipe out or even make it too dark. It is a cruel and hard competition but very quintessentially English. The only problem is that it's only on for an hour a week and not 18 hours a day, like the Olympics.

So as a tribute to the GBBO and with my patriotism still flowing through my body I decided to attempt to bake a very english cake, a Victoria Sponge. I can almost hear you say, so what! I'll tell you so what, if you've read my blog you will know that baking of cakes is a BIG issue with me. I've baked cookies, tarte au citron, a smoked haddock tart without I may say, a soggy bottom. But I have yet to make a cake that didn't turn into a disaster, don't believe me well read them, chillichocolate cake and devils food cake. :-)

With my stomach in my mouth, my hands shaking I picked up the GBBO book and looked up the recipe.. I read it once, I read it twice and after three more reads I started my attempt at making the sponge. Would it fall flat, would it be too dry, would the cake stick to the cake tin??? Well it didn't and it came out moist, firm, light and very tasty. With a BIG sigh of relief I can finally say I can bake a cake. Next stop, entering the 2013 series of the GBBO – yeah right......

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 large free eggs at room temperature
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1tbsp milk, at room temperature
  • 6tbsp good raspberry jam
  • icing sugar to dust on the top

Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4.

Put the soft butter into a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer for about a minute until it's very smooth and creamy

Gradually beat in the sugar, then keep on beating for 3 or 4 minutes or until the mixture turns almost white and becomes very fluffy in texture. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time.

Break the eggs into another bowl, add the vanilla extract and beat lightly with a fork to break them up.

Slowly add the egg mixture, about a tablespoon at a time, into the butter mixture giving it a good mix before adding the next tablespoon of egg. Doing this way does take some time, but it will make the cake lighter.

Once all the eggs have been mixed into the butter re-seive the flour into bowl along with the room temperature milk.

With a large metal spoon, fold in the flour as gently as possible so you don't knock all the air out of the mixture.

Spoon the mixture evenly into two cake tins. I did this by measuring equal amount of the mixture. Spread the mixture evening into the tins right up to the edges

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until they are golden brown and the sponges are springy when pressed.

Remove the tins from the oven and leave for a minute so the sponges contract slightly. Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tin to loosed the sponge from the sides, then turn onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

Set one sponge upside down on a plate and spoon over the raspberry jam. Set the second sponge on top and dust with icing sugar.

Keep in an airtight container and eat within 5 days.


Choclette said...

Hooray, well done. It looks fab. Really pleased GBBO is back :)

Donkey said...

Thank you, I was so pleased I finally managed to bake a cake, even if it was third time lucky. Like you very pleased about GBBO but it scared the hell out of me. Did you see the final cakes. I can just about do a VS let alone a British Flag Cake - and that was the first episode.....

Garden Tea Cakes and Me said...

Fabulous cake looks as light as a feather. I too love GBBO and I'm addicted to the show I've even downloaded the app on my phone :)

Donkey said...

I was very surprised at how well it came it, as my record has not been good. It was very light and didn't last long. I didn't know there was an app for GBBO, getting it on my phone now thx.