Today I'm having severe withdrawal symptoms now that The Great British Bake Off has ended, what will I do on Tuesday evenings now? Anyway I decided to take some inspiration from the How To Bake book that coincided with the last series and tried my hand at making the 'perfect' Victoria sponge.
4 free range eggs
225g/8oz caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting the finished cake
225g/8oz sifted self-raising flour
225g/8oz baking spread, margarine or soft butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tins
1/2 tbsp of vanilla extract
1 tbsp of milk
A jar of raspberry jam
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Grease and line 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins: use a piece of baking or silicone paper to rub a little baking spread or butter around the inside of the tins until the sides and base are lightly coated. Line the bottom of the tins with a circle of baking or silicone paper (to do this, draw around the base of the tin onto the paper and cut out).
3. Whisk the butter for 1 minute until it's light and fluffy (ideally the butter should be at room temperature, when place in the bowl.)
4. Break eggs into a separate bowl and then put in the 1/2 tbsp of vanilla extract and lightly beat together, after add a spoonful of the egg mixture into the creamed butter, then thoroughly whisk every time each tablespoon is added. This should take around 5 minutes.
5. Next gradually beat in the sugar until thoroughly mixed, after add the tbsp of milk, then sift the self raising flour again, once this is done add it to the mixture and gently fold in with a metal spoon until the streaks of flour disappear. Remember not to over mix as this with knock all the air out making the cake heavy.
6. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins: this doesn’t need to be exact, but you can weigh the filled tins if you want to check. Use a spatula to remove all of the mixture from the bowl and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
7. Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Don't be tempted to open the door while they're cooking, but after 20 minutes do look through the door to check them.
8. The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check they should be springy to the touch. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool in their tins for five minutes. Then run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tin and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.
9. To take your cakes out of the tins without leaving a wire rack mark on the top, put the clean tea towel over the tin, put your hand onto the tea towel and turn the tin upside-down. The cake should come out onto your hand and the tea towel – then you can turn it from your hand onto the wire rack.
10. Set aside to cool completely, to assemble the cake, place one cake upside down onto a plate and spread it with plenty of jam. If you want to, you can spread over whipped cream too. Top with the second cake, top-side up and sprinkle over a dusting of icing sugar.
And there you have it the perfect victoria sponge, hope you've enjoyed my first post. What's your favourite cake to bake?