Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Victoria Sponge Cake

There are some days that even when using the simplest of ingredients (butter, sugar, eggs and flour), things can go wrong. I'm not sure where my mind was, but I'd misremembered the contents of the pantry and ended up rummaging around for a packet of caster sugar. Alas, the elusive packet was no-where to be found, so I made the somewhat lazy decision of substituting sifted white sugar in the recipe instead of making another trip down to the shops. 

What did make my life easier was testing out the Phillips mixer that is in all likelihood older than I am. 
Electric Standing Mixer
Looks and age aside, it definitely did its job in creaming together the butter and sugar without much effort on my part. 

Creamed Butter and Sugar
The addition of three eggs, and some flour makes for a simple yet delicious batter. 

Sponge Cake Batter
By using the wrong sugar, the resulting sponge cake wasn't as fluffy as I would have liked it to have be, but there was an undeniably interesting texture. Some of the outer crust caramelized in the oven as well, so all was not lost.

Sponge Cake
The filling for the cake is a combination of standard buttercream, strawberry jam, and fresh strawberries, and the decoration is simply some more fresh strawberries and a slight dusting of icing sugar. 

Unfortunately, my sugar mishaps didn't quite end with the batter; I once again used white sugar instead of icing sugar for the filling, even though the icing sugar was on the bench in front of me!  
Buttercream Filling
Once again, the coarse grains interfered with the desired effect, but overall it didn't contribute to an unpleasant cake, just a slightly unexpected one texturally. Let's just say this one went down a treat. I've decided that I'll attempt this again - with the correct sugars.  

Victoria Sponge Cake
Ingredients:

  • 150 g salted butter
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150 g self raising flour, sifted
  • 60 g salted butter
  • 125 g icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp strawberry jam
  • 8 - 10 strawberries, hulled and halved
Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs in three batches, whisking until smooth. Fold in the flour.
  3. Spoon mixture into a prepared 18-inch cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. To make the filling, put butter, sugar, 3 tsp warm water and the vanilla extract and beat using an electric whisk; start slowly then increase speed until the mixture is as light and fluffy as possible.
  5. When the cake is cool, carefully cut it in half horizontally to get two discs. Spread the filling onto the bottom cut half and arrange some strawberries on top. Spread the jam onto the top cut side and carefully sandwich together.
  6. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with strawberries. 
Victoria Sponge Cake