Saturday, 16 June 2012

Victoria Sponge

In preparation for CJ and my first anniversary of being together, I thought i'd use my weapons of the kitchen to make him a little something. He's an extremely picky eater and I know his favourite cake (one of the two cake flavours he likes, really) is Victoria Sponge, so I decided to make a Monster Victoria Sponge since his (and everybodys) favourite part is the jam and buttercream. However, I always think my baking skills are more incredible than they actually are, and had a few small disasters on the way, but NOTHING I COULDN'T FIX!

Here's the end product. I'd like to think I did pretty well considering the amount of jam and buttercream I tried to pile on. I adapted a recipe I found on BBC GoodFood which was really simple and easy to follow, the only difference between that and my recipe was that I decided to put only buttercream between the two cakes and cut the cakes in half to put jam in, so theres 3 sweeeet layers instead of one.

 For the cake:
200g caster sugar
200g softened butter
4 eggs, beaten
200g self-raising glour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk

For the buttercream:
100g butter, softened
140g icing sugar, sifted
drop vanilla extract (optional)

For the strawberry jam:
Obviously, just strawberry jam, and you can put as much as you want in. I used Bonne Maman because it is gooooddd.

Also, have a little extra icing sugar to sprinkle on top of the cake.

The actual cake making is the easiest part. 

Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas.
Butter two sandwich tins. In the recipe it says use 2 20cm sandwich tins (I didn't, I used two smaller ones and used the rest of the mix to make 6 whoopie pie cupcakes) and to line with non-stick baking paper (also did not do this, clearly living life on the edge).
Just mix all the ingredients together until you have a nice and smooth batter. You can usually tell when you've mixed it enough.

Divide the mixture between whatever tins you decide, and bake for 20 minutes IF you're using the suggested 20cm sandwich tins.... If not it's a whole lot harder trying to estimate when they're done, as I later found out by doing the knife-test trick to see if they're done, doing it too early and causing one of my cakes to explode a little at the top, and the other to be hollow somehow (?!).

So my cakes ended up looking like this.

The one of the left is clearly the hollow one. And the one on the right cracked at the top then batter poured out from it whilst in the oven. But problem solved as I ate that bit after I took it out.

I also used the leftover batter to make these cuties. Victoria Sponge Whoopie Pie Cupcakes. I'd like to claim myself as the inventor since I spontaneously thought of making these and now consider myself a baking pro, although undoubtedly millions of people have probably made these before... Drats.

Back to the disaster cake.

After cutting it in half, it kinda looked like a weird, uncooked doughnut. Instead of throwing it away, I decided to disguise it with jam and the top half.

He's probably going to get food poisoning. Sorry CJ. Reasons like this is why I haven't told him about this blog yet. But the cake slowly looks magnificent after that little hiccup..

And it's pretty BEAUTIFUL, if i say so myself.

Now, for my little whoopie pies. I just cut them in half and spread the buttercream on then the jam on top. Careful when spreading the buttercream as the crumbs from the soft cake will try and come off whilst sticking to the cream and the spoon. Also, don't overload it with jam, as the top of the cake might slide off (as I may have learnt from trial and error..)

Sprinkle with icing sugar.

My pride and joys.

These quickly disappeared from the scavengers in my house who claim that they're on a diet but lunge at the first sugar-coated object they see. Hopefully no one attacks the cake before CJ arrives. 
Thank god my sister isn't here.

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