Yesterday morning I baked a cake. I gave in to a terrific urge to make a proper, grown-up Cakey type cake as opposed to the child-orientated buns/cookies/flapjack that I usually bake. I love it when this sort of baking desire strikes, cos it's usually a fairly easy desire to fulfill, and the satisfaction rate is beautifully High.
The object of my desire yesterday was Victoria Sponge. Nothing else would do. It absolutely, completely, totally had to be this exact cake. Now I'm not sure, but I honestly don't think I've ever made a Victoria Sponge before, excepting maybe at school in cookery class. Although it's a very traditional, classic English cake, it has a reputation for being a little bit tricksy to get right. In fact I think it's entirely possible to make a very bad Victoria sponge (too heavy, too dry, burnt around the edges, uncooked and sunken in the middle etc etc), and not at all easy to achieve the light, airy, moist and golden Object of my Desire. But I took on the challenge and gave it a go anyways.
This is my recipe, adapted from my old never-fail bun recipe::
150g caster sugar, creamed with 150g margarine.
2 beaten eggs with a tsp vanilla essence and a splash of hot water. Whizz it all up furiously until light and fluffy.
150g self raising flour, folded in gently.
Divide mixture between 2 well greased or lined 8" tins, and bake at 180/350/gas 4 for 30mins until risen and lightly golden. The cakes should be slightly springy to the touch.
Turn out of the tins very carefully (my tins have a loose bottom which is very handy for this) and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the filling I made butter cream icing (50g unsalted butter creamed with 100g icing sugar) and added a good spreading of strawberry jam. Sandwich it all together and dust the top lightly with icing sugar.
The resulting cake was quite honestly incredible.
It was light, oh it was so-so-so light. It was moist and fluffy and sweet and just absolutely scrummy. It looked lovely on my cake stand, all sugar dusty on top with butter cream and jam oozing out from the middle. But truthfully the look of it was nothing compared to the experience of stuffing it sweetly into my mouth.
Incredible I tell you.