By and large I have to admit that I’m not much of a cake man – I often find, perhaps unsurprisingly, that they are a little too cakey for my liking. By that I mean there is a little too much sponge and not enough of anything else. However, if done perfectly, a Victoria Sponge can be absolutely delightful. I think the key to making a good sponge is to use high quality eggs, because their taste really comes through in the mixture. As such, if you use bad eggs it will just taste a little dodgy – luckily we keep our own chickens, so that was covered for perfectly. Another bonus of the victoria sponge is that it’s so simple, and therefore cheap to make – it isn’t even iced. It really is the perfect British cake to be enjoyed, as Queen Victoria did, at 11 o’clock with a spot of tea.
It was my 21st birthday yesterday, hence the lack of blog material, for which my dear old mother, bless her soul, made a lovely strawberry cheesecake. I will, at some point, blog this cheesecake, because as a few of you will know cheesecake is my favourite dessert. How can anyone get enough of a nice thick “buttery biscuit base?”
For my birthday my parents took me and my girlfriend, as well as my grandparents, to a lovely little Greek restaurant called ‘The Olive Branch’. If ever you’re in Aberystwyth you must visit this “taverna”, as the food is very nice, the portions large and the price relatively small. In case anyone was wondering I had ‘Houmous Kavurma’, or houmous with lamb, as a starter, followed by ‘Kleftiko’, or slow cooked lamb with rice, as a main. You can already see I’m a massive fan of lamb, notwithstanding the fact I had a roast leg of lamb – not all to myself – on Sunday. It must be a Welsh thing! Enjoy the cake!
Victoria Sponge with Strawberry Jam and Cream
• 3 large eggs
• Butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour in equal measure – in order to get exact amounts weigh the eggs and use the same weight of these ingredients, this should be roughly 7 ounces
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 150ml whipping cream
• 150g strawberry jam, may have to beat it to make it spreadable
• Icing sugar for dusting
1. Grease and line two 18cm sandwich tins, heat oven to 180C.
2. Cream together the sugar and the butter, with a hand whisk, until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the eggs one by one. This requires thorough mixing between each egg. Sieve in the flour and fold in gently until just mixed.
4. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins and bake for around 25 minutes, or until they make no sound when listened to.
5. Rest, before turning onto a wire rack and allowing to cool. When cool, fill with jam and then whipped cream, before dusting with icing sugar.
The entire cake, filling and all, should cost no more than around £1.90 to make. I think this is fantastic considering that in most coffee shops a slice of victoria sponge would cost £2.