Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

victoria-spongeVictoria sponge – the quintessential English teatime treat – is, according to tradition, a basic sandwich cake filled with either strawberry or raspberry jam and dusted liberally with icing sugar (though a little whipped cream might make an appearance). Delightful as tradition is, there’s nothing wrong with zesting proceedings up a little – literally. The addition of orange and lemon zest is a great way of achieving a very special flavour, without doing away with the lightness of the perfect sponge cake.

Basic sponge is extraordinarily simple to produce, but there is one secret behind achieving the ideal crumb – weigh your eggs. Your cake batter should consist of equal parts egg, flour, sugar and butter (if you really haven’t the facility to weigh eggs, three medium eggs are around 190g). Follow this instruction and I can guarantee that, assuming no baking mishap occurs, every sense your body can spare is likely to pat you on the back and say “jolly well done, old thing”.

Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

When following this recipe stick to using blackcurrant or blueberry jam – they work the best with citrus flavours. Avoid getting too creative and adding lemon juice to your mascarpone as it’s likely to alter its texture somewhat and could overpower the rest of the cake in terms of flavour. As things stand, the tart berries and citrus zest harmonise rather well and the creamy mascarpone brings that little bit of luxury to the table that really helps this cake shine.

Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sandwich {recipe}

Makes 1 cake

Ingredients:

• 3 eggs

• Butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour in equal measure – weigh the eggs in order to get exact amounts.

• 1 lemon, zest

• 1 orange, zest

• 2-3 tbsp blackcurrant jam

• 250g mascarpone

• 1 tbsp icing sugar

Method:

1. Grease and line two 18cm sandwich tins, heat oven to 180C. Cream together the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one. Sieve in the flour and fold in gently along with the zest. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins and bake for around 25 minutes, or until they make no sound when listened to.

2. Once baked leave for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Set aside to cool completely.

3. Place the mascarpone in a bowl and sieve in the icing sugar – beat thoroughly. Spread one sponge with the jam and place the other on top. Decorate with the mascarpone and enjoy! Store in the fridge in an air tight container.

Cost: Basic cakes never set one back too much – there’s a limit to the cost of eggs, butter, sugar and flour. Of course, mascarpone is a little pricey compared to icing sugar and even double cream, but it’s worth it. Still, at around £2.30 for the entire confection it’s difficult to stray far from frugality.

106 thoughts on “Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

  1. lizintheshed

    Sounds yummy and last week when I made a sponge my eldest wanted blackcurrant instread of raspberry, so maybe I will be a nice mummy and knock this up in a mo. I even have a tub of marscapone lurking in the fridge and it’s within date! Gosh, a miracle in itself.

  2. narf77

    This was my mum’s “go-to” cake recipe. The test of a good cook (forget chef, “cook” is the epoch of the home bastions and of true soul food) is their ability to make a good Victoria Sponge. This came direct from my mothers mother who was a true Lancashire Lass and who was the source of the font of all knowledge. NO-ONE knew more about culinary practices than my grandmother. She was also the instigator of “don’t run around in bare feet you will get calves that no man will love” and “just put this book on your head and walk around for a day, you are slouching girl!” and “shoes on the table and you will NEVER be able (presumably to bear children but I had 3 ;) )”… she would sniff your Victoria sponge first. Not good enough that it looked amazing…the smell had to be right…then she would poke the crumb…apparently grandma had some sort of special touch that was able to appreciate the density of a crumb by the patternation of her fingerprints (magic woman…) and if everything was apparently up to her standards (which it rarely was) she would deign to humour you by taking a very small slice of your offering and eating it with a fork…”ladies eat with forks, spoons are for plebians!” (God help you if you picked it up with your fingers!!!)… your Victoria Sponge (after being duly sniffed and prodded of course…) would appear to have grandma’s seal of approval written all over it! BRAVO Mr. Frugal…you have indeed made it! :)

          1. narf77

            LOL! I don’t think Mr. Frugal minds do you sir? He is a most magnanimous host of all things foodie, frugal and convivial so wouldn’t mind 2 old dames having a bit of a natter about the old days ;)

  3. musingmar

    I just love simple old-fashioned cakes like this. So many confections are over-the-top these days, but sometimes we just need to go back to the time when cakes weren’t towering art creations, but rather simple and lovely. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the simple spongecakes my mother used to make, adorned with buttercream frosting, and your cake, although different, reminds me of that. I think it’s time for a little nostalgia in the kitchen.

  4. Camilla

    Ooh this cake looks utterly lush and with the mascarpone topping such a real treat, I also love the citrus and the blackcurrant fusion as I think these flavours marry off particularly well. Superb!

  5. The Vagabond Baker

    You just can’t beat a Victoria Sponge, this looks gorgeous. My mum always made sure there was one in the cupboard, made fresh from Delia’s recipe. We never had blueberry conserve though, usually raspberry jam, of the home made variety of course. And it was frugally finished with a dusting of icing sugar. Delicious though :)

  6. Somer

    You’ve really got this down to a science! No wonder when I used to make sponge cakes I could never get it just right. I love the citrus and the tart berries! Great job Nick!

          1. Somer

            I’m a lazy cook and don’t usually measure at all, I just kinda eyeball ingredients for size/weight. I only measure for reals when I’m doing recipes for the blog, It wouldn’t be very good of me to not be precise when posting.

  7. sakthi

    Mmm, lovely! I’ve heard about weighing everything according to the eggs but never usually get round to it – thanks for the push! Really like the idea of lemon + orange zest, and the mascarpone as well! That’s this wekeend’s baking sorted. I am going to use this for cupcakes (easier to feed an office) so will probably have to be a little more watchful at the oven…

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  11. Kim Bultman

    Thanks for the reminder about the ratio for making the perfect sponge cake. I haven’t tried that method yet, but your Victoria Sponge is twisting my arm. :)

    P.S. There’s a recipe for homemade mascarpone cheese on my blog (just type in “homemade mascarpone” in search) — then you can have your cake (& eat it, too!) anytime your frugal heart desires.

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