Sunday, 1 April 2012

Victoria Sponge Cake

OK, so this isn't the traditional looking Victoria Sponge exactly, but if you're in need of some light as air cake, perfectly sweetened buttercream and lots and lots of jam this has everything covered.

A little while back I was in a position where I had no idea what to do with myself, and the only thing that could distract me and make me feel better was an afternoon spent baking. For certain reasons the only thing I wanted to make was a Victoria Sponge. However, I don't have two small cake tins, just one large round tin, and I am terrible at cutting cakes into two equal slices. And I had to make this cake the best I could. So instead I used the cake tin I normally use for brownies, flapjacks and the like. 

Cutting the tray of cake in half I got two pieces of cake that were almost equal in size and thickness, that I smothered in layers of buttercream and raspberry jam, and dusted with icing sugar. I'm not saying this is the prettiest cake in the world, but it looked good to me, especially in comparison to my past cake disasters! 
A slab of this (this was definitely a comfort eating moment so don't judge!) with a cup of tea, and while nothing might have changed I could deal with it all a little bit better. 
The recipe for the sponge is adapted from the Vanilla Cupcakes from Eat Me! - the mix can be split between muffin cases to make 12 cupcakes


For the sponge:
110g butter/margarine
110g caster sugar
2 large eggs
110g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the buttercream:
100g icing sugar
50g butter/margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing sugar, to dust

-Preheat the oven to 180C(160C fan oven)/350F/Gas Mark 4.
-Grease and line a deep rectangular 20cm x 30cm baking tray.
-Cream the butter and caster sugar together with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy.
-Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
-Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl, then gently fold a third of this at a time into the mixture using a metal spoon, until you have a smooth batter.
-Fold in the vanilla extract.
-Pour the mixture into the baking tin, gently smoothing the top with the back of a spoon.
-Bake for about 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, and the cake is a light golden brown colour.
-Leave to cool.
-Once cool, remove any greaseproof paper and cut the cake in half, giving you two roughly 10cm x 15cm pieces. 
-Place one half on a serving plate and spread with jam. The amount is entirely up to you, but in my opinion the more generous the better (especially with the raspberry jam I used - it's delicious!)
-To make the buttercream, cream together the butter and icing sugar until smooth, then add the vanilla extract. Taste to make sure it's the right sweetness.
-Turn the remaining cake half upside down and spread with the buttercream. Place on top of the jam covered half.
-Sift icing sugar all over the cake to finish. 

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