Monday, 27 May 2013

Victoria Sponge

I hope everyone who is lucky enough to have a long weekend is enjoying the rest and relaxation!

On a recent cold and rainy afternoon, I decided I wanted cake. I gave the craving and the contents of the pantry some thought and came up with Victoria sponge - I had eggs, flour, butter and vanilla, and a jar of strawberry jam.

Now, this was a slightly risky undertaking. For all Victoria sponges are considered one of the easiest of the sponge family to make because they contain fats and raising agents, I can't remember ever having made a good one. I'm also usually put off because the instructions tend to say to divide the mixture between two tins, and for all my prodigious collection of cake tins, I don't have two of the same size.

I had Felicity's perfect Victoria sponge bookmarked, which uses the old-school direction to weigh the eggs in their shells and then use that weight of butter, sugar and flour. And when I realised that I only had two eggs, that seemed like the right approach to take.

My friend Suelle had commented that she felt the tins called for in the recipe were a bit big for a three-egg sponge, so I thought I would be OK using a single 6" tin for a two-egg sponge. I also used a splash of vanilla extract. Felicity has frequently expressed her distaste for vanilla extract in her column and it isn't a feeling I share. Because of that bit of vanilla I didn't end up needing any milk to get the mixture to the right dropping consistency.

The cake rose beautifully.

I didn't fancy buttercream (in Australian cookbooks sometimes called "mock cream") in the middle, and didn't really fancy going out to get fresh cream (it was, as previously mentioned, a cold and rainy afternoon). I did, however, have a tub of half-fat creme fraiche in the fridge. I dunked a spoon in it and decided that in both flavour and texture it would work well in my cake. It did.


11 comments:

The Cat's Mother said...

lovely - Rita would be proud of you

Foodycat said...

Mother - thank you! Wouldn't win points with the WI (they insist on raspberry jam only) but it was just what was required!

Joanne said...

I've recently discovered that sponge cakes are just HARD. Kudos to you for taking this on!

Angie Schneider said...

The sponge looks perfectly smooth and light. Creme fraiche sounds like a perfect filling for me.

mscrankypants said...

I could eat that whole cake right now -- it looks light, moist and delicious.

Foodycat said...

Joanne - they ARE! I don't know why they have the reputation of being simple.

Angie - it worked really well - creamy but not cloying.

Cranky - we find a 6" cake is just right for the two of us to not have it hanging around too long.

Barbara said...

I think you did a fabulous job...the crumb looks tender and it was genius to layer with Creme fraiche!

grace said...

classic. to me, the best cakes are the ones that absolutely need no frills to be incredible.

Chris Scheuer said...

Looks wonderful, so moist and enticing! Love the creme fraiche filling, great idea!

Caroline said...

It looks perfect to me - sometimes something apparently simple is just what you need. I too was surprised to see that Felicity's recipe called for 21cm tins - I would bake a 3 egg mix in two 8" tins and although it's only a cm different consider 21cm to be 9" tins, or perhaps 21cm is just an odd size to get hold of. Hmmm!

Simona said...

I like the idea of using creme fraiche in the cake, which looks lovely.

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