I’ve been meaning to try my hand at a Victoria Sandwich for quite some time now but all the comments about it being tricky and all the different secrets people shared for a perfect sponge kind of warded me off. Can you imagine reading this on a Wiki entry:
Although simple to make, Victoria sponge recipes are notoriously sensitive to cooking times and temperatures. As such, oven manufacturers often use a Victoria sponge recipe to test their ovens.
How scary is that?! What if I did everything right but my oven failed me, like with macarons? Having watched Calendar Girls sure didn’t help 😉
Anyways, one day I woke up and decided I would bake a Victoria Sandwich for tea with some friends. I flirted with some recipes and ended up choosing Jamie Oliver’s because Mary Berry’s called for extra raising agent and I wanted to make it the traditional way (but of course I wouldn’t beat it by hand!).
The only thing I was really careful about was having on hand all the ingredients measured and equipment prepared (the mise en place) before starting because, like any sponge, it doesn’t allow for much dawdling.
(slightly adapted from Jamie Oliver’s)
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
225g self-raising flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
250g fresh strawberries
1 vanilla pod
150g good-quality strawberry jam
150ml double cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease the bottom and sides of two 20cm sandwich cake tins with butter. Line the base of each tin with greaseproof paper, then dust the sides lightly with flour.
Beat the butter and sugar together, until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one in well before you add the next. Fold in the flour gently with a metal spoon.
Divide the cake mix into the prepared tins and spread it out using a spatula. Bake in the hot oven for around 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and risen.
Allow the cakes to cool slightly in the tins, then carefully turn them out on to a rack to cool completely.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLING
Slice the strawberries. Gently warm the jam in a pan over low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in your sliced strawberries.
Add the cream to a bowl with the sugar and vanilla seeds, and whip until you have nice soft peaks*.
Pick the least attractive sponge to go on the bottom and place it on the centre of your serving platter or cake plate. If it’s a little rounded on top, simply trim and flatten it off by using a sharp knife and rotating the plate and sponge as you cut.
Smear over the jam and strawberries, then spread the sweetened cream over the top.
Place the second cake (pretty side up) on top and dust it with icing sugar.
NOTE: I used my Stabilised Whipped Cream instead.