I can’t stop for long. I’m off to London. I have one of those small, annoying wheely cases packed full to the brim with brownies, candles and small bottles of inferior toiletries reserved usually for hand luggage only flights. I’ve had to bring them out of retirement given my bag is 78% sugar and shoes.
I used to live in London and when I did I despised people dragging wheely cases behind them. They took up the space of two commuters. And the people dragging them were slow. I was not slow. I was a woman who felt pedestrianised areas should have lanes. I am not that woman now. I am slow and I drag cases and I stop in the middle of the pavement to consult my A to Z. So in the same way we all turn into out mothers, I too have turned into a tourist.
Onto the sponge. It’s an oldie but a goodie.
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available second hand through Amazon).
One year ago: Weaning flapjack and White chocolate mousse eggs and Easter chocolate nests with biscuit chicks and Lamb, pea and mint pie with rough puff pastry and Homemade Snickers and Spinach, ricotta and sweet potato lasagne and Mother’s Day afternoon tea and Chocolate chip cookies and Lemon and raspberry trifle
Victoria sponge cake
- 55g soft salted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 120g Stork margarine (don’t try own label, I have done and it’s rubbish – just buy Stork please)
- 175g castor sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 175g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins with butter and line with non stick baking parchment.
Beat the butter, Stork and sugar for 7 minutes using an electric mixer or for about 12 minutes using a wooden spoon. Break the eggs into a jug with the vanilla and lightly whisk. Add a dribble of egg to the mixture and beat well for about a minute to fully incorporate. If you are using a stand mixer be careful to scrape down the sides afterwards as a lot of mixture can sit around the edges not being truly mixed into the egg. Repeat until all the egg has been incorporated.
Mix the flour and baking powder together well and sieve over the bowl of egg-butter-sugar mixture. Use a metal spoon to fold the flour in, using a cutting motion rather than beating. Careful to slice and cut from the bottom too to ensure all the flour is mixed in.
Spoon equally into the two tins and level with a knife/back of a spoon. Push the spoon just slightly into the centre of each tin to make a 1/2 cm dip. This won’t give you completely level cakes but it will ensure you don’t end up with mountains. Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven being careful not to open the oven door to check on the cake. This way collapsed cakes lie.
The cakes are ready when they are well risen, light brown, a toothpick comes out of the centre of the middle of the cake clean and the cake is starting to pull away from the sides of the tin ever so slightly. Carefully remove from the tin (I use a hand shielded in an oven glove to flip the cakes from the tin) and cool on a wire rack. When completely cool fill with jam or cream or both. I used Chantilly cream which is a posh name for double cream whipped with a little icing sugar. Add as much or as little as you like. Taste it and see. I use about 3 tbsp for 400mls cream. Dust with a little icing sugar to bring out your inner Mary Berry. Or leave it plain.
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