I gave this classic sponge cake which was a favourite of Queen Victoria (hence the name) for her afternoon tea to my Hubby for his birthday. It is a lovely combination of sweet cake and fruity, creamy filling. Apparently the classic Victoria Sponge does not have a cream filling. It is only filled with good quality raspberry jam. I think the cream adds an extra texture to the cake. But - whether with cream or traditional it makes a nice cake for an afternoon tea or a coffee and cake break.
Ingredients for 2 20cm cakes:
4 eggs, weighed in their shells,
the same weight as the eggs in self-raising flour, caster sugar and butter (plus a little extra for greasing), make sure to have all those ingredients at the same temperature, so leave them out on the work top for at least 2 hours.
a pinch of salt,
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.,
up to 1 tablespoon of milk should the batter get too hard.
For the filling:
3 tablespoons good quality raspberry jam (I like Sainsbury's So Organic Raspberry jam), 300 ml double or whipping cream
1 teaspoon icing sugar.
1. Grease 2 20cm tins with a little butter and line the bottom of the tins with baking paper.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Sift the flour and mix the sugar and the pinch of salt. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly. Set aside.
3. Weigh the bowl you are making the dough in because it helps you to half the batter in the end. Place the soft butter in the bowl and start whisking until very light in colour and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until the sugar has almost dissolved in the fat. This takes some time but it is worth the effort as the better this mixture is prepared the lighter the resulting cake will be.
4. Add a quarter of the eggs and whisk thoroughly until well combined with the butter/sugar mixture. Should it look as if it would start to curdle add a tablespoon of the sifted flour to the mixture and beat in. When the eggs are all mixed in, add the flour. And combine well. The dough should come off a tablespoon if you scoop a spoonful of dough onto the spoon and turn it round back into the bowl. If it is too thick it will stick to the spoon and will not come off, add a teaspoon at the time of milk and whisk it in gently. Remove all baking gear from the bowl and weigh it again. Take the difference, divide it by two and then take this amount of dough out of the bowl into the prepared tin. Fill both tins and level the surface as much as possible.
5. Place into the oven for about 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Remove from the oven, leave to stand in the tins for a few minutes then remove the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.
6. When cooled, place one cake upside down onto a serving plate. Beat the cream until thick. Spread the cream onto the upside down cake. Stir the jam a little then spread the second cake with the jam on the flat side of the cake. Turn the cake around and set the jam on top of the cream.
7. Place a teaspoonful of icing sugar into a small sieve and dust the top of the cake with it. Serve with coffee or tea.