I first saw Mary Berry on Saturday Kitchen. I was really impressed by her no-nonsense approach to cooking and baking and also the fact that she has published more than 70 cookery books. Marry Berry is, perhaps, most famous for her Victoria Sponge recipe.
This was not the first Victoria Sponge cake I have made, but I am pretty sure this is the end of my search for the perfect Victoria Sponge.
This cake is everything I look for in a sponge cake. It is relatively dense, but not heavy. It is somewhat crumbly but not overly so. It tastes of pure butter. It is not overly sweet. It is versatile - you can sandwich the layers with different flavours of jam, cream, custard, lemon curd, or whatever filling that you like.
It is perfect with that cup of tea. Or coffee, if that is more your thing.
I had recently bought a copy of Mary Berry's Baking Bible, and was keen to try this famous recipe.
The recipe is so simple, I actually was a tad doubtful it was going to work.
In a mixing bowl, I beat the butter and caster sugar for a minute. Then I added the rest of the ingredients - the eggs, flour and baking powder.
I beat this until everything was well-combined. It took me about 3-4 minutes.
I gave the bowl a scrape with a spatula.
And gave everything one final mix.
Then I divided the batter into 2 equal (I used a weighing machine to measure) parts, transferred the batter into 2 lined and greased baking pans and gently level the batter in each pan.
The cakes were baked, and allowed to cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes before I transferred them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
I used a offset spatula to spread strawberry jam on the first layer of the cake.
And carefully placed the second cake on the first.
Then I dusted icing sugar on the cake.
I love the cake with a cup of my favourite Earl Grey tea.
I really, really love this gorgeous cake.
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Mary Berry's Perfect Victoria Sandwich (Serves 8-10)
Adapted from Mary Berry's Baking Bible
For the cake:
4 large eggs
225g (8oz) caster sugar
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
225g (8oz) baking spread, margarine or soft butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tins - I used butter
For the filling and topping:
4 tablespoons strawberry or raspberry jam
A little caster sugar for sprinkling - I used sifted icing sugar for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Grease and line 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins: use a piece of baking or silicone paper to rub a little baking spread or butter around the inside of the tins until the sides and base are lightly coated. Line the bottom of the tins with a circle of baking or silicone paper (to do this, draw around the base of the tin onto the paper and cut out).
3. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the sugar, flour, baking powder and baking spread.
4. Mix everything together until well combined. The easiest way to do this is with an electric hand mixer, but you can use a wooden spoon. Put a damp cloth under your bowl when you’re mixing to stop it moving around. Be careful not to over-mix – as soon as everything is blended you should stop. The finished mixture should be of a soft ‘dropping’ consistency – it should fall off a spoon easily.
5. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins: this doesn't need to be exact, but you can weigh the filled tins if you want to check. Use a spatula to remove all of the mixture from the bowl and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
6.Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Don't be tempted to open the door while they're cooking, but after 20 minutes do look through the door to check them.
7.The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool in their tins for five minutes. Then run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tin and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.
8. To take your cakes out of the tins without leaving a wire rack mark on the top, put the clean tea towel over the tin, put your hand onto the tea towel and turn the tin upside-down. The cake should come out onto your hand and the tea towel – then you can turn it from your hand onto the wire rack.
9. Set aside to cool completely.
10. To assemble the cake, place one cake upside down onto a plate and spread it with plenty of jam. If you want to, you can spread over whipped cream too.
11. Top with the second cake, top-side up. Sprinkle over the caster sugar or icing sugar.
I am submitting this recipe for Cook-Your-Books hosted by Kitchen Flavours.