A Victoria Sponge is meant to be the simplest cake recipe there is. It is as much as a British staple as crumpets, scones and afternoon tea. And, until yesterday, I had never made one.
I used the Granny’s Victoria Sponge recipe from the BBC Food website and was delighted to see how simple the instructions were. I had everything I needed already in the kitchen except for double cream which was very easy to get.
Once I had all my ingredients measured and lined up on the kitchen counter I got to work.
I split the mixture between these two identical cake tins and smoothed it out as much as I could. Then I placed them in the in the pre-heated oven side by side, and managed to burn my little finger at the same time. Which I was very brave about and did not whine all afternoon that my finger was sore!
Once the cakes were done I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool on the counter. The hole on the top of the nearest cake is from when I poked it to see if it was done, before it was ready. But as that was the bottom layer I didn’t think a hole would matter.
After about 20 minutes, I whipped up the double cream. I spread a generous layer of jam on the cake, then added the cream. I put the top layer of the cake on and sprinkled it with icing sugar. There was some spillage around the edges which I tried to neaten up with a little spatula. I didn’t get it perfectly neat but I was still pretty pleased with the final results.
I went to go locate the husband who was cleaning his bike outside and get him to come and admire my first Victoria Sponge Cake. By the time we returned to the kitchen something terrible had happened….
The cream had melted!
In my eagerness to finish the cake I had not payed enough attention to the instruction in the recipe that said to let the cake cool ‘completely’ before adding the jam and cream. Fatal mistake!
Regardless of the mess, we each had a slice and the cake actually tasted pretty good. I was especially pleased with the texture and taste of the sponge which is where I normally have trouble when baking.
I stored the cake in the fridge in the hope that the cream would stay fresh and took it to my parents this afternoon as a pudding to go with our Sunday lunch. Happily my family ate it up and didn’t seem to mind the presentation flaws. So this experience taught me two valuable lessons:
1. Always let a cake cool completely before adding cream
2. You can always count on family to tuck in to your baking creations