My first post! I had to sit and think carefully about what my first post should be about. I came firmly to the conclusion that I should start with what I believe to be one of THE staples of home baking: The Victoria Sponge.
I’ve been making this particular cake, using this one recipe for as long as I’ve been baking. I’ve tried a couple of other recipes, however nothing ever seems to turn out as well as this beauty. It produces the perfect light, fluffy golden sponge…and always receives the essential seal of approval from any one who samples it!
This cake is a perfect starting point for your classic birthday cake. Traditionally the Victoria Sponge is sandwiched together with jam, however this cake works equally as well sandwiched with butter cream (of which there are many flavour varieties to play with, including chocolate, coffee, choc-fudge etc). For an occasion cake, I will usually use a simple glacé icing on top (made by mixing icing sugar with a small quantity of water) or butter cream. Using either of those as a base, I will then get wild and creative with all sorts of edible decorations- have fun and be bold!
The recipe comes from this book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Dairy-Book-Family-Cookery/dp/0852233507/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380465360&sr=8-1&keywords=the+diary+book+of+family+cookery. Admittedly, my copy no longer resembles what you see when you follow the link. Having been passed onto me from my Mum (this book is considerably older than I am!) it lost it’s cover many moons ago, the spine is a wreck, and inevitably the pages are spattered with dried-on cake batter… But it still serves me well. The Victoria Sandwich recipe can be found in chapter 11: Home Baking.
I have also found that since purchasing an electric hand mixer (mine costing me a tenner from Tesco!) the texture of the sponge has greatly improved- much more fluffy and light. I’d definitely recommend investing in one of these simple gadgets if one plans on baking regularly (definitely well worth a tenner!)
I seem to recall that this was also the first cake I ever baked for The Watch… I think I can certainly say it left a good first impression!