The Victorian sponge is a classic cake, isn’t it? A spongy, creamy, jammy heaven! My recipe, is of course residing in the realms of glorious excess, but I feel that, considering I made this as a birthday cake for my Mum, glorious excess is perfectly acceptable – if not a downright necessity! The great thing about this cake is that it is not at all prodigious to make. In fact, from pre-heating the oven, to actually scoffing the finished article, the time period is less than one hour, which admittedly is longer than the cake survives the gluttonous mouths of the Tuohy household! The sponge itself is a traditional recipe, but the addition of double cream and luxurious strawberry conserve, topped with a variety of fresh fruit, ensures that this Victorian classic gets a taste of modernity!
What you will need for the cake:
6oz plain white flour (if you use self-raising flour, then no baking powder is required)
6oz caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk
What you will need for the filling and topping:
1 pint double cream
Strawberries, peaches, kiwis (or any other fruit of your choice)
1) Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C, gas mark 4.
2) Grease the inside of two 7” cake tins. A good tip is also to then line the tins with greaseproof paper to prevent the cake from sticking. (Greasing it should take care of this, but by doing this, you’re sure to have perfect cakes)
3) Cream the butter until it is soft and then, add the caster sugar gradually.
4) When this mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs in one by one, beating them in during each addition.
5) Sieve in the flour and baking powder and add the milk. Mix together, either by hand or in a mixer.
6) Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake immediately for 20-25 mins.
7) When the cakes are done, leave them to cool on a wire rack. (I usually take them out of the tins straight away and the greaseproof paper aids you with this)
8) When the cakes are cool, spread the jam/conserve on the inside of both cake and fill with cream, topping the cake with some more double cream and adding your fruit.
And there you have it! A delicious sponge, perfect for all seasons – soft and comforting in winter, but light enough for a warm summer’s day (depending on how much double cream one can handle).
Almost Victorian enough to say ‘qu’ils mangent de la brioche’ – let them eat cake!