Welcome to the first tasty instalment of Gorenje’s Big Bake Off. With these recipes, we hope to inspire budding bakers and advanced artisans alike. So put on your baking mitts and preheat your oven, for this week is Cake Week.
With the final whistle blown at the Olympics and the last rays of sunshine breaking through the encroaching clouds, the end of British Summer Time is nigh. However, celebrate the closing days of summer in the utmost of British fashion with a Victoria sponge cake.
The Victoria sponge (or sandwich) is a two-layered plain sponge cake sandwiched together with lashings of buttercream and jam. Many cake enthusiasts debate the origin of the cake’s name, whether it was Queen Victoria’s favourite treat, or a cake baked for children’s nursery teatime, it is undeniably the quintessential British classic and the perfect way to start things off at Gorenje’s Big Bake Off.
|For the cake
|200g caster sugar
||500g jam sugar
|200g softened butter
||1 vanilla pod
||140g icing sugar
||1 kg ripe strawberries
||Drop of vanilla extract
|200g self-raising flour
|1tsp baking powder
To make the cake
- Pre-heat the oven to 190C, fan 170C, gas 5. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins and line with grease-proof paper.
- In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar, add the remaining ingredients and beat together until you have a smooth mixture.
- Divide the mixture equally between the tins. With a spatula, smooth the surface and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Turn onto a cooling wire and leave until the sponge is completely cool.
To make the buttercream
- Beat together the icing sugar and the butter until smooth and creamy. Then mix in the vanilla extract.
To make the jam (optional, of course you could use store-bought but homemade jam adds an extra layer of goodness!)
- Before commencing the jam journey, make sure you sterilize the jars and lids. Cover in boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes will do the trick.
- Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape the seeds out. Put the vanilla seeds in a saucepan with the strawberries and the sugar. Mash the contents of the pan with a potato masher to create a mouth-watering mush, leaving a few strawberries chunky.
- Place the pan on a medium heat and bring it to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, skim any foam off the top of the jam then leave it to cool a little. After about 20 minutes divide the jam into the jars and pop them in the fridge. Once sealed the jam will keep for about a week.
The final step
- Spread the buttercream on the bottom of one sponge and a good dollop of jam on the other. Sandwich the two sponges together and garnish with your favourite summer berries. Et voila, a Victoria sponge cake that is fit for royalty!
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