This weekend I celebrated a significant birthday and I wanted to replicate the cake I had on my 1st birthday. Though this time there is a lack of photos of me sticking my fingers into the cream trying to harvest a fresh strawberry when I should have been blowing out a candle. Where did my 20s go?! I didn’t do badly as during that decade – I met Hubs along with some other fabulous people, graduated, bought our first house, got married, dabbled with a couple of jobs, discovered I really could cook and started my business. This birthday also celebrated my first year in business. Yep, I survived and even made a profit, so you could say it was two celebrations in one. I received lots of lovely gifts including a spa break, glass jelly mould, cookbooks and lots of vouchers to spend on myself. When you run a small business it’s always a nice novelty when your given the opportunity to spend money on yourself rather than the business. Shops of Derby watch out!
I tend to shy away from making cakes like this too often as Hubs & I could easily demolish a cake like this in a day. They are saved for special events when we can share them with friends and family. As my birthday is in July it’s almost the law that the cake must involve strawberries. Sadly the strawberry season seems to have come to an abrupt end in Derbyshire. Usually I have no problems getting strawberries and raspberries from the PYO for my birthday, bit this year they said how the weather had really impacted on the crops. In the end I managed to get possibly some of the smallest, yet beautifully sweet,English strawberries I’ve tasted from the market along with some British raspberries.
While you can have many fillings in a sponge cake, Victoria Sponge purists will always say how it has to be whipped cream and strawberry jam; I totally agree. For me a buttercream filling is far too sweet for a cake like this and only whipped cream with jam or fresh fruit will do.
The key to this victoria sponge is to weigh the eggs, in their shells, at the beginning. You will then need the equal weight of flour, sugar & butter. So if your eggs weigh 250g you’ll need 250g flour etc.
4 large eggs
1) Line the bottom of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment. Preheat oven to 180°c.
2) Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy then beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined. Before adding the fourth egg add a spoonful of the flour into the mix to help stop the mixture curdling.
3) Stir in the vanilla extract then fold in the flour. It needs to be of dropping consistency (in other words it drops off the sponge easily). If not, add a small amount of milk to help loosen the batter.
4) Share the cake batter between the two tins then bake for around 30 minutes until the cakes are risen, golden and a skewer comes of out the cake clean.
5) Allow the cake for rest for a few minutes for the cake to rest before turning it out of the tin and removing the baking paper. Allow to cool on a wire rack before filling, then dust with icing sugar.