Saturday, 30 June 2012

Pretty Victoria sandwich with fresh raspberries

It’s a fact that British desserts are the best. Okay the Italians have ice-cream and America has the New York cheesecake but I’m talking about hearty cakes, tea breads, crumbles and hot sponge puddings – proper traditional comforting treats. And one of the most popular British classics is the Victoria sandwich, named after Queen Victoria of course.

Now I know what you’re thinking – Victoria sponge is more of an afternoon tea kind of cake, to be enjoyed with a cup of tea drank from a dainty China cup (little pinkies sticking out dahhling), and I agree.

But that’s if you’re doing things the traditional way, and if that’s the case your Victoria sandwich will be made up of strawberry jam sandwiched between two light sponge cakes, no cream – the way baking queen Mary Berry does it.

But for me, no piece of cake is complete without cream, so my Victoria sandwich is a bit of a twist on the classic version (sorry Mary).

I use raspberry jam instead of strawberry, lashings of thick whipped cream, scattered with fresh raspberries (I know, I’m such a cake rebel aren’t I?).

Placed on a fancy cake stand and dusted with icing sugar, it looks much more impressive than it actually is as it’s really easy to make.

I recently made one for my birthday and if I did it again I think I’d double the quantities of cake mixture to make a really deep cake. After all, if you’re going to have a piece of cake on your birthday, you may as well go for a huge, calorie-busting sized piece and you can deal with the guilt the next day.

Here’s the recipe.

175g soft margarine
175g golden caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
3 medium-sized eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300ml double cream
3-4 tablespoons raspberry jam
3 tablespoons icing sugar
pack of fresh raspberries

Line two small sandwich tins with greaseproof paper and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Put the margarine, sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla into a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric hand mixer, starting on a low speed and gradually increasing until combined.
Split the mixture equally between the two cake tins and smooth over the top. Place in the oven for approximately 20 to 25 minutes until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean. Then leave to cool on a wire rack.
In the meantime, use a hand mixer to whisk up the cream, adding two tablespoons of icing sugar to sweeten and continue to mix until thick.
Place in the fridge until needed.
Once the cakes are cooled, spread the jam over the bottom cake then add the cream before sandwiching the other cake on top.
Dust with icing sugar and sprinkle with raspberries.
If you don’t have two sandwich tins you can use a deeper round cake tin and slice the cake in half once it’s cooled.

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