Sometimes I love going back to basics and I think that you can’t beat a simple Victoria Sponge. But sometimes it’s fun to give classics a little twist and that is what I’ve done here.
A few weeks ago a friend gave me a big bag of rhubarb from his garden and I used it to make a lovely rhubarb and vanilla jam from the Good Food website (http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/251611/rhubarb-and-vanilla-jam). Although there are more traditional fruits that spring to mind when I think of summer, I thought that the tart rhubarb would be a lovely contrast to the sweet sponge.
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
For the filling and topping;
300ml double cream
Icing sugar, for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 180C / Fan 160C /gas mark 4. Lightly grease and line two loose-bottom 20cm (8 inch) tins.
- Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and beat for about 2 minutes until just blended (if beating by hand you may need to beat for slightly longer).
- Divide the mixture between the two tins and smooth out the tops with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula. (Some people like to weigh the tins to make sure both have the same amount of mixture in. I don’t have the patience for this so I just do it by eye and if the sponges aren’t quite the same size I tell myself it looks rustic and homemade!).
- Bake the sponges for about 25 minutes until risen and golden (TIP- every oven is different so the baking time for any recipe should be a guide only. Get to know your own oven and adjust timings accordingly. My oven is super efficient so I always bake for at least 5 minutes less than the recipe says. One good way to tell if your cake is cooked is to push gently on the top of the cake with your finger – if it is done the cake will spring back).
- Leave the sponges to cool in the tins slightly and then run a blunt knife round the edge of the tins to loosen the cake and then turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack (TIP – I always place my loose-bottom tins onto an upturned glass. This means you can use the balls of both hands to gently push down on either side of the tin to release the cake). Peel off the grease- proof paper and leave the cakes to cool completely.
- When the cakes are cool, choose the cake with the best looking top then place the other cake top down onto your serving plate or stand. Spread the jam onto the sponge. I haven’t specified how much you need as it’s really personal preference. I used about half a large jar as I like a lot of filling in my cakes! Whip the cream until it is stiff enough to be spread and then spread this on top of the jam. Again, I was very generous with the cream as I love the look of cream oozing out of a cake but put in as much as you like.
- Put the other cake on top and sprinkle with some icing sugar to serve. I served my cake with lots of lovely fresh fruit which was fabulous but the cake is so delicious it can definitely be served on it’s own.