Baking is one of my favourite pastimes, and I would love to set up my own cake shop one day. My specialties are Cheesecakes, Cupcakes, Tiramisu and Victoria Sponge Cakes.
Whether you are completely new to baking, or a culinary wizard - It is important to get the basics right for making a sponge cake, as once you've got a good recipe that suits you and you've got all your timings right, you will be able to adapt this to make a whole range of different cakes.
My best friend when baking is my Breville food mixer. I know some people are a bit snobby about using a mixer, but it was a steal at £40, and I've used it many times for everything from whipping cream, mixing bread dough and making waffle batter. Buy the Breville Food Mixer at Wilkinsons.
Onto a foolproof recipe that you can adapt to your own tastes.
For the cake mixture:
200g caster sugar (granulated sugar is fine to use)
200g butter or margarine (I find soft margarine makes for a lighter, fluffier cake)
200g self-raising flour
For the filling:
Strawberry or Rasberry Jam (I think it would be interesting to try it with Pineapple Jam - watch this space)
200ml Double cream (whipped)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200c (fan-assisted) or 180/ gas mark 5
- Line the bottom of two large cake tins with a circle of greaseproof paper (this is a quicker and more effective way to ensure your cakes don't stick, as opposed to greasing them with butter)
- Mix the butter or margarine with the sugar in the mixer until smooth
- Add all 4 eggs and mix again until smooth
- Sieve the flour in slowly (with the mixer still on) from a height of 5 inches above the bowl and mix until smooth
- Divide the mixture equally between the two tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until light brown in colour
- Test to see if the cakes are cooked by gently inserting a sharp knife into the mixture - If it comes out clean, then it's ready
- Leave on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes
- Whip the double cream in the mixer (after cleaning), apply to the underside of one of the cakes (once cool), and spread a thin layer of Jam on the underside of the other cake. Pop one cake on top of the other (with the Jam and cream both on the inside) and there you have it, the perfect Victoria Sponge Cake.