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    Classic Victoria Sandwich

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    Classic Victoria Sandwich

    A home-made cake is always a treat. The classic Victoria sponge uses equal quantities of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. Once you have mastered the basic techniques, there are endless variations to try. This version is sandwiched with clotted cream and fresh raspberries. So, make yourself popular with family and friends and spend an enjoyable half hour in the kitchen stirring and beating to make this light and buttery Victoria Sandwich.

    • Vegetarian

    Serves: 6 - 8

    Ingredients

    • 175g slightly salted butter, at room temperature
    • 175g caster sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 175g self-raising flour
    • 113g tub clotted cream
    • 125g fresh raspberries, washed
    • Icing sugar, for dusting

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Set 1 tin on double thickness baking parchment and draw around the base with a pencil. Cut out 2 circles of paper just inside the marked line. Lightly grease the tins with butter and place a circle of paper in the base of each. Cut the butter into small pieces and place in the mixing bowl with the caster sugar. Using an electric whisk or wooden spoon, beat the butter and sugar together until evenly mixed and the mixture is pale and fluffy.
    2. Break an egg into a small bowl or cup and beat lightly with a fork. Gradually beat the egg into the creamed mixture until it is well mixed. Repeat with the remaining eggs. If the mixture looks a little curdled, don't worry as it won't affect the final result. Set a sieve over the bowl and sift half the flour into the mixture. Using a large metal spoon, fold the flour into the mixture, lightly cutting through the centre and turning it over each time until no traces of flour remain. Repeat with the remaining flour. Folding the flour gently will ensure as much air as possible is retained in the mixture, resulting in a sponge with a light texture.
    3. Using a spatula, divide the mixture between the prepared tins. Smooth the tops of the cakes with a round bladed knife and bake both on the centre shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes. When the cake is cooked the sides will have shrunk slightly from the tin and the top will be golden and spring back when gently pressed with a finger. Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes in the tins, then loosen the edge of 1 cake using a round bladed knife and invert onto a folded, clean tea towel. Remove the paper and invert onto the cooling rack (this prevents marks on the top of the cake from the rack). Repeat with the second cake and leave to cool.
    4. Select the cake with the best top, then place the other cake, top downwards, onto a flat serving plate. Spread with the clotted cream and scatter with the raspberries. Place the second cake on the cream and raspberries, top side up. Spoon a little icing sugar into the sieve and use to dust the top of the cake lightly and evenly. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Eat on the day of making.

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    Cook's tips

    If you forget to remove the butter from the fridge, soften it in the microwave on medium for 20 seconds.

    To freeze the unfilled cakes, interleave them with a sheet of baking parchment and wrap in foil or put in a rigid container. Use within 1 month. The coffee cake can be frozen filled. Allow 2-3 hours to defrost and eat on the day of defrosting.

    The cake mixture can be made in a food processor. To avoid over mixing, use the pulse button when adding the flour.

    Variation

    Lime and Coconut Victoria sandwich
    Replace 50g of the flour with 50g desiccated coconut and add 1 tsp baking powder to the flour before sieving it into the cake mixture. Fold in the coconut and 1 tbsp milk with the flour. Cook in the same way as the classic Victoria sponge. To make the filling, beat the zest of 1 lime, 1 tbsp lime juice and 50g caster sugar into 250g curd cheese and use to sandwich the cakes together. Dust the top with icing sugar. Once filled, store in the fridge and eat on the day of making.


    Coffee and Walnut Victoria sandwich
    Dissolve 2 tsp coffee granules in 1 tbsp boiling water and cool. Fold into the basic cake mixture with the flour and bake as above. To make a coffee-flavoured butter icing, dissolve another 2 tsp coffee granules in 1 tbsp boiling water. Beat 100g softened butter together with 200g sifted icing sugar and the dissolved coffee. Spoon half the filling into a small bowl and stir in 25g chopped walnuts. Sandwich the cakes together with the walnut icing, then spread the remaining icing over the top of the cake. Arrange 8 walnut halves around the top. Store in a tin in a cool place for up to 4 days.

    Kitchen tools

    2 x 18cm cake tins
    Baking parchment
    Pencil
    Scissors
    Scales
    Small sharp knife
    Large mixing bowl
    Wooden spoon or hand-held electric whisk
    Small bowl or cup
    Fork
    Sieve
    Large metal spoon
    Spatula
    Round bladed knife
    Clean tea towel
    Cooling rack

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