Victoria Sandwich… An old English Treat!

By (Peter James Webber)

Sundays with Chef Peter….
Photo Kindly Borrowed from Jane Webster


I was having a think about what recipe to do for you this week and as these recipes will hopefully become a book one day (One Day!) based on my “illustrious” career and how it developed, where I travelled and how and where I collected the recipes in the book and any story that went along with them!

I was thinking back to my childhood when I used to spend Sunday mornings in the kitchen with Mum when she did her weekly bake for Dads and our (school) lunch boxes. Mum was a pretty good cook and had some great hand me down recipes for cakes and breads but one thing she always fussed about was sponges and whether they were going to rise and, never to open the oven while they were baking as they would collapse. Now after a good 30 years of knocking out sponges I still have a giggle when one of commis opens the oven in the middle of baking just to see if it’s true. Of course with powerful industrial baking ovens the job tends to be a lot easier than the household appliance Mum worked with and, I have to give it to her, she had a pretty good success rate, hence I guess why her son became such a “master baker”!
And then there were all those sponge and cake mixes which you could buy like Betty Crockers or Tesco’s which really saved you what as if you look at the ingredients in a cake or sponge, it really isn’t rocket science, they have just weighed the dry ingredients for you and you add 2 eggs and some water! But they are still on the shelves so I guess there must be a market still!

Mum of course would fill her Victoria Sandwich with Strawberry jam and English butter cream but for mine I am using fresh cream to make it a little more decadent and although this cake is really simple, if it is well made, it is simply delicious!

For a Victoria Sandwich you will need:

Ingredients:Sponge6 Eggs 185 grams Sugar185 grams Flour (sieved)25 grams Carnation Milk30 grams Melted Butter2 X 8” (20cm) Round buttered and papered sponge tins

FillingStrawberry Jam500 ml Whipping Cream50 grams Castor Sugar 2 leaves gelatineSugar syrup for moistening the sponge Icing Sugar for dusting

1) Place the eggs (at room temperature) and the sugar in a electric mixing bowl

2) With the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar on a medium speed for 5-10 minutes until ribbon stage is achieved. (If you do this by hand, be prepared to develop muscles!)

3) You can tell if you have reached the ribbon stage by lifting the whisk out of the mixture and swirling it around. It will leave a trail.

4) Before removing from the machine, whisk in the carnation milk and then remove.

5) Gently fold in the flour with a hand whisk using slow circular movements till well incorporated and then fold in the melted butter.

6) Divide the mixture between the 2 sponge tins, place on a baking tray and place in the oven at 180℃ and bake for 25-30 minutes till firm and springy to the touch. Never stick knives or toothpicks in sponges to see if they are cooked as you’ll develop big holes!

7) Remove from the oven and turn the sponges out onto a cooling rack.8) While the sponges are cooling prepare your Chantilly cream. 9) Place the gelatine in iced water to soak.10) Whisk the cream with the sugar till soft peaks.11) Melt the gelatine over heat or in a microwave till liquid and take some of the cream and mix with the gelatine and then add quickly back to the cream and whisk on high speed so no lumps are formed.

12) When the sponges are nice and cool, trim off the brown skin as it looks nicer when cutting and place on your serving plate.

13) Spread both sponges with a nice layer of strawberry jam (to spread on both is my little indulgence!)

14) Dollop the whipped cream on top the jam and spread out with a palette knife to the edge of the sponge.

15) Turn over the other sponge onto the cream so the jam is on top the cream.

16) Dust the cake heavily with icing sugar and refrigerate till ready to serve or best of all serve straight away!

17) Victoria sandwich is also excellent for freezing.

Now leave it alone, it’s for Sunday Tea and go and play in the garden!Happy Baking!Chef Peter

Food Blog by: THe Yum List

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