Baked: Victoria Sponge Cake


I'm starting a new series here - I'm going to try my hand at baking. I love collecting images on Pinterest of beautifully-styled foods, so thought I'd give it a go. Once a week I'm going to bake something new - probably something British with a French twist. For my first attempt I've baked a Victoria Sponge cake - adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe. I used to make these when I was little, from the 'We Can Cook' Ladybird book, which I still have, along with old recipes stuffed inside that I used to cook at school. I made this one with salted butter icing (the French twist). I used to be a margarine girl, until I tasted the butter in France. I've never looked back and thought it'd make a great icing. I made so much I smothered a layer on top of the cake too. Forget death by chocolate cake, this is death by Victoria Sponge. 

Ingredients:
4 eggs
225g flour
225g caster sugar
225g unsalted butter
1 packet baking powder (I can't for the life of me find self-raising flour, but add a sachet of this magic
stuff seems to do the trick)
rind of half a lemon
a splash of milk 
punnet of strawberries
strawberry jam

For the icing:
250g icing sugar
100g salted butter 
splash of water

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF and then grease the sandwich tins before lining them with greaseproof paper. When they're done, mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl until they're soft and creamy (try to wait until the butter is at room temperature, it'll make it easier to blend) then slowly add the eggs in one by one, beating each one into the mixture before the next. Then sift in the flour, add the packet of baking powder, and finally grate in some lemon rind - I would only grate half a lemon, otherwise you'll end up with sponge that tastes a little more like lemon cake, now there's an idea. Separate into the two sandwich tins and pop in the oven for around 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. 

For the icing, mix the butter and the icing sugar together and add in a splash of water to soften. 

When the cakes are done, let them cool and then cover the base in icing followed by a layer of strawberry jam. Then add a layer of thinly sliced strawberries. Don't put two much on or the jam will slide down the sides and end up in a big mess on the plate (I learnt the hard way). Then add the second sponge layer and either dust with some icing sugar, or if like me you made a little too much icing, you could add to the top. Et voila! 
[photography: Marissa Cox]