So let’s begin with an empty bowl.
Yesterday I made an English Victoria Sandwich Cake. I thought you might like to see how I made it. First take a clean bowl. The bowl is important. It has to be large enough to get some serious whisking done. The secret of making a light Victoria Sandwich Cake is to whisk the mixture till it’s just right. Too little or too much whisking and you’ll spoil it.
I made a 6oz cake, which takes the following ingredients:
6 ozs self-raising flour
6 ozs caster sugar (in America this is more refined sugar with a smaller grain. I can’t remember what you call it, sorry).
6 ozs butter or margarine. Tip – use soft margarine. It makes the whisking easier.
I use a hand-held electric whisk.
There are several ways of making the cake. You could make it by creaming the butter and sugar together first and then adding the eggs slowly, one by one or as in this case, I combined the margarine, eggs and sugar together in the bowl and used an electric whisk.
When whisking, here’s the secret: You need to whisk until the mixture goes white, from yellow. Stop immediately it changes colour. If you see signs of curdling (egg separating) add a spoonful of flour and continue whisking. Add the flour when the egg mixture is whisked, combining it using the folding in method with a metal spoon.
This is what it should look like: it should be at a dropping consistency, i.e. if you hold the spoon a foot above the bowl, loaded with mixture, the mixture should drop off the spoon fairly slowly. If too fast, add another spoon of flour, if too slow, add a dessert spoonful of milk.
Once you’ve made the mixture, you need to grease your cake pans. I use margarine and spread a walnut sized piece with some kitchen towel. The pans are sized: 8 inches.
Measure the mixture evenly into the two pans:
and put the pans on the same shelf in your oven, set to Gas Mark 4 or equivalent. I use the middle shelf. NB ovens vary. My gas oven is hottest at the top and coolest at the bottom so I put the cake pans in the middle. If you have a fan oven, the heat is evenly distributed in all parts of the oven so it doesn’t matter which shelf you use. You know your own oven.
Set the time to 25 mins. This is just right for my oven, but yours could vary by 5 minutes either way so check it five minutes before or after. This is dangerous because if you open the door too soon, the cake will sink, too late and it will be burnt so you do really need to get to know your own oven. Be guided by instinct to start with and improve the next time you make the cake.
When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and cool on the side for a few minutes. Don’t try to take it out of the pans too soon or it might stick to the bottom. Same if you’re too long about it. You need to get this bit just right. Sometimes it will just fall out and other times you might need to work at it a bit.
Nb if your oven is not level, then you might find that you have a patch on the cake which is a little more done than the rest. If you do, then stabilise the oven. If that is not possible, then put that half of the cake upside down on the plate and it won’t show!
While the cake is cooling down, make up the cream. I use Elmlea double cream and whip it till it leaves a trail. I don’t add any sugar to it. If you’re in America, use Heavy Cream to get the same result. When it looks like the following picture, stop whisking otherwise it will turn into butter!
Spread one side of the cake with your favourite jam (preserves if you’re American).
Then spread some cream on top of the jam, carefully.
Next put the other half of the sandwich on top and decorate. You may have some whipped cream left over. If so, you could use that. Personally I think there is enough cream and jam in the middle and you don’t really need to add much more. Traditionally, some caster sugar would be sprinkled over the top. It’s up to you really, but don’t overdo it.
You will need a nice plate to display it on:
and you’re almost done.
Maybe a strawberry on the top?
Now I just have to wait until the grandchildren come round.
For those of you who haven’t made one of these before, why not have a go and do a post on your results, with a link back here to help me make some new friends and gain some new followers? I’m a newbie in the WordPress world.
Enjoy your cooking.