11 April 2013

Nigella Challenge: Victoria Sponge

My first sponge cake. Challenge accepted (as my housemate Tom would say). And lucky for me my first is Nigella's - failure is virtually impossible under her guidance. And this recipe couldn't be any simpler: she makes her's in a food processor! I made mine the conventional way for authenticity, but I have given the food processor directions at the end if you'd prefer.

The two fillings I used (both delicious) are also Nigella recipes and will be posted soon as part of the challenge.
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 25g cornfour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
Grease and line 2 x 21cm round tins (they should be about 5cm deep and you could use square if you prefer). Preheat oven to 180C.

Sift flours and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until creamy and pale. Add vanilla, followed by eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour after each. Fold in remaining flour mix gently. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time. You want a nice "soft, dropping consistency" (I needed 4, though you may not). 

If the mix ends up too runny, or you overwork it when adding the flour all that will happen is it won't rise as much. This also happens when you have a terrible conventional oven like mine (that's ruining my life). 

Divide evenly between tins, smooth out and bake 25-30 minutes until springy on top and a cake tester comes out clean. 

For fillings, I used blackberry jam and cream on one side and passionfruit curd on the other. I think raspberry jam & cream is the traditional Victorian filling.

Whip 125ml cream with 1 teaspoon of icing sugar. Place one cake on a plate (right side up) and spread with your choice of jam (I used homemade blackberry) and top with cream. Gently place 2nd cake on top and dust with icing sugar to serve. If you want to use curd, just ditch the cream & follow the same process.

PROCESSOR METHOD: Add all ingredients (bar milk) to food processor, and process until smooth. Gradually add milk until its that "soft, dropping consistency". Put into tins and bake as above.