Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Birthday Victoria Sponge Cake for my Matey

It was my Matey's birthday on Sunday. It was only sensible to decide the day before we left for a weeks happy holiday to arrange a surprise birthday party for the day after we came back. Having bought him a suitably manly present of a barbeque it was equally sensible to arrange the customary charring of meat. This led to obsessive weather forecast reading and fun and games trying to arrange a food delivery on Sunday morning 'for his birthday' without showing that I was ordering enough for a small army. The game was up when the bunting from our wedding was dragged out!

A birthday without cake just isn't right. I could have got away with a caterpillar cake but the shop didn't have any and as he made me a cake for my birthday last year it was matter of pride to churn something out. Fortunately commonsense prevailed a little and I went for a relatively simple Victoria Sponge. (I should add that he really likes Victoria Sponge!)

 Note the Batman apron making the cake look a bit less girly. Grr!
4 eggs
8oz self raising flour
8oz caster sugar
8oz butter or margarine
1/2tsp vanilla extract

Filling - This is with my lower fat buttercream
4oz icing sugar
1 oz butter
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

1. Heat the oven to 180C. Grease and dust with flour two round baking tins.
2. Cream the sugar and butter together then add the flour, vanilla and eggs. Mix well until the mixture looks light and fluffy. (I sometimes add a teaspoon of allspice as well. It isn't traditional but tastes great!)
3. Divide the mix between the tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the cakes clean. Cool on a wire rack.
4.While the cakes are cooling make the buttercream by mixing the icing sugar with the butter, vanilla and a drizzle of milk. If it is still a little crumbly add a little more milk until is nice and smooth.
5. Choose which cake will be the top one and spread jam on the top of the other. Then spread the buttercream onto the bottom of the top cake and place on top of the jammy cake with a nice squidge. 

Top Tip: Do not be tempted to try spreading the the buttercream onto the jam. It slides all over the place. Yes this is too obvious for words but very easy to do automatically before realising that it is a bad idea.

6. Dust with icing sugar and put on a plate or cake stand.

Top Tip: It's more of a suggestion than a tip....have a cake stand in your life. They make things feel special on an ordinary day, add height to a table of food and are surprisingly handy for more than just cake.

Having not made a Victoria Sponge for ages I had a mini moment when I dragged out my Great Grandma's baking tins. Aside from being high in sentimental value they have curved edges which give the cakes a slightly rounded bottom that please me immensely.

I will be honest and say that this time round wasn't quite as aesthetically perfect as I might have liked, too many other things to do, but this is a pretty foolproof cake to make and indecently large slices were scoffed.

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