I had a bit of a disaster when I set my self ‘Bread’ as my friday challenge subject a few months ago. I learnt how to make a pretty decent bread roll but when it came to adding my own flavours and trying to be abit creative I came up short and realised that it would take a bit more practise. With that in mind I decided to try the whole baking thing again but this time with cakes!
I like cake but I’m definitely more of a savoury person so I thought this would be a challenge for me, but I can honestly say that after eating this victoria sponge I am starting to think maybe I like cake much much more than I realised…
I decided to start with a Victoria Sponge because it is the staple cake recipe which has stood the test of time. It doesn’t have too many flavour additions so I can learn how to bake a standard sponge without being distracted by extras and well it is quintessentially British as it was named after Queen Victoria so it seems apt for these Olympic times! Also since I met Scott he has been asking me to bake him his favourite Victoria Sponge and all this time I have promised one day I will, and now 5 years later I finally have! Even if I did tie it in with some blog cooking, to be fair that’s even better for him as I’m now going to make 3 or 4 more cakes for the month.
The recipe is from my current favourite cookbook range ‘LEON Baking and puddings’ (The book I also made gooey chocolate cakes from). The recipe was really simple to follow and although it took a little bit of work, such as alternating adding the eggs with the flour and beating each time, I can honestly say that this was really quite easy to make! You can buy this book and others from the LEON range here. The recipe for this cake is in the Baking and Puddings book.
I was so impressed with the height of this cake and also how light and fluffy the cake was inside, I’m guessing this was from the amount of times I had to beat the cake mix before baking it in the oven. I didn’t have any vanilla essence so I added some maple syrup to the mix, I was scared this would ruin it but it just added the sweetness that the vanilla would have.
I was alarmed at the amount of sugar and butter went into this cake (330g of each!!) but I guess it is meant to be a treat..to be shared…
What I have learnt about cakes:
From my first attempt at baking a cake I feel like this is going to be quite acheivable, it was quite simple and I think as long as you follow the instructions pretty closely then you can’t go too wrong. I left my cake in the oven for 30 minutes whereas the recipe called for 40 minutes however mine is a fan oven and I know from cooking other things that it usually takes a little less than the recommended cooking time. I also remember from watching “The Great British Bake Off” that you shouldn’t open and close the door often as you will cool the oven down and your cake might sink so I only opened my oven twice, once to check and the second time to take it out.
I would like to see what would happen when you mix fruits or nuts into the cake mix before baking, would it be too soggy? Would it tip the fluffy cake off balance? If anyone has any suggestions please let me know