It's World Baking Day Today!

Of all the recently conceived 'special days', this might be my favourite!  I don't usually need an excuse to bake.  I love baking and eating.   I am not a mother or a secretary. I don't fit into any of the other categories that merit a  special section in the greeting card shop, therefore, I proclaim 'World Baking Day' my official holiday! 

To celebrate lets bake another British classic - Victoria Sponge!  It is said that this was Queen Victoria's favourite teatime treat.

The REAL way to make a Victoria Sponge is to weigh your eggs in their shells and then add the same weight of flour, sugar and butter.  Let's make things a bit easier by using the the following recipe by Mary Berry.

Grease and line the bottom of two round cake pans, pre-heat the oven to 180degrees C or 350 degrees F.

For a 7 inch cake  you will need:

3 large eggs
6 oz. butter or margarine
6 oz. caster sugar (white sugar)
6 oz. self-rising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
strawberry or raspberry jam

If you want to make a larger sponge you will need:

4 large eggs
8 oz. butter or margarine
8 oz. sugar
8 oz. self-rising flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder
strawberry or raspberry jam

This cake is made by the 'all in one' method so it takes hardly any time to make.
Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl.  Add the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder.  Beat until all the ingredients are blended together.  Do not over beat or you will activate the gluten in the flour and make the cake tough.

Divide the batter between the two cake pans. Smooth the batter evenly out to the edges of the pans.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched and is a pale golden colour.

Remove the cakes from the pans and let cool on a wire rack.  When completely cooled, place one cake on a serving plate - top side down, flat side up.  Spread several tablespoons of jam over the cake and top with the second cake.  (Flat sides touching).  Dust with icing sugar and serve with a pot of tea! 

That's the traditional way of making a Victoria Sponge but I like mine to have a sweet filling between the two cakes.  If you are feeling rebellious, use this super-light frosting to sandwich your Victoria Sponge together.  This recipe generously fills the 7 inch sponge cakes.  You may want to double it if you want LOTS of fluffy filling.

In a small sauce pan cook together, stirring constantly, until thick:

2 Tablespoons regular flour
1/2 cup milk

When the thick mixture is totally cool beat in:

4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoon vegetable shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
Beat until the frosting is very light and fluffy. 

You can substitute this for the jam or go mad and use both jam and frosting!   It's not the traditional Victoria Sponge that Queen Victoria loved but World Baking Day is my official holiday!