A healthier take on Victoria Sponge Cake

Wednesday, 20 March 2013
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Those of you who follow me on Instagram would know that I had to sit for a "Living in the UK" test a few weeks ago in order to complete our settlement visa application (or known as Green Card in the U.S). After a 24 hour cramming session (I'm a lazy student despite my age), I now know interesting facts such as a third of the UK population have experimented with drugs (I'm rather sheltered and gullible so eyes literally bulged when I read this. Really??!!) to the percentage of "oriental" population residing in the UK (I've always thought I'm categorized as an Asian but that actually refers to Indians/Pakistanis/Bangladeshis. Just in case you're interested, it's 0.4%. Miniscule. Ant sized minority. Non existent. Let's breed like rabbits to get the ratio up).

Now what's that got to do with the Victoria sponge cake, I hear you ask. Well, the truth is I've never ever tasted this traditional British cake up until recently. I've lived here for nearly 5 years yet not a single morsel has passed through my lips. I thought about buying one from a store but the list of ingredients was enough to appall me. Now that my metabolic rate has practically grinds to a halt and I loathe saccharine sweet desserts anyway, I try to reduce sugar and replace white flour whenever I can. Besides, I'm a mom. When you feed little kids sweets, they sprout horns and run amok.

This recipe literally takes minutes to whizz up..... meaning, you chuck all the ingredients into the mixing bowl, whizzzzzzz and plonk it into the oven. I made this recently for a dinner party and the practically orgasmic feedback meant that it was a winner. The sponge is moist and melt in your mouth buttery goodness and goes fabulously with  strawberries and cream.

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Ingredients:

Sponge

165g caster sugar
200g softened butter
200g light brown self raising flour (or if you prefer, white)
1 tsp baking powder
4 small/medium eggs or 3 large eggs
2 tbsp milk


Filling
A handful of fresh strawberries
Approximately 175g of soft strawberry jam/preserve
2 drops of vanilla extract
225ml double cream


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1. Preheat oven to 190˚C. Butter and line 2 sandwich tins with baking parchment paper.
2. Dump all the ingredients for sponge in a large mixing bowl and whiz in a processor or with a mixer.
3. Divide the batter equally between 2 tins.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until sponge is golden. Put on the cooling rack to cool.
5. Slice the strawberries and put to one side. Put the double cream in a large mixing bowl and add a couple drops of vanilla extract. Beat till the cream is thick.
6. You can slice the top of one cake to make it even or leave it as it is. Slater the top of one sponge with cream. Place slices of strawberries on top of the cream. Spread the strawberry jam.
7. Sandwich the second sponge on top of the filling.
8. Devour.

**you can reduce or increase the of filling depending on your taste. There's no hard and fast rule as it largely depends on your preference.




28 comments:

  1. The Asian/Oriental thing is a bit confusing isn't it?
    Asian here definitely refers to the Indian/Pakistani population in common parlance, but Oriental sounds a bit odd isn't it? Please advise!

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    Replies
    1. In NZ, I'll have to list myself as Asian. The first time I stated I'm an Asian, I got a lot of raised eyebrows. Someone pointedly corrected me "oh, you mean Oriental". Huh?? I've always thought the word refers to porcelain from China! :P

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  2. The Victoria sponge - I had one one Saturday and I was amazed at how easy the Godmother make it look and we topped it with giant strawberries like you do so it looked like Strawberry Stonehenge. It was yum. Literally came out of the over and we devoured it. I'm sure I have cake tins in the house somewhere but I couldn't honestly say.

    And the breeding like rabbits. Hysterical.

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    Replies
    1. Sue, I'm leaving it to you to increase the "Oriental" population here in the UK. So go forth and breed.

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    2. No I've done my bit. Your turn now.

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  3. excellent -- i shall try... am on a brit kick in the kitchen these days (made my first batch of yorkshire puddings yesterday -- have no clue if it tastes the way it should as i've never tried it before, but it didn't make me - OR my child, who is the better judge on taste anyway -- gag. So i say, success)

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    Replies
    1. LOL. I only started making yorkshire pudding last year. They definitely tasted better than store bought ones. This recipe is so easy so give it a go.

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  4. Ah I cant deny how much I love a Victoria sponge! I have to say yours looks pretty amazing, my mums birthday is coming up so I might have to give this one a go :)

    Take care,
    Daniella xox

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  5. Healthier and sweet who can resist , it looks amazing.

    xo Meg<3

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  6. Hi, Oh my goodness that looks so nice, i have a day off so shall give it a go!!
    p.s. my sister gave me the link to your blog, it's fab!! xx

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    Replies
    1. Please thank your sister on my behalf. Thank you for your lovely compliment.

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  7. Victoria Sponge is my favourite cake ever! I like the M&S one it tastes very eggy. Other than that Sainsburys or Tesco finest, the ones that cost about 70p are vile! The only problem is with this kind of thing, it is probably more expensive to bake at home. I do lots of cooking but only ever make banana cake with left over black bananas. x

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  8. Drooling....!
    Next on my baking list then! How long does it keep for? x

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    Replies
    1. If you use fresh cream, I'd say 2 days or 3 days max in airtight container in the fridge.

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    2. Sponge cake (without the cream) also freezes really well - I have frozen cakes in the past when I'm not making an occasion cake and have no one around to eat it besides me! Save time later on to whip up something if someone comes over at short notice.

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    3. Thanks Marlene and Kate - great idea! x

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    4. Kate, thank you for the tip. I've never thought of freezing the cake.

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  9. My mouth is literally watering over this sponge! It's one of my favourites when I'm in the UK.

    xx Mandi

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  10. Oh, this looks delicious! I wish I had the patience to bake a cake...

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  11. I can't believe you've never had one before! It's so simple but it's one of my favourites too when it's homemade (the store ones are so dry!), I love how light & fresh it tastes, always reminds me of spring/summer! :)

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    Replies
    1. Haha...you'd better believe it. Speaking of English puddings, I haven't tried Eton Mess too.

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  12. I hope this is as easy as you make it out to be...cuz I can't handle complicated baking/cooking. :)

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  13. It looks so delicious!

    http://theprintedsea.blogspot.de/

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  14. that looks delicious... and has led to an unfortunate cupcake craving at 9pm on a Sunday night which is going to necessitate a dash in the cold to my nearest cupcakery... thanks :)

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  15. yum! that looks amazing. congrats on your "green card" ;-) never had a victoria sponge cake before but my bf's sister who lives in london gave us the great british bakeoff book last year, it's definitely on the cards! x

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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