My cousin Jess was coming to tea this afternoon. I love any excuse to use my tea set, and if I’m going to host any sort of gathering (even just tea for two) I’m going to do it properly. Cucumber sandwiches are easy, and a Victoria Sponge is a classic British cake. Peyton & Byrne’s recipe, which I tried for the first time today, calls for fresh strawberries (so this is definitely a summer or early autumn cake, if you’re a seasonal eating fan) and a large amount of whipped cream.
The recipe is a little different, in that the weight of the eggs determines the weight of the remaining cake ingredients. That’s the sort of precision I like!
Peyton & Byrne’s Victoria Sponge
For the cake:
4 medium eggs
The weight of the eggs and their shells in:
Self raising flour
Butter (plus a little extra for greasing)
For the filling:400ml double cream (though you can use half this amount if you’re feeling a bit less decadent)
Strawberry jam (enough for spreading – I used Tiptree’s)
1 punnet fresh strawberries, washed & sliced
Icing sugar for dusting, and one strawberry for decoration
Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Grease a 20cm diameter/7cm high cake tin, and line the bottom with baking paper.
Use the eggs to determine the weight of flour, sugar and butter. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add one egg, and a heaped tablespoon of flour, and mix in well. Add the remaining eggs in the same fashion. Then add the rest of the flour and mix until just combined.
Scrape the mix into the tin and bake in the oven for 3
5-40 mins, or until the sponge springs back to the touch and a skewer inserted to the centre comes out clean. Allow the sponge to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out from the tin to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, use a serrated knife to slice the sponge in half to create two discs.
Beat the double cream until thick. Spread a thick layer of jam on the top of the bottom cake disc. Follow this with a layer of whipped crea
m. Sprinkle all but one of the sliced strawberries over the cream, then add the remaining cream on top. Place the final cake disc on top and force the cream out of the sides a little. Dust the top and sides with icing sugar, and decorate with the last sliced strawberry.
Serve with cucumber sandwiches and proper leaf tea.