|mini Victoria Sponge cakes with strawberry jam|
Hmmmm. Memory suggested that Jo had cooked the sponge in a Swiss Roll tray, then cut circles out of the cooked sponge and sandwiched two halves together to form her little Victoria Sponges.
A quick search on the internet found that you can mini sandwich tins from Lakeland, which have straight sides and removable bases. But at nearly 20 quid per tin (of 12 holes) I didn't feel I could justify the expense. My solution? Well, I had some silicone muffin tins that I had bought in Poundstretcher; two 6-hole tins cost less than a fiver. Bargain. These were deep, with straight sides and since the cooked cakes pop out easily, I thought this might work as mini Victoria Sponges. All I would have to do is cut the cakes in half, add cream and jam and hey ho, I'm in cake heaven.
Now me and silicone baking equipment have had our ups and downs. Downs mainly. Cakes need less time in the oven when using silicone and that combined with my elderly and extremely temperamental fan oven have over the past couple of years left me with a number of cakes that were dry and overcooked. But this time I cracked it and I loved the results. I am not sure I am going to make a full sized version anytime soon.
As mentioned in previous baking recipes, I like to use the same amount of butter and sugar to eggs; the traditional method of baking cakes. Take the eggs and weigh them. Whatever they weigh, match their weight with equal measures of butter, sugar and flour. So for example, if the eggs weigh 200g, then use 200g each of butter, sugar and flour. It guarantees good results every single time.
Another couple of tips are to make sure that you double sift the flour and ensure that the eggs are at room temperature. (To be honest, another rule of thumb is, if you can, never keep eggs in a fridge!)
Skill level: Easy
Makes about 12 to 14 cakes.
4 x medium-sized eggs - see directions
200g butter, softened (at room temperature), plus extra for greasing (I use salted butter) - see directions
200g caster sugar (I use home-made vanilla sugar) - see directions
200g self-raising flour, sifted - see directions
Replace 25g of flour with 25g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
double cream, lightly whipped
icing sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
- If you are using silicone muffin pans, you don't, in theory, need to butter them. However, I butter them very lightly with the merest smear of butter.
- Weigh the eggs to work out how much butter, flour and sugar you will need.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until very soft, then add the sugar and continue to beat the sugar and butter until pale and creamy.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs together with the vanilla extract.
Add a little of the egg to the butter and sugar mixture, beating between each addition. (If it does begin to curdle, then add a tablespoon of flour each time.)
- Fold in the sifted flour and baking powder, using a large metal spoon. Don’t use a wooden spoon as this will knock out the air! Be very careful not to over-mix the batter.
- Place the muffin pans ;( or pan) on a flat baking tray, then pour the mixture equally into the muffin holes and level off the top with a spatula. You will need a gap of about a centimetre from the top of the batter mix and the top of the mould. You can make a slight dip in the centre with the tip of the spatula if you don't want them to be pointed in the middle.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes. The cakes should be a golden brown colour and they will spring back when the surface is pressed gently with a finger.
- Leave to rest in the pan for about 10 minutes before carefully removing. Place on a wire rack to cool completely (for about 30 minutes).
- To assemble the cakes, halve each one. Spread one half of each sponge with jam and whipped cream, then carefully sandwich together with the remaining half.
- Dust with a little icing sugar and serve immediately. These cakes should not sit around for very long!