Hiya! This week I’ll be going over how I baked this week’s recipe: Victoria Sponge Cake. I’ll go over it step by step plus any adjustments I made. First, if you read Monday’s post, you’ll know that I got a new oven this last weekend. I absolutely LOVE it! Not only did the cake bake without being under-done or burnt but I just finished baking some miniature clay pieces in it and they didn’t burn. In fact, they’re actually adorable. They’re for a new hobby of mine. I’ll post some pics on Instagram of them later. Back to the Victoria Sponge Cake.
First step was preheating the oven. Now this was a little different for me as my new oven is digital so I had to figure out what I was doing. It was simple enough and I soon had the oven preheating to 350(Fahrenheit). Then I set the two cake pans I was using on parchment paper. I’m sure you can buy parchment paper already cut into circles but not where I live. So I traced around the pan with pencil onto the paper, then cut the circles out. Spraying the two round 9 inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, I placed the parchment circles in the bottom and set the pans aside.
Now, my mixer is older so I don’t have the fancy paddle attachment the cookbooks are calling for. However, while it might take a little longer, the beater attachment gets the job done just as well. First note for this cake, the two cups of unsalted butter and seven eggs need to be at room temperature before you begin. You put the butter in the mixing bowl with the two cups of granulated(aka regular) sugar and beat them until they’re light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.
A shortcut I do with my butter since I buy it in bulk, it comes in four 2 cup sticks which, as you can imagine, are fairly large sticks of butter. After it comes to room temp, I take a regular butter knife, run it under hot water until it’s warm, then after I dry it with a paper towel-that’s very important as you don’t want to add any additional moisture- I sliced the butter into smaller chunks. It’s easier on the mixer to beat it in with the other ingredient and the mixer doesn’t move on the countertop that way. The reason I use a hot knife is that even at room temperature, the butter is still thick and you have to use too much force to get the knife through if its also room temperature. Work smarter, not harder.
After the butter and sugar is light and fluffy, you need to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that it’s all mixed together again. Use a rubber spatula for this.
Add one egg and beat on high for 30 seconds. Then while it’s still going, add another egg and beat for another 30 seconds. You repeat this until all the eggs are incorporated. Add the 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and ¼ cup of milk and beat for a few seconds, just until the two are mixed. The recipe called for whole milk but I drink 2% and I’m not going to buy another gallon or even ½ gallon of whole milk that I don’t drink when 2% has worked just as well thus far. Once mixed, scrape the sides and bottom again, this is a sticky dough.
In a separate bowl, I have a stainless set of mixing bowls that I use, sift together the two cups of all-purpose(regular) flour, two teaspoons baking powder and one teaspoon salt. With the mixer on medium low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and mi until just incorporated. With the rubber spatula, scrape the b ottom and sides once more. This time, however, you’ll need to fold the dough to make sure the flour is evenly distributed. If some batter has more flour than other, then one cake will rise more than the first and you’ll have an awkward cake.
Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Smooth the batter with the spatula and then bake for 20-25 minutes. Just until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick poked in the center and sides comes back clean. With my new oven, I set the time for 20 minutes, then ended up baking for closer to 28 minutes before it was done. IT might’ve been a little over on the sides but the at 20, my cake was soupy in the center and at 25, it was jello. At 28, just a few more minutes, the center was perfect. But I’ll master this oven, it’ll take more than just the first try. Allow the cakes to cool completely. I let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping them out twice onto a plate to cool. I didn’t want them to continue absorbing any spray left on the bottom nor did I want them cooling on a wire rack. So I flipped them each out to one plate before flipping them to another plate so they were right side up once more.
My cake took about an hour and a half to cool completely. I stepped out to run a couple of errands and when I returned, they were ready.
In the same mixing bowl, I clean up as I go, putting ingredients up as I use them. And once the cake or baked good is in the oven, I clean the bowls, beaters and anything else I used. It’s the way I bake but not everyone bakes the same. In the same bowl, combine two cups of heavy whipping cream, 1/3 cup confectioners(powdered sugar where I live) and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and whip until stiff and smooth. It took my mixer about 5 minutes. You could do this manually but the mixer was already out as was the bowl and beater so it was simple to use it. For this cake, you’ll also need a pint of strawberries and another ¼ cup confectioners(powdered) sugar. Set aside 3-4 good strawberries, I used enough to form a heart on the top as it was Valentine’s Day the next day. Instead of baking on Thursday this week, I couldn’t wait to use my new oven so I baked on Tuesday instead. Then find enough strawberries to go around the outer edge of similar size and hull them. Hulling strawberries means chopping off the green leaves and the small root they’re attached with. Hull and halve the rest of the strawberries.
Place one cake on the serving plate you’ll be using. I have a cake and pie carrier that I use as I can take the tray off of the bottom piece and put it in the fridge with the top on if needed. But a pie can also go in the bottom with a cake on top on the counter as well.
Spread all of the filling you just made on the piece of cake. I ended up with a few tablespoons extra that I just ate as was as it’s really good filling. Place the hulled, not the halved, strawberries along the outer edges before filling in the rest of the cake with the halved strawberries. Place the second cake over the berries and cream. Dust the top with the confectioner’s sugar. Place the whole strawberries you saved on top of the dusted sugar. You can place them however you like, I did a heart with mine as like I said, the next day was Valentine’s Day so why not…
Either serve immediately or cover-be careful you’re not touching the cake- and store in the fridge until that night. I stored it and it was just fine that night. But you do want to put it in refrigeration as you have a filling made of dairy and you don’t want it getting to room temp.
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