How to make sponges for a victoria sandwich
The traditional recipe for a victoria sandwich uses equal weights of butter, sugar, eggs and flour.
1. Put 225g softened unsalted butter and 225g caster sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes (longer if using a wooden spoon) until pale, light and fluffy. The paler the mixture becomes, the more air has been incorporated, which helps to create a lighter cake.
2. Break 4 large free-range eggs (at room temperature) into a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork until broken up. Gradually add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, beating well after each addition. Adding eggs. that are too cold, or adding them too quickly, can cause the mixture to curdle. If this happens, add a spoonful of self-raising flour to help stabilise the mixture.
3. Once all the eggs have been added, sift 225g self-raising flour over the surface of the mixture and fold it in gently, using a large metal spoon and working in a figure of eight motion.
4. Check that the mixture is at the correct dropping consistency (see picture). The batter will slowly drop off the spoon when held sideways over the bowl. If it’s a little too thick and won’t drop off the spoon, mix in 1-2 tbsp water or milk.
5. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas 4. Lightly brush the insides of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with vegetable oil, then line the bases with discs of baking paper. Divide the mixture between the tins, transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden, and a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool on wire racks for 10 minutes.
6. Turn out the sponges and leave to cool completely. When cooled, put one sponge, top-side down, on a serving platter. Spread generously with 4-5 tbsp good quality raspberry jam. Put the second sponge on top, top-side up, then dust liberally with sifted icing sugar to serve.
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