Recipe: A perfect Victoria Sponge

For me a Victoria Sponge conjures up images of High Tea taken on the lawn whilst watching cricket, sitting on wicker chairs and drinking from pretty tea cups. It epitomises Britishness whether it be Summer Garden Parties or country Tea rooms the Victoria Sponge always takes centre stage.

I normally rely on Mary Berry for my Victoria Sponge recipe, Mary Berry is the Goddess of all baking in my book. However a while back the Guardian published their version of the perfect Victoria Sponge, researched by Felicity Hoake, I loved the density of this version. So for a toddler lunch this week I offered to bake this little favourite of mine. I did add raspberries and strawberries to the fill, just to make myself feel better that the children had had some of their five a day. Enjoy!

Felicity Hoake's Recipe:

3 large eggs, weighed in their shells
The same weight of soft lightly salted butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
2tbsp milk
5tbsp raspberry jam
Caster sugar, to top
For the buttercream:
100g butter, softened
200g icing sugar
50ml double cream
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/gas mark 4) and grease and base-line 2 x 21cm sandwich tins. Put the butter and sugar into a food mixer, or use a hand mixer to combine until light and really fluffy – this should take a good couple of minutes.
Scrape down the sides, beat the eggs together, then add them to the mixture a little at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl down to make sure everything is mixed in properly.
Fold in the flour, baking powder and 1/2tsp salt, then add enough milk so that the mixture drops easily off a spoon, but does not run off. Divide evenly between the tins, smooth the top and put in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and well risen: a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then put, flat-side down, on a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the buttercream by beating the butter until light and fluffy, then adding the sugar and cream and a pinch of salt. Beat together well, then set aside until the cake is cool.
To assemble the cake, put the least favoured cake, whichever it is, on to a plate or stand, and spread generously with jam. Top with a layer of buttercream, then add the second cake, flat-side down. Dust the top with caster sugar, and devour.