Driven by data; ridden with liberty.
Over the past year, I was taught how to bake. Here is a recipe for the classic Victoria Sponge.
300g caster sugar
300g self-raising flour
6 eggs, medium to large
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
150g icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
6-12 tsp seedless strawberry jam
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degress celsius. Cut two discs of grease-proof paper (or baking parchment) for circular tins, and use margarine around the inside edge of the baking tins. I use 20cm baking tins.
2. Put 150g of margarine and 150g of caster sugar in a mixing bowl together, and beat until creamy.
3. Mix in three eggs, one at a time.
4. Sift 150g of self-raising flour, and put in 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp vanilla essence, and beat until fully mixed.
5. Pour the mixture into a baking tin, and place in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. This may take longer, and should continue until an inserted skewer comes out clean from the sponge.
6. Repeat the previous steps for the second layer.
7. Whilst the second layer bakes, make the icing. Heat the butter briefly in a microwave (about 10 or 20 seconds), and beat within a spoon until it forms butter-cream. Sift about half of the icing sugar, mixing it in with the butter-cream.
8. Sift in the other half of the icing sugar, and mix in the vanilla paste. (Vanilla essence can be reused here, if you do not have vanilla paste).
9. Add milk as required, ensuring that the icing is smooth, but not too thick or difficult to manipulate.
10. After the layers have cooled, turn one layer upside down. Spread the strawberry jam to taste on one layer, and spread the vanilla buttercream icing on the other. I have used raspberry jam and blueberry jam as alternatives to strawberry jam.
11. Place one layer on top of the other, quickly. Sprinkle icing sugar on top for effect.