After my first attempt at a Victoria Sponge, I waited until it was my turn to bake desserts again…then I declared loudly and proudly, “PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, I WILL BE SUCCESSFUL THIS TIME. I WILL MAKE A VICTORIOUS SPONGE!” And so began my second try at making Queen Victoria’s favorite cake.
The directions in Paul Hollywood’s book say that you should beat the dry ingredients (equal parts flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and 4 tsp of baking powder) just until they are evenly combined. I think that my first attempt I took that too literally and didn’t get them combined well enough, so I turned on the mixer and let it do its thing for a couple of minutes until the batter was smoother, though the butter wasn’t completely smoothed out. I paid a bit more attention to spreading it into the baking tins evenly, too. Then I put it in the oven and did some squats and deadlifts.
I checked on it about 20 minutes into the bake and it looked like it was rising evenly. 25 minutes later it wasn’t quite even any more, but rather it looked as if it was rising slightly quicker around the edge than in the middle. I let it stay in the oven for a full 30 minutes, then pulled it out (hehe) to let it cool.
So they weren’t perfect, but they weren’t quite VICTORIOUS either. I let them cool and then made the whipped cream. I added a little Elderflower Liqueur to make it just a little more posh and Northern Euro-Exotic. Once it was whipped I slathered on jam, and then kinda stacked the cream a little higher in the middle to fake out the shape of the cake.
I dusted her down with icing sugar, and took a look. It’s way way way better than the first attempt, but definitely not a clear victory. I think this is just a Victoria Sponge, not a VICTORIOUS Sponge. I shall overcome this challenge.