I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to make something out of my new copy of Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake, and it finally arrived at the beginning of the week. The book is great, the recipes are laid out exactly in the fashion that I like and measurements are given by weight instead of volume. Wonderful. Since I’m on a dessert week, I thought I’d start with a cake that is apparently the quintessential basic-baker cake of England; the Victoria Sponge.
The description of a Victoria Sponge made it seem like something really special, and when I just searched for the image above (hahaha, wait until you see what MINE looked like) I realized that a Victoria Sponge is a cake-sized Madeleine! How delightful (it also means I got the texture right-ish!)
This leads to the actual baking. He (my good friend Paul Hollywood) said to put all the ingredients in the mixer and mix on low speed until everything is mixed, but not too long or the batter would tighten up as it cooked and become tough. So how long is long enough and how long is too long?
I decided to err on the side of too short of a mix. I put it all in my stand mixer, turned it on, and waited until I could no longer see globs of butter, then I put the batter into the cake tins and into the oven. It needed to bake for 25-30 minutes. I watched. I watched as the batter started to rise. I worried as I realized that it wasn’t rising as fast in the middle. WTF was happening? Well. It never rose in the middle.
It doesn’t look too bad when photographed from this angle, but from straight on, holy hell.
LOL. It’s the most depressing looking Victoria Sponge on the internet. That said, it tastes pretty good. I need to try again, and do all the cream and stuff that Paul Hollywood said wasn’t classic, but this was a good start. Next time it will be a VICTORIOUS SPONGE.