The Quest for the perfect Victoria Sponge
Its often said the best things in life are a slice of victoria sponge with a cup of earl grey. Or something like that. I love a good sponge. Its the perfect balance of cake. Light, fun but with some depth unlike its airy fair-weather friend the chiffon. Mind you, I love a good pandan chiffon too. Sigh, what can I say? I just love cakes! So anyway, my sister requested for a Victoria Sponge cake for her birthday and being the good sister that I am, I made her one! When it comes to all things English, there can only one guru to turn to and thats Delia of course. She even has illustrations of 4 different sponges that have slight variations in the recipe. Studying her all-in-one recipe, I had serious doubts it would work. Gasp! Yes, I doubted Delia! Forgive me D! I'll never question you again. It just sounded too simple. So of course I went for the harder one even though she specifically said the all-in-one "is the best sponge of all". Me stupid yes. I tried the classic and honestly not worth the effort. Not that its so complicated but the all-in-one is amazingly idiot-proof. Trust me, I'm an idiot.
Don't expect a sponge like the ones in local bakeries here. This is a full-bodied PG13 version.
Delia Smith's All-in-One Sponge
110g self raising flour + 1 tsp baking powder
110g butter (or margarine) at room temperature
110g caster sugar
2 large eggs
2-3 drops vanilla essence
To finish: icing sugar, jam, lemon curd or fresh cream
Pre-heat oven to 170C and line 2 x 7" round tins with greaseproof paper
1) Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Sift from good height to give the flour a good airing
2) Simply add all the other ingredient into the flour mixture and mix thoroughly. If the mixture doesn't drop off a wooden spoon easily, add 1-2 tbls hot water to loosen.
3) Divide between the 2 tins and bake for 30 mins ( I found I only needed 20 mins in my oven)
4) Pop it out of the tins and cool on a wire rack the moment they come out of the oven. (Yes, its freaking hot to handle but don't question Delia!). Peel of the paper carefully.
5) Once cooled, spread generously with jam and freshly whipped cream. Y-U-M-M-Y!
6) If you want more depth to the cake, increase mixture to 175g of flour, sugar (I only use 110g) and butter and use 3 eggs. Allow extra 5-10mins cooking time.