Victoria Sponge

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We were invited to a friends house this week, to join them and their family for some drinks and food, which is always a great day/night.

They had some family over visiting and one of the family members was going to be celebrating a special birthday……

When we had discussed it before, I offered to make a cake for the birthday girl, as my cooking guests would have left early in the day and I would have the morning and afternoon to make the cake.

So I knew it was going to be the classic victoria sponge, so simple but so complex at the same time, it just brings all the wonderful thoughts of summer and light fluffy cakes to mind.

But of course for me there had to be something else to this cake, so I started to have a route around looking for the perfect icing for this birthday cake, there are so many to choose from and so many great recipes and videos out there to help these days.

So I decided I wanted to attempt ‘Italian Meringue Butter-cream‘, I worked through so many recipes, they all had similar quantities of ingredients, some had a little colour added, some a little flavour and others some alcohol. The only other thing to take into consideration was the fact that the recipes warned about the mixture ‘splitting’ but to ‘just work through it’……

For me this was the challenge I was looking for, not only to make the IMBC, but to actually pipe it into a pretty pattern.

So after the guests left on Wednesday morning, I set about clearing the kitchen, ready for the cake baking and then the icing……

I started off by bringing the egg whites out of the fridge and leaving them on the side to warm up to room temperature, always whats needed for Italian Meringue.

I then started on the victoria spong. I softened the butter in the microwave, (not melting it, just softened) so, it would whip better with the sugar. Then when the butter was softened, I added the sugar and using the electric whisk, I whisked them together until they were nice and fluffy and lighter in colour.

I then added the eggs one at a time, whisking in between each addition, with a teaspoon of flour, so as it would all come together and not look as though it was splitting. ** If you are making a cake, butter, sugar and eggs, and the mixture looks like it is curdling, then just add 1 spoonful of the measured flour and it will come back together again.

Once all the eggs were whipped in, I added the sifted flour and baking soda mixture and whipped again, just until it all came together.

Then I split the mixture between two 9 inch lined cake tins, I weighed the mixture to ensure I had an even split of the mixture and ultimately equal layers for the finished cake.

I popped them into a pre-heated oven and baked them for 30 minutes. It was perfect, of course I checked with a tooth pick in the centre, to just make sure that it was cooked through.

I removed them from the oven and placed them on a rack to cool down, this part does take longer than you think and you really need to make sure that it is cold before you start to cover it with the Italian Meringue Butter-cream, or it will just melt and slide off, not pretty.

I removed them from the tins after about 30 minutes and placed them on a rack, and turned on the kitchen fan, just to speed up the process.

While the cakes were cooling down, I started on the challenge of the Italian Meringue Butter-cream, all the details are in another post, (linked) so you have the full recipe and instructions, but lets just say, it was great….. It took about 40 minutes in total, between the sugar syrup, the whisking of the italian meringue and then the addition of the butter to complete the Italian Meringue Butter-cream, but take it from me (and all the guests at the party), it was well worth it.

I removed the lining paper from both cake layers, and covered the bottom layer with strawberry jam, and carefully placed the next layer on top. I used some (not a lot) of the Italian Meringue Butter-cream on the sides and top of the cake, just to level it off and give the pipped layer something to stick too. I place the covered cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to just firm up, it was very hot in the kitchen.

Victoria Sponge slice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was then on to the piping, I used a 3-slit star nozzle for the piping, I had a little practice on the lid of my bowl, so I could just wipe it off and start again.

I placed the plate on top of a bowl, so I had a bit of height on the cake and it was easier to pipe at eye level rather than looking down.

Starting at the bottom of the cake working in vertical lines, upwards, I pipped roses, they were not all perfect, but it looked great, everyone raved about it at the party so it was really worth it.

Next time, I will blend some colour into the Italian meringue butter-cream to get an even better effect.

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Victoria Sponge with Italian meringue butter-cream icing
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Victoria sponge is a delicious cake on its own, ideal for this spring into summer period. Delicious with a cup of tea or coffee for that classic afternoon tea and for the basis for the best birthday cake.
Servings Prep Time
14 people 1 hour
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
14 people 1 hour
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 hours
Victoria Sponge with Italian meringue butter-cream icing
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Victoria sponge is a delicious cake on its own, ideal for this spring into summer period. Delicious with a cup of tea or coffee for that classic afternoon tea and for the basis for the best birthday cake.
Servings Prep Time
14 people 1 hour
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
14 people 1 hour
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 hours
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Prepare 2 x 9 inch cake tins, add a little butter to the tin and line with grease proof paper.
  2. Cut the butter into cubes and place into a large bowl, warm in the microwave if necessary, you need the butter to be soft but NOT melted.
  3. Add the sugar to the soft butter and whisk with an electric whisk. Whisk until the mixture is completely combined and light and fluffy.
  4. Working with the eggs, add 1 egg at a time and whisk each time, to ensure the egg is fully combined before adding the next egg.
  5. Sift the self-raising flour and baking soda together and add to the bowl with the mixture. Using the electric whisk, beat the flour into the egg mixture, until just combined.
  6. Add the vanilla essence and whisk briefly until it is incorporated into the cake batter.
  7. Split the mixture between the 2 cake tins, weighing them to ensure you have an equal split. (Giving you equal layers)
  8. Bake the cakes on the middle shelf of the oven, after 30 minutes, test the centre of the cake with a tooth pick, if there are any bits sticking to the tooth pick place the cake back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  9. Be careful not to over the cook the cake, or it will be dry.
  10. When ready, remove the cake tins from the oven and place on a rack to cool for 30 minutes.
  11. After 30 minutes, remove the cakes from the tins and leave on a rack to cool completely. About 2 hours.
  12. Once the cake is completely cold, place 1 layer of the cake onto a cake stand/plate and cover the top of the cake with a good layer of strawberry jam.
  13. Place the second layer of cake on top of the jam and line up. Cover the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of the Italian meringue butter-cream and place the cake in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to firm up and give a base for the roses.
  14. Once the cake and icing are cold, start to pipe the icing onto the cake, starting at the bottom and working upwards in vertical lines.
  15. Once the sides are completed, start working on the top of the cake, starting on the outside edge and working in circles, inwards, pipe the roses, finishing with a single rose in the centre.
  16. Place the completed cake in the fridge to firm up the icing, This cake and icing are best served at room temperature. Remove the cake from the fridge until approx 30 minutes before serving, to allow the icing to soften slightly.
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