Sunday, 6 June 2010

Victoria Sandwich with a twist

I thought I would start with something simple and classic, so here we are with a victoria sandwich with a lime twist. I have decided to add lime to the sponge mix because I think it goes well with raspberries (which is the jam I have decided to fill it with) and also zings up the sponge a bit giving it a bit of a cleaner taste.
Normally when making a simple sponge mix, I just go with the 6,6,6 (nothing sinister just 6oz of flour, butter and sugar). But I thought it would be more interesting if I followed a recipe so then I could let you guys know how sucessful I thought it was and how easy it was to follow.
I went with Delia Smith's One Mix Victoria Sponge from her Cookery Course book.
This recipe is 4oz as opposed to 6oz, with 2 large eggs as well as a teaspoon of baking powder, a few drops of vanilla extract. I'll add here that the flour is self-raising, and I prefer using organic flour and I find Dove's Farm flour the most superior.

Ok, so the trickiest part of making a cake, for me, is lining it. This is to stop the cake from sticking to the tin, however because the mixture was in a smaller quanitity I had to use smaller 7inch tins which were very tricky to line.
First off grease the tin, you can use oil but I find it easier to use butter papers (if you want to bake regularly it is worth keeping your butter papers in a bag in the fridge). Then line the bottom of the tin by tracing the tin. To line the sides you are meant to cut a strip of greaseproof paper, fold it back about and inch, cut at a slight angle to give it a fringe then sit it inside the tin. However, with tins so small I found lining the edges really hard with only two hands, so I decided to only line the bottom and just flour the sides.

The rest is really straightforward, sieve the flour into a bowl and cream with the butter - (use an electronic handwhisk if you want to save a lot of time and energy). Then add everything else, (eggs, flour, vanilla extract) and mix again. I found it a bit too stiff afterwards so I added a few drops of milk and it was done. To give it a bit of a citrus twist I grated the zest of a small lime into it.

I then split it between the two tins, and placed them in my rayburn for twenty minutes, turning them occasionally.
Once both cakes were thoroughly cooled, I spread a thick layer of raspberry jam between them and sandwiched them together and dusted icing sugar on the top.

Side Notes
You can substitute butter for margerine or something similar if you wish, butter gives it more taste, however margerine can actually make it a lighter sponge.

Use the best quality jam and vanilla extract for the best results, I recommend Bon Maman jam and Nielson Massey extracts.

I used duck eggs f
or my sponge because my ducks are laying like crazy, but obviously anything free range is the way to go.

In a normal gas oven it could take around 40 minutes to cook, my rayburn just cooks things really quickly.

Once out of the oven transfer onto a cooling tray and do not touch, hot cake crumbles at the slightest touch.

Evaluating the Recipe
This recipe is really simple, and the 'one mix' element is pretty foolproof. The cake is really small though, and I would recommend doubling the quantities. But overall a really easy cake to make and delicious too.

Hello All!

Hello there!
And welcome to The Improv Chefs. I am writing this,whoever you are, to let you know a little about why this blog has been created and what's it all about.
After viewing various other people's blogs, interesting as they were, I felt I had nothing really to write about myself, I'm on my gap year waiting to go to university and I spend most of my time working in a residential home - nothing really to write home about there (most of the interesting stuff that happens in my day makes for rather unsavoury reading.)
My 'co-chef' also leads a fairly normal life, working nine till five; five days a week and making the most of time away from work by relaxing with friends, playing snooker, listening to music and various other things one does to unwind...except he has stumbled across one of the most satisfying and enjoyable 'habits' there is and it is fast becoming an addiction. He has become a foodie!
I have been brought up with a love of good produce, and home cooked food and was taught to cook from a young age so it seemed, as we exchanged comments over the delicious dinners we had recently cooked, that it was a match made in heaven for us to combine our love of good food and thus The Improv Chefs were born.
This blog will be a mixture of us letting you know our culinary adventures as they unfold, with photos of the finished dishes (or disasters). Enjoy.