Victoria Sandwich Cake
I think there is nothing better than a freshly baked, traditional Victoria sandwich cake, also known as a Victoria sponge cake. If it is light enough, there is no need for cream and rich fillings. The key is in the mixing at the beginning – much to the annoyance of my students when I force them to use wooden spoons rather than an electric mixer! Mixing by hand will increase your awareness as to how the mixture changes in the bowl.
You can learn to make this yourself in my half day AFTERNOON TEA PARTY BAKING CLASS that is offered throughout the year. In this class you will learn the deceptively simple techniques and skills to master traditional English baking.
A version of this recipe can be found in the first edition of Mrs Beeton’s ‘Book of Household Management’, published in 1861. The recipe is called ‘Victorian Sandwiches’. Unlike the familiar round cake that we see today it was made in a large square tin. Once cooked and cooled, the single square is cut horizontally and the two layers are then sandwiched together with raspberry jam. The cake was then cut into thin slices approximately 2cm thick and looking more like a ‘sandwich’.
What is a ‘Rich Sponge’ cake?
The description ‘rich sponge’ describes a sponge that has a high proportion of butter and is more typical of the British sponge cakes, where it is the sponge cake itself that is the star of the cake. This is unlike the rather than the fatless sponge cakes more typical of France and Italy, where the the sponge layer or layers are really a carrier for whipped cream and syrups rather than this stand-alone Sponge Cake.