Anyway, as always all of the choices for this month's cake looked great. I always have a hard time deciding. But something about this cake with strawberry jam and whipped cream sandwiched between its layers really called to me. It is a sponge cake, which really isn't my favorite texture, but I also haven't had that many. So I thought I should give it a try. Besides, I had all of the ingredients on hand, which is always a helpful deciding factor!
My mother-in-law's birthday was earlier this month, so we invited her over for a birthday lunch that ended with this cake. Certainly nobody complained and it got eaten, but I must confess that sponge cake is still not my favorite texture. The only sponge cake that I've made that I would certainly make over and over again was actually a Cake Slice cake as well. It was the Coffee and Cream Sponge Cake from the last book. Honestly it is the frosting/whipped cream topping on that one that throws it over the edge. Spread it on cardboard and I am sure to still be writing love letters about it. But, I digress. Maybe had I made enough whipped cream to cover this cake, rather than just the smattering in the middle I would have liked it better. After all, we all know by now that I am a frosting girl and the more the merrier. This just didn't have enough for me! I did take the opportunity to add some fresh strawberries to the mix. They are not in Roger's adaptation, but the berries looked so good at the store that I came home with three pounds. It seemed a shame not to sandwich some between the jam and the cream!
Of course Roger's picture was as pretty as could be. He suggested that this cake was named after Queen Victoria who is said to have enjoyed it with a cup of tea. They have been popular in Great Britain as a tea time treat since 1885. Perhaps that is my problem, I am used to celebration cakes that are really sweet and decadent and this is meant to be more of a tea time treat which I believe tend to not be quite so over the top sweet. Who knows? Either way, the cake did not go to waste!
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Victorian Sponge Cake
adapted from Roger Pizey's World Class Cakes
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp whole milk
1 cup lightly sweetened whipped cream
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 cup sliced strawberries (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350F and prepare two 9 inch pans.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy..
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time until completely combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture.
- Add the milk and vanilla and mix until completely combined.
- Spread in your prepared pans and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they test done.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
- To serve, spread jam over bottom layer of cake. Top with strawberry slices if using, the spread with fresh whipped cream. Top with remaining cake layer and dust with powdered sugar.