breakfast, Brunch, coffee, Dessert, Europe and the United Kingdom, Food, traditions, Uncategorized

Tea Time Treats: Victoria Sandwich

With apologies to Mary Berry.

The pandemic has brought much binging of The Great British Baking Show (as well as many other shows) and a slightly slower pace of life. With that, we have been spending more time in the kitchen, and have practiced a bit more creativity when planning meals and baking treats. The result of the kitchen time, Amazon prime binging, with a little bit of longing for past travels sprinkled in, was Sami’s request for tea time, and Victoria sponge cake.

A yummy Victoria sponge and cappuccino

We first tried a Victoria sandwich last year while at Eat Drink and Bee, a cute cafe in Winchester in southern England. With all that 2020 had to bring, our 2019 trip seems like a lifetime ago. Nevertheless, the kids look on the experience with fondness, and Sami especially wanted to bring a little bit of that holiday magic back. So I acquiesced and found a recipe for the tea time favorite.

The recipe I based this one off of was by Mary Berry and BBC Food. Being in America, I had to make a number of conversions, as well as a few changes. The whipped cream recipe is one that I’ve been using for years, and I cheated and used a jar of organic raspberry spread rather than making it from scratch. The end result was a cake that had a good consistency, and made for a pleasant afternoon treat. I present to you a classic Victoria sandwich, with a few American modifications.

Sponge cake:

4 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups plus two tablespoons flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened at room temperature

Fillings:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 small jar good quality raspberry spread

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two eight inch cake tins with butter or cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then add sugars, flour, baking powder, and butter. Mix until well combined using either a hand mixer or wooden spoon, taking care not to over mix. The mixture should be of a consistency to easily drop off a spoon.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the two baking tins, using a baking spatula to scrape the mixing bowl and to gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden-brown and pulling slightly from the edge of the tins. The sponge should be springy when lightly pressed. Let cool on a cooling rack.
  5. While waiting for the sponges, prepare the cream. In a medium bowl, combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Beat with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  6. To assemble the cake, place one sponge upside down on a plate and spread it with the raspberry spread. Layer with whipped cream and top with the second layer of sponge. Sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar.

For Sami, having an afternoon tea time while watching some good BBC helped to break up the lockdown doldrums. I wish all of you a happy holiday season, with good friends and family, whether safely in person or on the Zooms, and plenty of holiday treats. Cheers!

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