10.24.2011

Secret Recipe Club: Victoria Sponge Cake


. It's SRC time again!  I can't believe it's been a month since the Danish Puff reveal, my how time flies when you're old.  But then again, it felt like an eternity waiting around to show everyone my second SRC recipe.  Gosh, I love these [maybe too much?]!

For October, I was assigned Jayasri Ravi's blog Samayal Arai.  Jayasri is from the United Kingdom and has been a member of blogland since 2008, so needless to say her little corner of the Internet has a wide variety of [mainly] cooking and baking recipes, with a heavy influence from her Indian heritage.  See, this is what I love about blogging and SRC, you meet an array of people from all over the world and are introduced to foods you never otherwise would have known/heard about.  Great, huh?!

Anywho, browsing through Jayasri's recipes was extremely interesting, to say the least.  Many of her ingredients I most likely couldn't pronounce: I don't cook and am from the Midwest.  Not a good combination when you're dealing with international foods (sorry Jayasri, I tried!).  But it was great being exposed to different dishes and so many of her recipes sounded absolutely divine (check out Crispy Rice-stuffed Croquettes, Spirali Pasta with Coriander Pesto, and Milk Bread, to name a few of my favorites).  But since I'm no chef, I wandered to Jayasri's baking recipes to find something that I could attempt to recreate.  And then I stumbled upon the Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake.  I was hooked.


Honestly, I had never heard of a Victoria Sponge Cake (hello, I'm sheltered apparently) but Jayasri's pictures made the cake look so moist and soft that I knew I had to make it.  In her post, Jayasri also mentioned that this cake was her very first attempt at baking, so I'm assuming it holds a special place in her heart. 

Overall, the flavors of this cake were exactly what I had imagined: sweet, delectable preserves cutting through a buttery cake.  However, the texture of the cake didn't really turn out as planned, it wasn't exactly that soft sponge but rather a little more crumbly than I was expecting.  I know this was due to several of my mistakes though:
  • First off, I need to upgrade to the next level and purchase a scale (I've read that the scale is the most accurate way to go when baking).  Jayasri's measurements were in grams and ounces, so I had to do some Googling to find accurate conversions.  Nevertheless, I had a hard time finding a consistent conversion for the flour, so I ended up using 1-1/3 cups, which I'm still not sure if that is even the right measurement for 6 ounces...?! 
  • I may have over beat the batter a bit.  After a little research, some recipes recommended gently folding in the flour.  I folded in the flour all right, but I'm guessing it wasn't very gentle.  So I think this is why the cake turned out not as soft as it should have.
  • Last but not least, I may have over baked the sucker a little.  Jayasri's recipe called for a sandwich tin, which I don't have, so I opted to use a 9-inch pan.  I assumed that the sandwich tin Jayasri used was smaller than my pan, so I put all of the batter into it rather than splitting it in to two pans.  I set the baking time for what was recommended but I should have watched the cake closer because I think it could have and should have come out of the oven a few minutes earlier. 
Aside from these tragic mistakes, and as I previously mentioned, the overall flavors were so, so good.  I loved the taste of a buttery cake with sweet preserves, I told Robbie it reminded me of buttered toast and jam (nix the crunchy toast part).  As you can see, the cake is very simple, so it makes a wonderful breakfast or snack time treat.  With warm coffee.  MmMMmmm!


In her recipe, Jayasri also suggested making homemade whipped cream to put in the middle of the cake, which I will definitely do next time around.  I think it would add a great creaminess to the mix.  Also, adding in some fresh fruit would be oh-so great!

Thanks again, Jayasri, I had a wonderful time perusing your blog and getting to know a little bit about you.  I'll definitely be keeping this cake in my repertoire! .

My Notes:
  • Hmm, I guess see above?!  But, I will note that the measurements below are the conversions I ended up using to make this cake.  I included Jasayri's measurements in the parenthesis', so if anyone has any suggestions for better converted measurements, please drop a comment!
From Samayal Arai

Ingredients:
3/4 c. (6 oz.) butter, softened
3/4 c. (6 oz.) caster sugar
1-1/3 c. (6 oz.) self-rising flour, divided
3 eggs
3/4 c. favorite flavor of preserves or jam
Powdered sugar (optional, for dusting)

Directions:
1.  Heat oven to 350F.  Grease 9-inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray and line bottom with parchment paper.

2.  Cream butter and sugar together in mixing bowl until very pale in color (about 3 minutes).


3.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, each with a tablespoon of flour, until combined.



4.  Gently fold in remaining flour.



5.  Transfer batter to prepared pan.  Bake 23 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean (the original recipe called for 30 to 40 minutes baking time but this is my suggested time to make sure the cake doesn't over bake).  Let cool in pan 2 to 3 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.



6.  Using serrated knife or cake slicer, cut cake in half, creating two layers.


7.  Place bottom layer of cake onto serving platter.  Evenly spread preserves onto cake.  Top with second cake layer.  Dust with powdered sugar.




Yield: 8 servings


17 comments:

  1. Beautiful cake - and wow - beautiful cake stand! I have never heard of a Victorian Sponge cake either, we can be sheltered together :) Luckily we have SRC to stretch our cooking horizons a bit!

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  2. So glad to be in Group C with you, this cake looks fantastic! Great SRC post!! xoxo

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  3. Converting is tricky stuff! The cake looks divine and your cake stand is gorgeous! This is my kind of cake (I don't care for frosting, weird I know).

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  4. Though it may not have had the texture you desired, it sure looks delicious.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Thin Mint Irish Coffee.

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

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  5. I've never heard of a victorian sponge cake either, but it looks really good! I have some of my own preserves I put up over the summer, I will have to make this myself!

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  6. Ooooh, this cake looks SO good! I love sponge cake, and that layer of the jam in the middle makes it look super tempting.

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  7. that is one beautiful looking cake!

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  8. Fantastic! My favourite cake and yours looks beautiful.

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  9. Yummy---looks delicious. I think you rose to this challenge. Great SRC post.

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  10. I think your cake looks beautiful! Whipped cream in the center would throw it over the top!
    What fun SRC month!

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  11. This sponge cake looks fantastic! I love the simplicity and yet it looks elegant. YUM!

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  12. Love this classic cake. Sometimes we forget about how delicious simple cakes like this are and this is a nice reminder. Your picture is stunning. Great pic for SRC.

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  13. i like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out tastingspot.com. it's for anyone that just wants another place to submit photos and share it will other foodies.

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  14. Yum I love sponge cakes and highly recommend that you whip up some cream next time you try it! Delicious!

    I have a question, what's the SRC?

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  15. It looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday. :)

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  16. Hi Jess,I would like you to apologise to you for coming here sooo late, I tried many a times to your site, everytime it wouldn't open up in my laptop and kept saying Malware detected, today I thought I will try this last time, or I will write to Angie and get your e-mail id so I can write to you to thank you for trying out from my blog.
    Thank you for all the kind words, I have no words to explain to you how thankful I am to be featured and paired me with you thanks to SRC, I feel shy reading through your post of how you have introduced me, I am much obliged.
    Here in UK it is the classic Old fashioned cake, it is the basic cake for all the other cakes they make here, you can find it here in every shop, I think the first cake named after the Queen in those days!.., The cake has turned out so well, it's beautiful, spongy and delicious looking.
    Thank you once again...

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  17. This recipe reminded me my old grandmother's recipe, for that reason I'll make it this weekend because this recipe brings me many memories.

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