5 May 2017

Victoria Sponges For One

Aren't these tempting? I do love a cake made 'for one'. Some out-of-the-ordinary ingredients were used in the process too – instead of mixing with butter, we use cream; and instead of baking in a round cake tin we use a tin can. Yes, that's right a tin can that you would find soup in.

Mini Victoria Sponges

240ml / 1 cup whipping cream (plus extra for topping)
2 eggs
200 g / 1 cup Caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla flavouring
230 g plain flour + 10 g cornflour (1½ cups cake flour)
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

115 g / 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
250 g / 2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla flavouring
½ tsp lemon juice

Berry topping
200 g / 1 cup mixed berries (frozen type will do)
100 g / ½ cup Caster sugar

4 tin cans (about 400g/14 oz volume), scrubbed clean

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Grease the tin cans with a little butter, then line the bottom and sides with baking paper and grease again.

Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks (this bit is quite important – try not to over-whip as the cream can curdle. Remember: ‘soft peaks’). Beat the eggs until frothy in a small bowl (using a hand whisk) then add to the whipped cream and beat together for a few minutes. Slowly add the sugar and finally the vanilla and continue whipping on high speed for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Sift again over the batter and carefully fold using a large rubber spatula. Make sure you scrape the edges and bottom of the bowl. When all the flour is incorporated, pour the batter carefully into the tin cans – only fill halfway up.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes. Test them with a skewer – it should come out clean and the cakes should be firm on top. Because of the unconventional method of baking, check them after 30 minutes – I found they needed at least 35. Leave them to cool completely before turning out on a wire rack. Slice into 3 (or more) layers. Slice the tops off to make the surface even and use this side as the base of your sponge cake.

To make the buttercream, put your softened butter and icing sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix well until fluffy then add the cream 1 tbsp at a time. Mix for several minutes and add the vanilla and lemon juice. Starting with the base cake layer, sandwich some buttercream between two layers. Repeat with the third layer on top.

To make the berry topping, simmer the mixed berries with the sugar on a low heat in a saucepan for 10 minutes. Stir carefully so as not to break up the fruit. Allow the mixture to cool and it will thicken nicely before applying to the top of your cakes. Decorate with a nice blob of whipped cream.

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