Victoria Sponge Cake

*Victoria Sponge Cake*
 Makes one 7 inch cake

Popular during the reign of Queen Victoria, this cake remains popular to this day, which is a huge testament to it's taste and ease of baking! 

170g butter (12 TBS)
170g caster sugar (1 cup)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 large free range eggs, beaten
170g self raising flour (a scant 1 1/2 cups)

To finish:
3 TBS raspberry jam
buttercream to fill (optional)
icing sugar or caster sugar to dust the top

Butter and base line two 7 inch sandwich tins.  Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light in colour and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.  If the mixture begins to curdle, add a spoonful of the flour.

Fold in the flour with a metal spoon, taking care to use a cutting motion so as not to knock out too much of the air that you have beaten into the batter.  Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins, leveling off the surface.  Make a slight dip in the centre of each.

Bake on a centre rack of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the sponges have risen well, are golden brown, and spring back when lightly touched.  Allow to cool in the pan for five minutes before running a knife carefully around the edges and turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, place one layer on a cake plate. Spread with raspberry jam and buttercream (if using).  Place the other cake on top, pressing down lightly.  Dust with icing or caster sugar and serve.

Alternately you can bake the batter in a mini cake tin.  I have a tin that allows you to make six individual cakes.  Just butter, line the bottoms and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Split and fill the finished cakes as above.
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