Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Queen's Cake.

Because I have a small obsession with Will and Kate, I dedicate this post to the Royals of England and to sweet baby George. On his birthday I was glued to my phone waiting to see if the baby would be a prince or princess. I was rooting for a baby girl, but George couldn't be more perfect. I can't imagine a more elegant and happy mother and I just love the similarities between Kate and Princess Diana. She is certainly, like Diana, easy to love.
And what other way to celebrate the birth of a new future King than by eating cake. I think besides Key Lime Pie, Victoria Sponge Cake is my favorite dessert. It was the one cake I always ordered whenever we'd have tea in London, and every tea shop made one. By far the best version I've eaten was at Chatsworth House last April. It's sort of a winning combination. Sponge cake, butter cream icing, and raspberry (or in this case blackberry) jam (jelly).

Here's the story of Victoria Sponge Cake. Queen Victoria pictured below, (Emily Blunt stars in The Young Victoria to left, and real life wedding photograph to right) is said to have had a "sinking feeling" around four o'clock every day. They started bringing her small cakes and tea to hold her over until supper. She enjoyed this four o'clock tea so much that she started inviting ladies to have "tea" with her. And there established the world famous English Tea Time tradition. The most often requested cake was a plain sponge cake with just jam sandwiched between. 20th century adaptations to this cake included a layer of thick butter cream icing, which I'm certainly glad someone thought of. Today, it is still one of Great Britain's favorite cakes named after a favorite Queen. And here's how you make it.

Victoria Sponge Cake

3 Eggs.
Weigh the eggs then use the same weight of butter, self-raising flour, and sugar. 
Cream the butter until it turns white and add sugar, creaming it on high until smooth.
Beat the eggs first, then add gradually to the butter and sugar cream. 
Sift flour and add gradually.

Bake in two to three (depending on the size) greased pans @ 350 for 25 minutes.

Cool. Then in the same manner as scones spread a layer of either raspberry or blackberry jam, or really anything you have, over the cake.

For the icing...
4 oz. soft butter
8 oz. powdered sugar
Mix on high until smooth and spread over jam.

To finish in a traditional fashion dust powered sugar over the top of the cake. 
(I had extra batter so I made two mini cakes in a muffin tray)

Best enjoyed along side a hot cup of tea.

God Save The Queen.


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