Victoria Sponge Cake

Victoria Sponge cakeServes : 8-10

Ingredients:-
175g (6oz) butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
175g (6oz) caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
175g (6oz) self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
3 tblsp raspberry jam
1 tblsp caster sugar or icing sugar, for dusting

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / Gas Mark 4.

Step Two : Grease two 20cm (8 inch) sponge tins and line with baking paper.

Step Three : Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or a hand-held mixer until the mixture is pale in colour and light and fluffy.

Step Four : Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step Five : Sift the flour and salt together and carefully add to the mixture, folding in with a metal spoon or a spatula. Divide the mixture between the tins and smooth over with the spatula.

Step Six : Place the tins on the same shelf in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until well risen, golden brown and beginning to shrink from the sides of the tins.

Step Seven : Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 1 minute.

Step Eight : Loosen the cakes from around the edges of the tins using a palette knife. Turn the cakes out onto a clean tea towel, remove the paper and invert them onto a wire rack (this prevents the wire rack marking the tops of the cakes).

Step Nine : When completely cool, sandwich together with the jam and dust with icing sugar. The cake is delicious when freshly baked, but any remaining cake can be stored in an airtight tin for up to one week.

Devil’s Food Cake

Devils Food CakeServes: 8-10

Sponge Ingredients:-
140g (5oz) plain chocolate
100ml (3 ½ fl oz) milk
2 tblsp cocoa powder
140g (5oz) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
140g (5oz) ligh Muscovado sugar
3 eggs, separated
4 tblsp soured cream or crème fraiche
200g (7oz) plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Frosting Ingredients:-
140g (5oz) plain chocolate
40g (1 ½ oz) cocoa powder
4 tblsp soured cream or crème fraiche
1 tblsp golden syrup
40g (1 ½ oz) unsalted butter
4 tblsp water
200g (7oz) icing sugar

Step One : Preheat the oven to 160oC / 325oF / Gas Mark 3. Grease two 20cm (8 inch) sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.

Step Two : Break up the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, add the milk and cocoa powder, then heat gently, stirring until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Step Three : In a large bowl beat the butter and Muscovado sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, then beat in the soured cream and the melted chocolate mixture.

Step Four : Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, then fold in evenly. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff enough to hold firm peaks. Fold into the mixture lightly and evenly.

Step Five : Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins, smooth level and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until risen and firm to the touch. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Step Six : To make the frosting, put the chocolate, cocoa powder, soured cream, golden syrup, butter and water in a saucepan and heat gently until melted. Remove from the heat and sift in the sugar, stirring until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken and hold its shape.

Step Seven : Split the cakes in half horizontally with a sharp knife to make four layers. Sandwich the cakes together with about a third of the frosting. Spread the remainder over the top and side of the cake swirling with a palette knife.

Tip: Use a metal, ceramic or glass bowl when whisking egg whites. Plastic bowls scratch easily, so may not be grease-free, and will prevent the whites from foaming.