Radio Lessons and Victoria Sponges

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Afternoon all,

Well, after a period of no posts at all, I now have several to go all within the space of the next few days.  Hope you don’t get too fed up of me?!

During last years, rather chaotic, endeavours I was lucky enough to be asked onto my local BBC radio station, on the Verity Cowely show to talk about my experiences  and to give my thoughts on the current weeks episode of The Bake-Off.  Whilst recording this I was asked if I would like to have a go at a monthly radio slot, doing a “How to bake 101” segment.  Well, how could I refuse an offer to broadcast my dulcet tones to the local county?!

The first episode went live on the 13th Feb 2015 and the next one will be available to listen HERE from 15:30 on the 13th March.

I will be posting the future recipes on this site as soon as the show is aired so be on the look out for handy hints to make your classic recipes rise higher and taste better then ever before!

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Jordan’s Perfect Victoria Sponge

INGREDIENTS 

200g Butter

200g Caster Sugar – Golden if possible

200g Self-Rising Flour

3\4tsp Baking powder

Pinch of salt

3 Eggs at room temp

Vanilla Pod

2tbsp Milk

150ml Double Cream

Strawberry Jam

RECIPE

Pre-heat oven to 180c

Cream Butter and Sugar together until light and fluffy (see below for tips)

Add eggs, one at a time, along with a spoon of flour to stop the mix curdling

Add the rest of the sifted flour along with the baking powder, salt, seeds of the vanilla pod and the milk. Stir gently to combine.

Divide the mix between two greased & lined 7” tins and bake for 25 mins, checking after 20mins, until a knife comes out clean when prodded.

Leave cake for 5mins before removing from the tins, placing on a cooling rack and leaving to cool completely.

Once cool, level the bottom cake if needed until it is flat enough to be filled.

Whip the cream until it gets to a stiff peak then spread the jam, followed by the cream on top of the bottom cake. Place second cake on top and dust with caster sugar.

Serve and eat!

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HANDY SPONGE TIP’S

Lining your tin – ALWAYS line your tin, it’s a amateur mistake not to. Grease your tin a little first to help the baking paper stick to the side.  Quality of paper is important too.  Brown baking paper with stick to everything as if it has been chemically bonded whereas a good quality silicone paper will work every time, without fail.

Method – There are many different methods for making this cake.  Some swear by the all-in method where everything goes into the mix at the same time.  Personally I find this to make for a heavier cake then the traditional method which beats the sugar and butter first.  I highly recommend using a stand mixer for the creaming stage but you can use a large wooden spoon and an awful lot of elbow grease to achieve the same effect if necessary.   Always split your mix between two tins.  Nothing looks worse than a single cake cut in half!

Eggs – Always use room temperature eggs.  A cold egg will always hold less air then a room temp egg which will create a smaller, harder cake.  Yuk!

Flour – Sifting is very important with a simple sponge cake as it helps to aerate the mixture, making for a better rise.  Sift the flour onto a sheet of baking paper at the start as this will make life easier when it comes to adding it into the cake mixture.  If you skip the simple steps, the end result will suffer!  Make sure your flour is less than 6 months old.  Baking powder, and self-rising flour, will lose its potency after being stored for a while so fresh is best!

Vanilla – Use a vanilla pods seeds if you can, putting the used vanilla pod into a jar of sugar when you are done to create vanilla sugar! If not, use a good quality vanilla extract, about a teaspoon full.  Stay away from Vanilla flavouring as this started its life from the glands of beavers (apparently)!

Decorating – Some people call for a dusting of icing sugar.  I personally prefer the W.I trick of using caster sugar instead as this creates a satisfying crunch on top of the cake.

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