Posted 6th Jun 2018
Do you feel like flexing your baking muscles this week?
Then why not try following these five tips from Style Me Vintage Tea Parties author Lulu Gwynne, who is sharing her ideas on what you can do to whip up the perfect Victoria sponge.
Make sure you have weighed out your ingredients before you start mixing - this ensures that when you start cooking, you can do so quickly. It is every baker's worst nightmare to leave the cake mixture too long, as it will start to lose air. Preparation will help to prevent you from over-mixing the cake too. Another good tip will be using self-raising flour with a teaspoon of baking powder - this helps you to create an extra-high and light sponge.
2 Keep the ingredients at the suitable temperature
You should store your ingredients at just the right temperature. Slightly warm eggs will not hold the same volume of air as chilled eggs, so make sure you keep your ingredients at room temperature as a major save. Butter or baking spread should be slightly warmer than everything else to keep it soft but still hold it together. If it's too cold, it won't blend with the sugar and eggs - if it's too warm, it will be oily.
3 Sift the flour
Sifting adds air, making your Sponge lighter and fluffier. If you use the freshest eggs you can find, the whites will whip up to create a frenzy of air. When you whisk the whites with the sugar, do so until the mix has turned white - this is the tell-take sign that it's plump with air.
4 Preheat the oven
If you do not preheat the oven beforehand, you may not get the best results from your sponge. When you bake, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Then, line the cake tin bottom with greaseproof or parchment paper for the best results.
5 Pale golden brown is a winner
The best way to know when the sponge is ready is that it will go a pale golden-brown colour. When you put your fingers in the middle and press gently, it should feel firm. Use a knife to slide around the edge of the tin to release the cake. Once you've taken it out of the oven, place the cake on a wire rack to cool down but avoid putting it in a warm tin as this could cause it to go mouldy.
As a little bonus tip, go for fresh whipped cream and the very best jam you can find. Then, dust the top with icing sugar - voila.
You can find out more here.