Anyone that knows me knows I’m an avid baker. Every weekend I will bake something – whether it be cookies, doughnuts, tray bake brownies or a nice loaf tin cake. With the Great British Bake Off now being halfway through it’s current season, things are bound to get all the more technical and intricate in both design and its production. However, you have to have the basics down to be able to compete with the challenges this show throws to its contestants on a weekly basis.
Today I take a look at the classic Victoria Sponge, but in miniature form. No one likes it when all the cake is gone, and now it won’t have to be. Now you get to feel like you’re eating a whole Victoria Sponge in one go. These were requested especially this week for my mums birthday today – happy birthday – and are perfect for an occasion when there aren’t enough people to eat a big cake.
Get kneeling by your ovens, the bake off is about to commence!
Imagine Mel and Sue are saying “on your marks, get set, BAKE”
Round up all your ingredients and have them pose for a photo so it looks like you know exactly what you are doing.
Weigh out your butter and sugar and cream together in a large bowl until completely mixed. It’s a lot quicker with a hand mixer, but if you skipped the gym or need a good arm workout this is the perfect time to get your guns out.
Add the vanilla extract followed by the eggs. Add each egg one at a time, beating the mixture together each time until fully incorporated.
Add the flour and baking powder to the mixture. Fold together until everything is mixed together. The aim of this step is to keep the flour in the bowl, not get it all over yourself. Should this happen, put on Taylor Swift “Shake It Off” and shake off the flour while you have a dance around the kitchen.
Spoon the cake mixture into muffin tins. I generally overfill mine just to get nice tall cakes. This mixture should allow for 10-12 generous sized cakes if the mixture is distributed evenly if you haven’t already licked the spoon and bowl. Bake the cakes in the oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. You might find yourself sitting by the oven while you wait – a classic bake off move. When they’re done, there should be a nice spring on the surface if you gently give them a press.
While the cakes are baking in the oven, clear up your mess and lick the remaining mixture out of the bowl, spoon and most likely yourself.
When the cakes are done, leave them to cool for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. They need to be cooled so the buttercream icing doesn’t turn into gloopy bake off disaster.
Cream together the butter, icing sugar and milk until nice and smooth. You need it to be thick enough to hold together with the moisture from the jam.
With the cakes completely cooled, slice them in half. Either pipe or spread the buttercream icing onto the bottom half of the cake and add a spoonful of jam on top. Place the top half of the cake on top and repeat until all the cakes are done.
If you have any buttercream icing left – you might need to make a little more – pipe a pea sized dot on top of the cakes and place sliced strawberries on top. Sift icing sugar over the top of the cakes.
Bring your cakes to the end of your table ready to judged by Mary and Paul. Or, skip this step completely and just enjoy that you survived without any disasters.