“Sweet Treat Science” recipe The Perfect Victoria Sponge by Andrew Smyth As part of the live show, I’d love for you to join me in baking a “perfect” (Mary Berry’s words not mine) Victoria Sponge, helped along with a good dash of science. I’ll be explaining all the steps live on the day but have included the full recipe below for you to refer back to or to look ahead! I’ve included a few different tin sizes so hopefully you’ll have something close enough! Baking times will increase a little for larger cakes so keep an eye on them and you can test if they’re ready in the same way. If you have any recipe or ingredient questions feel free to reach out on social media @cakesmyth If you want to bake along during the workshop, make sure you have the following ready before it starts: ● Kit ready (list below) ● Ingredients weighed out and ready ● Oven pre-heated to 160C fan-assisted / 180C conventional / Gas Mark 4 ● Device for watching along somewhere where you can easily see it in the kitchen! Ingredients (for a 6 inch cake) 2 large free-range eggs at room-temperature (crack and weigh these into a bowl that has been zeroed on the scale to work out the egg weight without the shells) ~120g (same weight as eggs) unsalted butter at room temperature ~120g (same weight as eggs) caster sugar ~120g (same weight as eggs) self-raising flour 1 tbsp milk ½ tsp baking powder 100g jam (I prefer a good-quality raspberry, choose your favourite) 150ml double cream ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional) For a 7-inch cake, use 3 large eggs and use the weight of these to work out the other ingredients. Use ¾ tsp baking powder For an 8-inch cake, use 4 large eggs and use the weight of these to work out the other ingredients. Use 1 tsp baking powder Kit 2 sandwich cake tins (preferably loose-bottomed 6-inch, 7-inch or 8-inch), Digital Scales, Electric hand whisk (or a wooden spoon if you have strong arms!), a silicone spatula or large spoon for mixing, large mixing bowl, baking/parchment paper, sieve, small bowl Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. If you have multiple shelves, make sure there is one in the middle of the oven as this is where the heat is best distributed 2. Grease and line your two sandwich tins. You can use a piece of baking paper to rub a little butter around the inside of the tins until the base is lightly coated, then line the bottom with a circle of baking paper. For the sides, you can add a strip of baking paper or I prefer to just lightly grease and roll a little flour around the inside as this prevents the sponge from sticking and gives a nice-looking exterior! 3. To your large mixing bowl, add your soft unsalted butter and caster sugar. Your butter should be soft enough that you can easily push a finger into it to dent the surface. If not, give it 5 second blasts in the microwave to soften. Using an electric whisk, beat on high speed for around 3 minutes until noticeably lighter in colour and fluffier in texture. If using a wooden spoon, really give it some welly! 4. Add your room temperature eggs, one at a time, to the mixing bowl, whisking quickly in between until the egg is incorporated. Don’t worry if it looks like it’s split, it’ll come back together later. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and give it a final whisk. 5. In a separate bowl, mix together your self-raising flour and baking powder to ensure the baking powder is evenly distributed. Then sieve this into your wet ingredients and fold together with a spatula or sharp-sided spoon until evenly mixed. Add the small amount of milk to help loosen the batter. Don’t mix more than necessary or it will become bready as the gluten in the flour develops. 6. I zero my scales and weight the batter evenly between the tins but you can eyeball it if you’re not as worried about precision! Use a spatula or back of a spoon to smooth the batter and raise the edges ever so slightly, this will help give your cake an even rise. 7. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 17-20 minutes (for 7 or 8 inch cakes, start with 20 minutes then test every 3). There are 3 things to check if it’s ready: a. A skewer or sharp knife inserted into the centre comes out clean b. Lightly prodding the top, the cake will bounce back c. It will be starting to pull away from the edges of the tin. Once a cake “sets” it naturally contracts so this is a good sign 8. Set aside to cool in their tins for 5 minutes. Run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tins and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack. Put a clean tea towel under one of them if you don’t want marks on top of your perfect sponge! 9. To assemble the cake, place one cake upside down onto a plate and spread it with plenty of jam. If you want to, you can spread over whipped double cream with a little vanilla too, it should be firm peaks before spreading so it’s strong enough to hold the cake. Top with the second cake, top-side up. Sprinkle over a little caster sugar to finish!