The Victoria Sandwich Cake: A Classic English Dessert
The Victoria Sandwich cake is as classic as roast beef in England and the recipe is renown for being just a little tricky. The popular movie from 2003 starts with the main characters entering the local Women’s Institute cake show. The winner quietly admits to her friends that she purchased the Victoria Sandwich cake she entered. The popular Great British Bake Off, which shows the best of the country’s best bakers, often has this classic cake as a test of ability in the cake shows.
The cake predates weights in the cupboard and substitutes the weight of 3 eggs (about 2 oz each). With a balance scale, the eggs are placed on one side so that you get equal weights of butter, sugar and flour which are placed in the pan. I remember my grandmother always made the cake on Saturday morning. In a more modern kitchen, you note the weight of the eggs, then using a bowl, add the same weight in butter, sugar and flour – although I do still use my balance scales for this particular recipe.
Take the eggs and butter from the fridge so that the eggs are at room temperature and the butter softened (not melted).
The Victoria Sandwich recipe:
3 large eggs – about 6oz.
6 oz softened butter or 3/4 cup butter
6 oz sugar or ¾ cup
6 oz. flour or 1 1/3cups
2×8” cake pans, well-greased and floured.
1: In a bowl, beat the sugar and butter until light in color and fluffy (some bakers like to do this over a pan of warm water);
2: Break the eggs, singly, into a small bowl and whisk lightly;
3: Slowly add the eggs to the butter/sugar mix, beating all the time to incorporate the egg fully before adding the next egg. Do not add the eggs too quickly as the mix will curdle. If this happens, add a teaspoon of flour to the mix.
4: Sift the flour and slowly add to the mix with a metal spoon, using a figure of 8 to fully incorporate it.
5: Turn into pans and put into 375 f oven for about 20 minutes.
6: Turn the cakes onto a rack to cool then fill with strawberry jam & cream or just a simple preserve.
7: Dust with fine sugar or icing sugar. For a decorative look put a doily on the top of the cake and dust with sugar. Carefully remove the doily leaving the pattern on the cake.