Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A piece of cake - Victoria sponge with orange zest.



As many of you who've been following my blog know.. I've been known to run away from eggs. Run, literally scamper out of the way. Just as an individual with a Parietal cortex stroke, my brain effortlessly used to come up with the most ridiculous of excuses to avoid buying them when my son asked me. It finally hit my head that it wasn't fair to my son that I should deprive him of a food he was curious to try, and I began to gradually bake cakes. Yes, I still clear out the counter around the 'future' cracked eggshells like a bomb disposal squad clears out curious onlookers and for once, I'm extremely prompt in clearing up and washing the dishes that the eggs have been in contact with, just to ensure there is no trace of any 'eggy' odor. And for helping me get over my neurotic aversion, I have my Food52 friends, Cynthia, (the Solitary cook) & Mrs. Larkins, (a.k.a the Scone lady) to thank, they were instrumental in getting me out of this crazy loop.

My go to book for cake recipes is this magazine promotional book from Australia, published in 1985.  Yes, I used to bake way back then, with the same trepidation, but had mommy's hand to hold on to for support, so the  fear never became apparent. Getting such books in India in the 80's was a luxury and it was by sheer luck that my mother spotted this book at the local stationery store in Chembur, Mumbai. Each and every recipe I've tried from this book has been a straight forward success and I will post more recipe as I make them, with full credit to the source.


The only addition I've made to this recipe is the addition of orange zest,For the sandwich filling, I personally like warming up some marmalade and slathering it in between the layers, but chocolate ganache will work splendidly too.

Victoria sponge: (Recipe from Great Cakes, a magazine promotional book from Womans Day (Australia) & white wings brand Flour)



You need:
  2 cups (280 grams) Self raising Flour (I used the King Arthur brand)
2 sticks + 2 tablespoons (18 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1.5 heaped tablespoons finely minced orange zest.
Confectioners sugar for dusting.

For the filling:
1 cup warmed, melted orange marmalade
OR
1 cup chocolate ganache

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.

 
  • Cut out 2 nine inch circles of parchment paper. Grease the bottom & sides of 2 circular baking tins with butter. Carefully press down the parchment paper onto the base of the tins.
  • Measure out the flour and add the salt. Sift to combine.
  • In a stand mixer add the butter and Vanilla extract.Keeping the speed at the lowest setting, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar gradually along with the orange zest, (increasing the speed slightly) and continue beating the mixture until it turns light and fluffy.


 
  • In the meantime, crack the 4 eggs into a bowl and whisk them. Add the mixture very slowly into the creamed mixture of butter and sugar. (adding the eggs quickly  causes the mixture to curdle). In case the mix does curdle, dont worry, simply add in a bit of the flour that you've measured out for the cake. Once the eggs are incorporated, gradually add in the flour and mix gently until all the flour (including the bits sitting on your paddle attachment) is well combined.

  
  • Divide the dough equally between the two baking tins and smooth over the surface using a large offset spatula.


  • Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 30 - 35 minutes until the center of the cake feels 'springy' to the touch of your finger tips.
  • Remove the cakes onto a cooling rack. Once the cakes are completely cool, sandwich together using either the warmed marmalade or the chocolate ganache. Dust the top with confectioner's sugar as per your preference. Cut into wedges and serve with afternoon tea.

My kids & I decided to use the cakes from an earlier baking session to try our skills at decorating.. 




Bon appetit!

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