Victoria sponge

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes plus cooling

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 10.52.39Ingredients: 

225g (8oz) butter, softened
225g (8oz) golden caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
2 tbsp milk

For the filling:

250g (9oz) mascarpone
3 tbsp elderflower cordial
200ml (7fl oz) whipping cream, lightly whipped
5 tbsp strawberry jam
300g (10½oz) strawberries, hulled and halved

For the topping:

100g (3½oz) icing sugar
2 tbsp elderflower cordial
150g (5oz) strawberries, halved
1 ready-made meringue nest, roughly crumbled

Method:

1 Preheat the oven 190°C/R5. Butter and base-line two 20cm (8in) cake tins and set to one side. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add a little of the beaten eggs, whisk well and then sift in a little of the flour. Repeat until all the eggs and the flour are used up. Beat in enough milk to give a dropping consistency.

2 Spoon into the prepared tins and level off the cake mix. Bake for just under 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean once inserted. Turn out on to wire racks to cool.

3 Meanwhile, beat the elderflower cordial into the mascarpone followed by the cream, taking care not to over-whip. The cream should be just firm enough to hold soft peaks. Combine the icing sugar and elderflower cordial and set to one side.

4 To assemble, place a sponge on a serving platter or cake stand and carefully spread the jam over the top. Spoon on the cream and then scatter with the strawberries. Top with the other sponge then spoon the icing over the top. Finish with the halved strawberries and crushed meringues.

Expert tip…

Dropping consistency is the point where the cake mix will slowly fall off a wooden spoon when lifted above the bowl. Add the milk, just a splash at a time, until you get the right consistency.

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