Victoria Birthday Sponge
It was my Mum’s birthday this week, and I had been thinking about just the right cake to make for her for a few weeks. So I asked if she would like chocolate, caramel, lemon, plain with chocolate icing or a hummingbird cake, which I remembered about after reading about Freya’s cupcakes (in Writing at the Kitchen Table) which I thought my Mum would like because she loves pineapple. However all this cake daydreaming was to no avail and what I should have done was just ask, because she said no no she’d like a plain sponge cake with jam, cream and icing on top.
My basic sponge cake is from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. Her Victoria sponge cake. I don’t change the sponge, but I gild the lily a bit by spreading as much jam as I can and using half a pint of double cream (instead of a quarter) which I whisk thick enough that it won’t all ooze out when the top layer is placed on. The icing is just icing sugar and water with a bit of pink food colouring. I was going to use some sprinkles to decorate, but I coloured the icing a bit too bright, so it clashed with them. Luckily the cupboard was not bare and there were sugar flowers waiting for the right occasion.
A classic cake like a plain sponge is like an old friend. You need to visit them every so often ! It’s easy to forget a basic, but it tastes so good – tender, creamy, jammy, sweet. I used Dalfour strawberry jam, as it doesn’t have any added sugar and offsets the sweet cake really well. Happy Birthday Mum.