Well, didn’t Queen Victoria have good taste. Ol’ Vicky couldn’t resist a bit of sponge with her PG tips (well maybe not PG… Earl Grey’s probably more fitting), firmly ensuring that this English treat be named after her. I’ve always been a fan of the Sponge. It’s not coated with icing, instead just a little jam and cream transform this ordinary cake into a pudding of delight. I rustled one up for a friend’s birthday but due to her severe aversion to cream I served the vanilla cream on the side. To tart up the cake simply slice strawberries and layer all over the top, scattering with chopped pistachio nuts. I think Queen V would be smiling down with approval.
- 6oz/170g margarine/butter (I used Stork… just as good as butter)
- 6oz/170g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 6oz/170g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 vanilla pods
- Jar of good quality strawberry jam
- Punnet of strawberries
- Handful of shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
- A pot of whipping cream
- Turn the oven on to 180 degrees. Butter and line with greaseproof paper 2 20cm sandwich tins.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs. Gradually add the eggs into the butter/sugar mixture until fully incorporated.
- Sieve the raising flour and baking powder and fold into the batter.
- Remove the vanilla from one of the pods and add to the batter.
- Carefully divide the mixture into your prepared tins.
- Bake for aprox. 20 minutes until the cake has risen and springs back to touch (try not to open the oven too often, otherwise it will sink)
- Cool on a wire rack. Once cool remove the greaseproof paper. Place one sponge on a serving plate and spread a generous amount of jam in the middle. Place the other sponge on top.
- Slice the strawberries and layer on top. Scatter the pistachios on top.
- Empty the cream into a bowl. Scrap the vanilla from the remaining vanilla pod into the cream. Whisk until it is thick and holds it’s shape.
- Slice up and serve with a dollop of cream on the side.