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21.09.2020- Adventures in Baking: A Floral Victoria Sponge Cake

With the brand new series of The Great British Bake Off kicking off tomorrow (finally, something good for 2020!), it felt like high time to resurrect this series! Like most people, I've really resurrected my love for baking over the last six months, and during lockdown it really was one of the best things I could do to keep my mental health in check- there's something about the methodical manner of following a recipe which really helped me to feel a little bit more zen about life, if only for a short window of time. 

It'll come as no great surprise to regular visitors to these pages that I'm a huge fan of the humble Victoria Sponge, and a few years ago I became a bit of an expert after creating a bespoke cake for my lovely friend Katy's wedding. Having said that, my skills had definitely become a little bit rusty in life pre-lockdown (so many cakes, but no time to bake!), so as I fired up the oven and dusted off my apron, this familiar favourite seemed like the perfect place to begin again, complete with a few extra design touches to elevate my cake game one step further. The Victoria Sponge recipe which has never let me down is Mary Berry's, so I delved back into my recipe books to dig it out: 


Ingredients 
4 free-range eggs 
225g caster sugar 
225g self-raising flour 
2 tsp baking powder 
225g butter at room temperature 
Jam and whipped cream to serve 
Edible flowers and berries to decorate (I get my flowers from Maddocks Farm Organics but you can pick them up from most supermarkets, or your own garden- but only after some thorough research into which ones are fit for human consumption!) 

Method 
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. 
2) Line two sandwich tins with baking paper. 
3) Mix the eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder and butter in a large mixing bowl. Combine well but don't overmix. 
4) Once mixed, spoon the cake mix into the cake tins and make sure there's an even amount in each. Carefully smooth the top of each to make sure there's an equal spread across the tins. 
5) Bake for 25 minutes each, until golden brown and the middle is firm. Set aside to cool in the tins before carefully removing and transferring to a cooling rack. 
6) Meanwhile, whip the cream and mix the jam (or marmalade, if you'd prefer) in separate bowls. Layer over the sponges once completely cooled and assemble.
7) For decoration, you might like to add a sprinkle of icing sugar. I washed my edible flowers and dried them in a sieve with kitchen paper before adding to the top of the cake with some fresh berries. This is a really fun way to get creative and add some colour to the bake, so free free to be as bold or as subtle as you like. 
8) Serve and enjoy! 

What have you been baking recently? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

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