Paul Hollywood’s Classic Victoria Sandwich

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It’s funny, each time I am searching for my next British Baking Show recipe, I always favor Mary Berry. It’s here name, and her recipe that I search for. When I typed in google, “Victoria Sandwich,” I tacked her name at the beginning, “Mary Berry’s Victoria Sandwich.”  I did the same thing when I looked for a Swiss Roll. Both times, however, I ended up making Paul’s recipes.

I knew when I started this challenge that I wanted to start with the Victoria Sandwich. The Victoria Sandwich is what convinced me that I should bake all the recipes from the masterclass. I didn’t know the difference between the types of sponges. To me, they were all “cake.” Though this recipe is not part of the masterclass, The Victoria Sandwich in my mind is such a classic, a simple, elemental version of a tea cake that it had to be a part of my endeavor.

This cake is delicate, flavorful, and simple. It is also the easiest cake I have ever made. Rest assured, it is easy, but it does not look easy. It is still a cake to make your guests “oo” and “aa” and marvel at the incredible talent you possess as a baker. The sponge is very sweet on its own and can be filled with just jam, whipped cream, or buttercream. I chose buttercream because I was serving it as a dessert in the late evening. But I do think this would be great filled with whipped cream which would bring down the sugar content a notch.  Be warned, this cake is very sweet. I thought a small slice was plenty, and luckily, my friends crushed the rest before I could have a second.

I followed Paul’s recipe simply because he used all-purpose flour instead of self-rising flour, as Mary Berry’s recipe did. Self-rising flour is challenging to find in the US but you can make it at home which I will show you in my post about my chocolate raspberry Swiss Roll. This recipe also uses caster sugar which I have never even seen in the US. I made this myself too with a little help from google (once I learned what the heck it was). 

Paul describes his steps much better than I could, so if you are wanting to make this yourself, I suggest you go to his site here.

To start this recipe, make sure you have softened butter and your eggs sitting at room temperature. Then make your caster sugar.


How to Make Caster Sugar

From what I have learned, caster sugar is ground granulated sugar and has a texture in between granulated and powdered sugar. Please, someone correct me if I am wrong, this is what I have learned. You can try to alter ingredients of recipes to use granulated sugar or you can make caster sugar yourself at home. Simply replacing caster sugar with granulated sugar will result in a different texture and a different flavor, I would not recommend this.

To make it, all you do is place granulated sugar in a food processor and process until it becomes fine. Aim for a sugar texture that was directly in the middle of powdered and granulated. Be careful to watch the sugar so that you don’t end up with powdered sugar. I made a large batch and kept it in a mason jar to use in other recipes.


Making the Victoria Sandwich

I started my Victoria sponge with a clean bowl, added the flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. It was strange adding everything all in once. I had to trust that I was doing the right thing and double checked it several times. But it’s right, just throw it all in the bowl. The best thing about this recipe is that all ingredients are equal parts. It also only required one bowl and less than an hour.

That’s a huge win for me!

While I whisked my sponge ingredients together, my husband lined two cake pans with parchment paper and butter. I used two 9 inch pans, but I would have preferred to use 8 inch pans if I had them. I measured the batter into each of the cake pans to make sure they were even and then baked them in the oven for 25 minutes.

I cooled them in the fridge, as we were short on time, while I made the buttercream. Once the cakes were cooled, I choose the one that looked the best and save it for the top. On the other, I spread raspberry jam and then piped circles of buttercream across the cake. Then, I topped it with the prettier cake.

And vuala, your done.

I am looking forward to trying to make this cake gluten free and filled with coconut whipped cream. Yum. 

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