11 January 2011

Victoria Sandwich Cake

I decided to tackle the Victoria sandwich cake again. This time was NOT going to be a half-baked attempt to recreate something that I knew worked 7 years ago. This time, however, I creamed the sugar and butter first, and I used bleached flour. The result? The second-best Victoria sandwich cake, ever! [The best one was the first one I made, because it was less burnt and more jammy].

150 g caster/granulated sugar
150 g unsalted butter
150 g self-raising white flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
Powdered sugar!

1. Cream sugar and butter. This takes a long time, but it is extremely worth it. I suppose softened butter would be easier to cream, but I'm guessing the butter I used was around 18 degrees C.
2. Add 3 eggs and mix. You will get a lumpy mixture. The original recipe called for the use of an electric whisk, but I don't have one. I don't have many sleek kitchen utensils... so I just mix. Please, Victoria sandwich cakes were invented wayyyyy before electric whisks were [Victoria = Queen Victoria, right?]
Yes. Lumpy.

3. Add in flour one tablespoon at a time. By the last three tablespoons, you will have a really thick batter. The batter should ALMOST be cookie-dough-dense batter. The batter will have little lumps.

4. Separate batter into two pans. The whole point of the Victoria sandwich cake is its sandwich-ness. It is perfect for females to make for males, as it is a sandwich, but offers all the cakey goodness that men crave [ JUST KIDDING!].

5. Anyway, bake at 355 degrees F [or, 180 degrees C, as the original recipe says] for:
8 inch/20cm pans: 25 minutes [says the original recipe] on...the middle rack
9.5 inch pans [the pans I used]: no more than 20 minutes!! on the lowest rack

For me, I used the lowest rack and after I baked the cakes for 20 minutes, I let them sit in the oven for another 20 minutes. When I took them out, one was perfect and the other was a tad burnt. Ah well. Next time I'm putting them in for 15 minutes and letting them sit for 30 minutes.
6. Spread with jam. Warm jam is more easily spread, but cold jam is good too. Then, SANDWICH!
Victoria sandwich cakes are usually thicker, and the recipe I had was meant for 20 cm pans. So, my Victoria sandwich cake was rather thin. However, the taste, texture, and smell were not lost! It was rich, crumbly [big big big big big crumbs!], buttery, crusty on the circumference but spongy in the center, pure, fresh, and mouth-watering. It was not vanilla-y, small-spongy-holes, artificial, super-sweet, or like any of those yellow cake mixes at the store.
You will NOT find a cake like this in a box or frozen in a tin in a store in the U.S. You won't even find this in the bakery section! It doesn't taste moist like Boston cream pies-cakes, and it doesn't taste at all monotone like those *ahem* various "just add half a cup of oil and 3 eggs and mix and bake!" cake mixes. Victoria sandwich cakes are delicate, flavourful, and clean-tasting. One interesting aspect of it is that when you first bite into it, the cake doesn't feel that great; it's dry and crumbly [but not crunchy]. However, as you chew, you feel a bit of "juice" flow out of each thick crumb. Yes, this "juice" is sugary butter. How succulent.
The powdered sugar isn't necessary, but it adds a nice touch to the sandwich cake. Notice that the sandwich cake is not "yellow" or "white" or one uniform colour; it is composed of beautiful shades of caramel; it demonstrates elegance and hard work. Yes, I'm being dramatic, but this cake was definitely the most meaningful cake I've ever made [I'm... bad at making cakes...]
My sister started taking chunks out of it from 11am to 1pm. I told her to just take a slice already! She loved it.
This is going to be her birthday cake! It's going to be better than last year's! It's going to be eight layers tall! [Maybe?]

Victoria sandwich cakes are also really photogenic in sunlight. Look at these pictures! No flash! Perfect!

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