In a sort of masochistic way I enjoy making complicated recipes and using complex techniques. Although I love a Victoria sponge I have always thought them somewhat boring to look at hence this attempt at livening one up.
Makes: 1 Victoria sandwich
self raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon raspberry jam
60 to 90ml (2 to 3 fl oz) double or whipping cream
food colouring (optional)
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Cake: Preheat an oven to 150 degrees C. Grease and line two 18cm sandwich tins.
Weigh the eggs in their shells and record the weight. Then weigh out the flour, sugar and margarine to the same weight.
Cream together the margarine and the sugar until smooth and then slowly add the sifted flour. Add the vanilla.
Beat the eggs and add slowly to the mix. The final result should be a medium dropping consistency. If too thick then add a little milk, too thin than add a little more flour. Divide equally between the two prepared sandwich tins.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Put onto a wire rack to cool.
Filling: If the tops are too domed then slice the top off to level one of the halves. Spread that half with the raspberry jam.
Beat the cream until thick and then spread over the jam. Place the other half of sponge on top and press down gently. Cover and place in the fridge until ready for decorating.
Decoration: For the decorating you can practice first on a chopping board or similar until you get the technique and design you want.
Put some icing sugar into a small bowl and then add a few drops of food colouring. Stir with a teaspoon until the sugar has taken on the colouring. Some small lumps may develop which when crushed release more pure colour, crush these as they appear. Finally grind in a grinder or using a pestle and mortar to produce a fine sugar.
To Create Stencils: You can decorate your cake as you wish but for the one shown you will need stencils as shown here.
From thin card, cut two 25cm squares. From the first cut a circle 16cm in diameter. Keep both pieces. In the middle of the circular piece cut another circle 2 1/2cm in diameter.
In the second square sketch out the tree shape you want and then cut out. Since the cake shown in the header I have also added a 'beach' using an off-cut of card with a wavy line cut into one edge.
Place the square stencil with the large circle centrally on top of the cake (or board while practising). Sprinkle a very light covering of white or blue icing sugar. Repeat with red icing sugar to give a feeling of evening. leave this stencil in place while you continue with the rest.
Add the 'beach' and then using the small circle stencil add the sun in a suitable place. Carefully lift off this stencil.
Position the tree stencil and then sprinkle with cocoa powder to create the silhouette. Carefully remove this stencil and then finally the large circle stencil. Stand back and admire your handiwork.