Keep the home front baking: One-bowl victoria sponge
MAKES 12 MINIS OR 1 X 20CM CAKE
OVEN READY Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. For one large sponge use 2 x 20cm loose-bottom, nonstick cake tins about 4cm deep. For the mini sponges select a 12-hole mini sandwich tin (see Kitchen Kit, below) and bake the mixture in two batches.
WEIGH AND MIX This method uses the traditional ratio of ingredients for a simple sponge. Start by weighing 4 medium eggs (usually about 230g-240g) then assemble the same weight each of diced unsalted butter, golden caster sugar and self-raising flour. Using an electric whisk on high speed, whisk the butter in a large bowl for 1-2 minutes until very pale and fluffy, then add the sugar and continue to whisk for another 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, combining well with each addition until the mixture is amalgamated, then sift and lightly whisk in 1 rounded tsp baking powder and the flour in two goes.
INTO THE TINS Butter the tins and line the bases if making the larger sponges. Divide the mixture evenly (if making minis, cook two batches of 12). Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes for large sponges and 12-15 minutes for minis or until a skewer comes out clean when testing. Remove the cakes from the tins and leave to cool.
FILL & FINISH Remove any paper and sandwich the cakes with good quality jam of your choice (try rhubarb for an old-fashioned flavour), placing the lower cake top down and the second one top upwards. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
KITCHEN KIT For our downsized victorias we used a mini nonstick, loose-bottomed sandwich tin from Lakeland (£16.99, lakeland.co.uk); perfect for individual sponges.