5 Nov

Hi everyone.
Welcome to the first of many ramblings about my favourite hobby-baking.
What better way to start it off than a birthday cake! The paper I work for, The Loughborough Echo, turned 120 this week. We had a bumper edition paper and a day of celebration in town but there was one thing missing…cake! Sunday’s mission was therefore to set that right.
It might sound stupid but I couldn’t find a recipe for birthday cake anywhere so in the end I went for the good old fashioned Victoria sponge. It was actually my first attempt at making one and I have to say it went pretty well (although it was a bit touch and go trying to get it out of the tin after I didn’t read the recipe properly and forgot to put baking paper on the bottom,which meant it got slightly stuck-oops).
It was also my first attempt at writing in icing. It was much harder than I expected and the 2 on my 120 looked more like something carved by Zorro!
Nevertheless everyone at work seemed to enjoy it and that’s the main thing.
In case you are looking for a recipe, I used one from ‘Cakes and Bakes’ by Love Food:
-175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing;
-175g caster sugar;
-3 eggs, beaten;
-175g self raising flour;
-3tbsp jam;
1. Preheat oven to 180 deg c and grease two 20cm/8in sandwich tins with butter. Line bases with baking parchment.
2. Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream together until the mixture is pale and white and fluffy. Cream for 1-2mins if using an electric whisk or 5-6mins by hand (my chosen method).
3. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Sift the flour and carefully add it to the mixture, folding it in with a metal spoon or palette knife.
5. Divide the mixture between the tins and smooth over with palette knife.
6. Bake in middle of oven for 25-30mins until well risen, golden brown and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tins.
7. Leave to stand for one minute then use a palette knife to loosen the cakes away from the sides of the tins and turn out onto cooling rack.
8. Leave for 30-45mins to cool and sandwich together with jam.

If you’re doing a regular Victoria sponge it says to shake over 1tbsp caster sugar but as mine was a birthday cake I used Asda’s ready to roll white icing and finished it off with chocolate icing.

Here’s my finished product:


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