Are you as obsessed with The Great British Baking Show as I am?
I’m actually quite sad that the latest season just ended.
For the finale, the contestant’s technical challenge was to make Mary’s Victoria sandwich without a recipe.
A Victoria sandwich is is a two-layer light sponge cake filled with a layer of jam & buttercream.
Seeing as how I am not British – not even close – I am only able to take Mary Berry’s word that this is a classic cake & that the jam should be raspberry (with “all the bits”, as she says).
I’ve been wanting to try to create one of the recipes from the show since I started watching Season 1 on Netflix earlier this summer. I figured this one shouldn’t be terribly difficult. Not like the Prinsesstårta!
The only thing is that Mary Berry’s recipe is written in U.K. Measurements. I have no idea how much 225g of self-raising flour is. The PBS website is nice enough to link to this conversion site at the bottom of the recipe, but it only converts grams to ounces – not cups. I still have no idea how much 8oz of flour is. So with my little food scale & Google, I came up with the below recipe conversion.
Hence this is Mary Berry’s American Victoria Sandwich.
One key difference for me is that I do not have self-raising flour. Therefore, I used all purpose plus extra baking powder. (Side note: God is real, you guys. I had JUST enough flour to make this!)
I also made my own caster sugar with a food processor. I was going to skip it but I read that regular granulated sugar wouldn’t give the sponge the right texture & could be grainy. To make enough caster sugar for this recipe, I pulsed 1 1/4 cup of sugar in the food processor for about 30 seconds.
I was all set to follow Mary’s proportions for buttercream (7 tbsp buter, 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar if anyone is interested), but then I accidentally threw the whole stick of butter in the mixer. So 2 cups of powdered sugar it was. It’s so much easier to use the whole stick of butter anyway!
I did cheat a little & used store bought raspberry jam – seedless. Sorry, Mary. I know you like “all the bits”, but my husband does not!
My 2 sponges domed up more than I would have liked in the middle, so I did trim them. But that just meant I got to taste test them before serving them to my friends!
I cannot tell you how this compares to the British original.
I can only tell you it was delicious!
Mary Berry’s American Victoria Sandwich
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour, lightly spooned – not scooped
- 2 level tsp baking powder
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 8in round cake pans & line with parchment paper.
- Break the eggs into a large bowl. Then add the sugar, flour, baking powder, & butter. Use an electric mixer to mix together until well combined, being careful not to over-mix. (According to Mary, “The finished mixture should be of a soft ‘dropping’ consistency.”)
- Divide the mixture evenly between the cake pans. Use a spatula to gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
- Place the cake pans on the middle shelf of the oven & bake for 25 minutes. Don’t open the oven door to check them until at least the 20 minutes mark.
- When the’re done, remove them from the oven & set aside to cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Then transfer onto a rack to cool completely.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Using electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft.
- Add half of the powdered sugar & beat until smooth.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar & 1 tablespoon of milk. Beat the mixture until creamy & smooth. Add the remaining tablespoon of milk if the buttercream is too thick.
- Choose one of the sponges to be the bottom & put it down on to a serving plate.
- Spread the raspberry jam (store bought or homemade) on the cake, then pipe the buttercream on top of the jam.
- Place the other sponge on top & sprinkle with caster sugar to serve.