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Easy Victoria Sponge with Cardamom, Marmalade and Rose (adapted from Nigella Lawson)

One of the unintended effects of being in shelter is that (much to my children's delight) I have the time to bake more than just meringues and meringue cakes. Their enthusiastic approval of my meringue confections may have fueled my passion for meringues but because they live in a veritable candy store they no longer yearn for my meringues. I'm not complaining- I really can't have them literally eating my profits :)


However, as I only typically bake meringues I rarely have more than sugar and eggs on hand in my home kitchen and I never have anything as exciting as buttermilk or cake flour. So when I have the urge to bake a "proper" cake I have to bake something simple that calls for the bare essential ingredients. This Victoria Sponge meets that criterion. Its an easy bake, uses the bare minimum ingredients and is the perfect accompaniment to tea or dessert.


I did use Délice Glacé meringues to decorate the cake. The meringues enhance the flavors of the cake and if you're not into elaborate piping they really do save a lot of time. Also, quite frankly I really can't help myself- I have a meringue problem.


Ingredients:

Cake:

2 sticks softened butter (salted or unsalted)

1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

Orange- 1 small, grated zest

3-4 Tablespoons rose syrup*

1 2/3 Cup All purpose flour

3Tbs cornstarch

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

4 large room temperature eggs

1/8 tsp cardamom powder**


For the filling:

Marmalade 1/4-1/2 C***

1 Cup heavy cream

2-3 Tbs confectioners' sugar

3 tablespoons rose syrup or 2 tablespoons rose water


For the decoration:

Délice Glacé Rose Meringues - 1 packet

Délice Glacé Passion Fruit Meringues- 1 packet


2 x 8" cake pans


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease the pans and line the bases with parchment paper.


2. Beat the butter, sugar and orange zest till light and fluffy.


3. Measure the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and cardamom powder in another bowl. I always like to pass the baking powder through a sieve and stir with a whisk to combine.


4. Beat one egg into the creamed butter and sugar, followed by one tables spoon of the flour mixture. Add all four eggs in this pattern. Once all eggs are added, scrape down the bowl and gradually beat in the remaining flour mixture.


5. Once all the flour in incorporated. Add the rose syrup one tablespoon at a time and beat until your batter falls easily off a spoon (you may not need the full quantity of the syrup). Do not over beat.


6. Divide cake batter evenly between the pans. Place side by side on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20-25 or until a tester comes out clean.


7. Take out of the oven and leave on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.


8. Work on your filling while your cakes are baking . Thin out the marmalade with the rose syrup or rose water.


9. Whisk cold heavy whipping cream until it reaches soft peaks. Add the confectioners' sugar and whisk briefly to incorporate.


10. Once the cakes have cooled. Spread the marmalade and rose syrup mixture on one of the cakes.


11. Pipe or slather the whipped cream on top of the marmalade.


12. Put the other cake on top (flat side down).


13. Brush the remaining marmalade on top of the cake.


14. Decorate with the rose and passion fruit meringues. The flavors will give it that extra oomph and a great crunch. Plus your cake will instantaneously look amazing.


*Substitute rose syrup with orange juice if you don't have any

**If you only have cardamom pods remove seeds from 3-4 pods and crush as best as possible.

*** Marmalade is important but at these times just use any jam you can find. The flavor will be different but it will still work.




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