The classic Victoria Sponge has been on my to-do list for a while, and I don’t know how many times I have thumbed through the recipe in my copy of How To Be A Domestic Goddess. I made a practice cake last month just to test it out, and it was quite nice.
Last week I was on a cake making spree. I used a lemon I found at the local market to make a quick lemon & vanilla loaf. I made a chocolate and olive oil cake. And then I set my sights on the Victoria Sponge again.
The sponge is usually sandwiched with cream & fruit jam, or with cream and fresh berries (as pictured in Nigella’s book.)
I tried whipping cream to soft peaks, but soon realized that it was not going to work with humble Amul cream. (If any of you have managed with Amul cream- any tips? I did keep everything chilled.)
After wasting two little small cartons of fresh cream and much sugar, I gave up.
And then it struck me: why not ditch the cream for peanut butter? Especially since I had not just any old peanut butter, but Dark Chocolate Dreams from The Peanut Butter & Co?
This PB is just amazing. A little more on the expensive side since it’s imported, but totally worth it if you enjoy and appreciate peanut butter like me. (I bought it on Foodesto.com- they have great products, wonderful service and deliver a large selection of their goods across India.) It tastes like a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, in spreadable form. Delicious. And it’s not cloying.
So this may be a bastardized (pardon my French) version of the classic British cake, but a little American peanut butter love does no harm to this soft and crumbly sponge.
And I am going to be cliched and douchey and say that it transported me back to childhood. Technically, it shouldn’t; since peanut butter has been a steady part of my adulthood, but cake always brings out a little child in all of us.
PB&J VICTORIA SPONGE (From How To Be A Domestic Goddess.)
- 225 g butter
- 225 g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200 g flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 25 g cornflour
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- Peanut butter and jelly/jam of your choice for filling
- Preheat oven to 180 C.
- Line two 9-inch sandwich tins with parchment paper and keep aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and corn flour and keep aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract, followed by the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour between each egg.
- Once the mixture comes together, fold in the remaining flour mixture.
- The batter is going to appear a little thick and sticky, so pour in 3-4 tablespoons of milk to loosen it up a bit and bring everything together.
- Divide the batter equally between the sandwich tins and bake at 180C for 25 minutes or until the cakes begin to come away at the edges. You will know they are done when they are springy to touch.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
- To assemble, place one cake, right side up on a serving platter or cake stand. Spread the peanut butter and the jam/jelly over the cake generously, taking care not to spread all the way to the edges. (If you spread too far to the edges, the filling will splodge out when you place the second cake on top. Be generous with your filling, but keep it more towards the centre so that it has room to spread when the second cake is placed on top.)
- Place the second cake on top, upside down.
- Dust with icing sugar for extra effect.
Or don’t, like me.