Sunday, 6 October 2013

Victoria Sponge with a South African Twist

Sandy Bigara
Brilliant baking Theatre
Victoria Sponge with a South African Twist

I used half Plantation Select and half Muscovado for a richer darker flavourful sponge

Toasted almonds and cinnamon give this cake a distinct South African flavour. 

Be liberal with the apricot jam - the cake is not too sweet.

160g self raising flour
80g Selati muscovado sugar
80g Selati plantation select brown sugar
(Or just 160g of one type of sugar!)
Tablespoon vanilla essence
160g melted butter (warm and runny not hot!)
3 large eggs
Teaspoon baking powder

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, use a whisk. Add eggs, add vanilla essence, add melted butter, add baking powder and put into the oven as soon as possible.

Bake at 180 degrees for about 20minutes - you will smell it when it is ready! Use a knife to test whether the centre is cooked.

Smear the top with apricot jam (be liberal!) top with the icing of your choice (Mascarpone Icing is divine! just remember to put the apricot jam on FIRST and the lighter icing on second) And handfuls of roasted almond flakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve!

This cake is light and moist - it is a NON FLOP recipe.

When I MC'd at the Good Food & Wine Show in Jozi, I presented it at the Brilliant Baking Theatre where Paul Hollywood (Breat British Bake-off Judge), Ewan Strydom, Katelyn Williams (Expresso Morning Show SABC3) and Hayden Quinn (Winner Masterchef Australia) had also displayed their baking skills - eek!

I was nervous, and decided to do my flop proof sponge cake. Everything went well... the cake was in the oven about 5 minutes or so, when an audience member piped up
"Don't you put butter in this cake?"
I was so shocked! There was the butter just sitting there. I quickly put the butter in a pan and melted it to as hot as I dared, pulled out the cake from the oven, sang it a song and asked it to please rise!! Added the hot butter and whisked it in. I popped it back in the oven and said
"Don't worry! I will STILL rise..."

About 20 minutes later I called some of the lingering audience members to see me take the cake out of the oven... and guess what? It was a beautiful, risen, golden-coloured sponge. Tasted like a dream. My prep-chefs at the back (unknown to me) iced it up and sent it around to the other theatres... I had great feedback from them as well - and had to tell them the story!

I hope that you enjoy! xx

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