When I think of England, good food is not the first thing that comes to mind. Instead: bad teeth, lukewarm beer or mad cows — in that order. And while many of the country’s regional delicacies dabble in the revolting (spotted dick, anyone?), many are worth trying. Like Victoria sponge cake, for example — a welcome addition to any classy tea party. The cake, named after Queen Victoria, consists of jam and whipped cream sandwiched between two sponge cakes. It’s a very simple recipe that can be eaten by queens and commoners alike. Choose whatever jam strikes your fancy — raspberry, boysenberry and peach work nicely. If you’re feeling crazy, sprinkle the final product with powdered sugar and garnish with raspberries and mint leaves.
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
½ jar of jam, any flavor
Cream the butter until light. Slowly add the sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla while continuing to beat. Stir in the flour and baking powder.
Pour the mixture into two, buttered 8-inch round pans. Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees until the cake pulls gently from sides or cake tester remains clean. Let the cakes cool completely.
Whip the cream and sugar to soft peaks. Put one cake layer on a plate. Spread with the jam and top with whipped cream. Place the second layer bottom side up onto the filling.