Sunday, 8 July 2012

a village fete... a victoria sponge... a tea time treat



... as my long-suffering readers will know we are approaching the highlight in the calendar of village life, the Aby Village Show... I have written many times about my super-sized scones... my tales of woe and my 'so-called' friends who love to rub my nose in my losses... if you're thinking leafy lanes, rose-scented old ladies and paper doilies... think AGAIN people... this is serious... this is tape measure serious... this is war...

... so as usual, I am trying to get ahead and practice for the big day and I thought i'd start with a classic Victoria Sponge and as any member of the league of witchcraft (they call themselves the WI but we know better...) the classic Victoria Sponge is the Queen of the Cake Stall... the Royal Majesty of the Summer Fete... the Golden Rosette of the Village Show... master this and you will have master of them all... the keys to the secret of the WI universe no less...

... clearly I'm going off piste as usual... according to official WI book of cakes the classic Victoria Sponge calls for two 7inch sandwich tins and i'm using my very expensive 8 inch loose bottomed cake tins... the book also 'suggests' the three egg, 6oz / 6oz / 6oz method whereas i'm using the 'weigh the egg' method and using 2 eggs for each tin... clearly, if I want to stand a chance of winning I will need to go back to the 'traditional' method on the day of the show... I just feel stubborn today... i'm also not using sugar... i'm using a sugar alternative called truvia... truvia is a calorie-free sweetener made from the stevia leaf and I have very kindly been sent a little pot to review here on the blog and thought I ought to use it in an everyday classic kind of cake to see how it works... plus i'm thinking that because it's calorie-free I reckon I can have a slice or two more... just to make sure it tastes nice... ok?


a victoria sponge 
by looking at the packaging and the message you get from the website you kind of expect truvia to be a totally natural product and of course that's not quite the case and on opening the pot the most obvious thing that hit me was a waft of what I can only call 'fakeness'... it smelled really sweet and had a nutty almost vanilla aroma to it... not bad but regular sugar doesn't really have a strong smell and this smelt like over-compensation... however, it did mix well into the cake and on tasting the batter I am pleased to say it did taste good, if not a little too sweet...

... as with all substitution food there's a little converting that needs to be done and the truvia literature does advise not to eliminate regular sugar altogether as sugar adds a structure to cake you can't replicate so I used a third of regular sugar in my mix... I was slightly annoyed with the conversion charts on the truvia website, which is in US based cups... normally this wouldn't be a problem but because I was using the weighed egg method I had to do a triple conversion which was rather dull... come ON you people at Silver Spoon... if you're going to market a product to a new market... learn their baking language!

for each 8 inch cake tin you will need
2 large eggs and their weight in:
butter or margarine (for me it was 5oz)
self raising flour (for me it was 5oz)
and then 2oz of regular sugar and 4 tablespoons of truvia
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- pre-heat oven to 150C (temperatures need to be reduced when baking with truvia) grease and line 2 8 inch cake tins

- in a large bowl mix the sugar, truvia and butter and beat with a wooden until pale and fluffy, add the vanilla

- add one egg and beat in followed by half the flour and beat in, then repeat with the remaining egg and flour

- pour into the first tin, then repeat the process for the second cake with 2 more eggs etc.

- bake for 30 mins or until golden and risen


...I have decorated mine with fresh cream, strawberry jam and fresh strawberry slices... heavenly...

... the verdict is that the cake tasted amazing... you can see from the pictures that it is well risen and has a light crumb... my only small nag is that a couple of minutes after eating a slice The Viking and I both reported an odd lining of the mouth... it could have been from the mammoth depth of whipped cream but I very much doubt it...

... I am of course entering this cake into this months Tea Time Treats the brilliant bloggers challenge hosted by Kate from What Kate Baked and Karen from Lavender and Lovage which has the timely theme of Cake Stall Cakes... I think I could charge a proper fiver for each slice... what do you reckon?


41 comments:

  1. A fiver at least Dom - looks lovely. Have wondered about using Truvia for some diabetic friends, but perhaps I shall wait until the measurements get sorted - sounds a bit tricky!

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  2. I didn't get on well with Truvia, or with other stevia products, which is a shame as I'm usually OK with artificial sweeteners in coffee, though not tried in baking...

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  3. Looks beautiful...my favourite cake of all time. Have never tried the fake sugar though...maybe? x

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  4. What a beautiful cake, did your scones win?

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  5. Beautiful looking cake - anyone would be proud to serve that! Thanks for the honest review of the Truvia - I often find that substitutes smell odd or leave an odd aftertaste so it's good to know upfront that this is likely to happen with this product. I don't think I'll bother. And you're quite right - if they're trying to market to the UK then having cup measurements on their website is a joke - as you say, learn the language. I bet they wouldn't have dreamt of trying to market it to the US with only metric/imperial weights on there!!!

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  6. cake looks delicious...i am now thinking of trying this Truvia !!!

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  7. It looks light and delicious. I'm in love with the name of it. "Victoria Sponge" Does anything sound as cool as that. I don't think so. From what I gathered when you weigh the eggs, equal amounts of the flour and butter have to equal the egg weight. I think I might give this a try. My sister and niece are coming this afternoon to do some canning. I'm off to find my scale.

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    1. the 'weigh the eggs' method works for me everytime... do let me know if it worked for you!

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    2. also, the cake was named after Queen Victoria, no less!

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  8. My wife is diabetic, so Truvia is very welcome - it means the difference between cake and no cake!

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  9. I think the Aby Village Show could be a reality tv series...so much intrigue and drama---your cake looks like a winner to me.

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  10. I'd pay five pounds for a slice of that - shame I can't have a slice now with my cup of tea!

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  11. Your cake looks and sounds delicious! : )

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  12. A fiver? Tenner more like! I agree with Sue- Aby Show has reality telly written all over it! Very very best of luck with your entries Dom!

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  13. A cake stall classic, this looks fabulous...if all else fails a Victoria Sponge will never let you down! I believe the WI also suggest no cream in their Vic sponges but that's just crazy talk...that's the best bit!

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  14. It looks gorg! I made one the other night to take to a party at a friends house. I made some strawb/rasp jam for the centre & creme fraiche. Well the creme fraiche all slide out of the cake & made me swear. It did taste fab, but your definitely looks just the job!

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  15. Definitely can't have a cake stall without a Victoria sponge and this looks gorgeous. I've sent my fiver, where's my cake? :) I'm not sure about using truvia though - thanks for your honest review.

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  16. WONDERFUL Dom! And I reckon a tenner is more like it too....for the charge! As you know I made my scones with Truvia and thought it was okay...your cake looks AMAZING though considering it is made with sugar substitute. A GREAT TTT entry for the Cake and Bake Stall thanks! Karen

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  17. Must it be a sponge cake in the competition? Yours looks wonderful, but what would happen if you submitted say a lemon buttermilk or a GF cake?

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  18. Looks absolutely gorgeous! How much TOTAL regular sugar would you recommend for this recipe if truvia is not used?

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    1. the weight of the sugar all depends on the weight of the 2 eggs. In my case the eggs, in their shells, weighed 5oz, therefore I used 5oz sugar, flour and butter!

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  19. Impressive cake Dom, obviously Truvia doesn't negatively impact on baking. I think I'll stick to sugar though :)

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  20. Looks lovely Dom, I'd certainly pay a fiver for a slice! :)

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  21. You cannot beat a Victoria sponge! Gorgeous!

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  22. It's serious stuff these village fetes! /the Victoria Sponge looks delectable, worth every penny of a fiver!

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  23. Yummo! Looks pretty perfect to me. I've never used Truvia to bake with but Karen and yourself have convinced me to give it a go!

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  24. My daughter has been asking me to make her a gluten free cake...this looks like it would be a fun one to convert....great photos of it as well!

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  25. That looks perfect and tempting! As always, thanks so much for your encouraging comment Dom!

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  26. I don't know anything about Vitoria sponge cakes except that I love to eat them! This one looks to be a true winner though!

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  27. Wow with a cake like that surely you should be winning the show. Sounds like there are some serious contenders up your way too though! Not sure about the Truvia and imagine that it would leave some sort of aftertaste plus the smell would put me off too.
    Your filling is perfect as are your sponges xx

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  28. What a beauty this cake is. I wish I was better at baking. Your post is very helpful! Perfect for tea.

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  29. How brave to take on the witches. But your cake certainly looks like it will make the grade. I've wondered about baking with Truvia but the conversions sound tricky. GG

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  30. That looks scrumptious!!!!
    I recently baked a victoria sponge for an aunt who is diabetic & substituted Splenda for sugar. It was awful, worst cake I've ever baked. It was heavy & dry, smelled & tasted fake & went straight in the bin.

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  31. That looks scrumptious!!!!
    I recently baked a victoria sponge for an aunt who is diabetic & substituted Splenda for sugar. It was awful, worst cake I've ever baked. It was heavy & dry, smelled & tasted fake & went straight in the bin.

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  32. Hi, I'm visiting through Tea Time Treats. I so love your fresh cream, strawberry jam and fresh strawberry slices combination. It sounds heavenly. And since its healthier, I would love to have at least two slices, please.

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  33. This is the cake i remember from childhood with a layer of whipped cream in the centre.

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  34. this looks so delicious !!

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  35. This looks like a great sponge. I've never dared enter the local show - I'm sure I'd be disqualified for one reason or another.

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  36. Looks delicious! I will be trying this for dessert on Friday with the Olympic opening ceremonies (we always serve Gourmet's Regal Curried Chicken - don't ask me why - and we always try to serve something from the host country for dessert). One question - do you think it is necessary to do the mixing in two batches, or could you mix it all together and then divide it? Thanks

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