Chocolate Victoria Sponge – Recipe

I'm back after a short break of sickness and travelling! My migraines came back for a while and then I went to Krakow and then Bangkok, but I'm back in the baking game: just in time for Father's Day. My parents' favourite cake is the Victoria sponge and I bake it year after year, but this time I made a slight variation to create a chocolate Victoria sponge.

Warning: this recipe contains imperial measurements. *Gasp* shock horror I know I'm a British writer. But you know what? For Victoria sponges, imperial makes it so easy. The recipe for a basic sponge includes eggs, butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour. With imperial measurements in ounces, the eggs:butter:sugar:flour ratio is ALWAYS 1:2:2:2. So for every one egg you use two ounces of everything else, for every two eggs you use four of everything else, and so on. Besides, all scales these days can convert measurements, so you all have no reason to get salty with me for not using grams here. ;)

In the case of this recipe, I'm counting cocoa powder as flour: all I've done is removed 1oz of flour from the ratio and replaced it with 1oz of cocoa powder.

Ready? Let's go.

Ingredients for Cake:

4 eggs
4oz unsalted butter, softened
4oz caster sugar
3oz self-raising flour, sifted
1oz cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp rum (optional)

To Decorate:

100ml double cream + 100g milk chocolate (for the ganache drip)
400ml double cream
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 heaped tbsp strawberry jam
100g strawberries, sliced
Extra berries and mint for top decoration


1.  Preheat oven to 180°C and grease and line four 8" sandwich cake pans with baking parchment.

2. Whisk all of the ingredients for the sponge together in a bowl in one bowl until just combined and fluffy, divide between the pans and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cakes spring back to the touch when poked. Let cool completely.

3. Whip the rest of the cream with the sugar and vanilla until it forms soft peaks (careful not to overwhip – the motion of spreading it on the cake continues to whip the cream, so you don't want to overdo it from the start).

4. Layer up the cakes: place one layer on a serving plate, spread with 1 tbsp jam, spread with a little whipped double cream and dot with sliced strawberries. Repeat until you place the final layer on top, covering with cream (no jam on this layer).

5. Smooth down the sides with an offset spatula, smooth the top cream layer, and gently pour over the ganache, helping it along the sides with the back of a spoon so it drips down.

6. Dot on the extra berries to decorate, and pop in the fridge for half an hour to set a little before serving.

Enjoy, and have fun. Happy Father's Day, dad!


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