Book excerpt: ‘Baking: my best recipes ever for the classics’
By Paul Hollywood
If you are new to baking, this should be your very first cake. If you do it right, everything else will be easy. You can make a Victoria bun using the all-in-one method, where you mix everything together in a bowl, but I recommend that you beat the fats and sugar together before adding the eggs, flour and raising agent because that’s how you learn a lot about baking. Baking is a science. Therefore, if possible, I prefer to weigh the eggs first and then adjust the amounts of the other ingredients to get the perfect balance. I like to use half margarine for a lighter texture and half butter for a rich flavor. Traditionally, it’s filled with only preserves, but if you’re feeling good, feel free to add whipped cream or buttercream.
- 4 large eggs (in shell)
- 1 ¼ cups (about 240 g) superfine sugar
- 1 ¾ cups plus 3 tablespoons (about 240 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 stick (about 120 g) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the pans
- 1 stick (about 120 g) margarine, softened
- ½ cup (125 g) raspberry preserves (good quality)
- A little superfine sugar, to sprinkle
Heat your oven to 350°F. Grease two 20cm cake tins and line the bottoms with parchment paper. First weigh the eggs (in the shell) and then weigh the same amount of sugar and flour. For the butter and margarine you need half the weight of the eggs.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, margarine and sugar together with an electric whisk until pale in color and light and fluffy (1). Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat again.
Beat the eggs together in a pitcher and gradually add them to the mixture, beating well after each addition (2). Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again. Sift the flour and baking powder over the surface of the mixture and gently fold in with a large metal spoon (3).
Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins. To make sure the cakes are exactly the same size, weigh the cake mixture into each tin. Gently smooth the surface with the back of the spoon to level it (4).
Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes until risen, golden brown and the cakes spring back in the center when lightly touched with a fingertip. They should have shrunk slightly from the edges of the pan. Leave the cakes in the molds for 5 minutes and then remove them onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
When cool, sandwich the cakes together with the raspberry jam and sprinkle the top with a little superfine sugar.
Extract from ‘Bake: My Best Recipes Ever for the Classics’. Copyright (c) 2022 by Paul Hollywood. Used with permission from the publisher, Bloomsbury. All rights reserved.