An Orange-filled Victoria Sponge

I've always wanted to make what I'd like to think of as the anti-Black Forest cake, a complete opposite of everything thats chocolatey and rich about it. Most people would call it the Victoria sponge.

Dad has always had an affinity for refreshing, citrus-y flavours so for his birthday, I thought that the Victoria sponge would be a good way to go and of course, I couldn't resist experimenting a little by replacing the classic cream and strawberry jam filling with an orange filling to cater to the birthday boy's tastebuds.

For the cake, I very quickly found simple recipe from the BBC GoodFood website. The filling, however, was a bit more of a puzzle - I couldn't decide if I wanted an orange jam of sorts, or something creamier. I knew for sure, though, that I wanted something that didn't involve more eggs and I wanted to stay away from curds off any sort. In the end, it was a colleague's suggestion for a jelly filling that sparked the idea of an orange pudding filling. 

BBC Goodfood's Granny's Victoria Sponge Recipe

200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
200g self-raising flour 

Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5, grease and flour 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.
Place the butter, sugar and vanilla extract into a bowl and beat well to a creamy consistency. Slowly beat in the eggs, one by one, then fold in the flour and mix well. 
Divide the mix between the cake tins, place into the oven and bake for about 20 mins until risen and golden brown. The cakes should spring back when gently pushed in the middle. When ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 mins in the tin, before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely.
For the filling:
Adapted from Rosemary's Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe 

2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
Juice and rind (chopped finely) of one orange

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until bubbles form at edges.
Dissolve cornstarch in 1/5th of a cup of cold water
Add orange juice and rind into the milk before adding the sugar, salt, and cornstarch mixture, a little at a time. 
Stir constantly and until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Do not boil.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter.
Chill before using it to assemble the cake.

To assemble the cake, spread a generous amount of orange pudding on the bottom layer before topping the pudding up with orange slices (I used some mandarins I had left over from Chinese New Year). Finish off by putting the top layer in place. 

I didn't have a baking tin of the appropriate size, hence the thinner layers. The filling added the right amount of height though in retrospect, was just the filling I had in mind. 

There we go: the antidote the the Black Forest cake. One more to strike of my list of silly ideas.

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