So it was my birthday yesterday…. And this song is more than a little appropriate….
I’m definitely feeling 22!
Anyway, birthdays only mean one thing, baking and eating lots and lots and lots and lots of cakes. I’m currently carrying around about 6lb of birthday weight. But that’s okay, because I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. Gavin bought me a big Mason Cash bowl and a spiralizer, Mom and Dad bought me box sets of Hawaii 5.0 and NCIS, my brothers bought me vouchers, recipe books and a doughnut pan (how cool?!), and my aunties all pitched in to buy me a waffle maker.
I CAN’T WAIT TO TEST OUT ALL MY GOODIES!
Before all the craziness started and the huge family BBQ began, Gavin and I sat for hours making a million and one cake pops. I didn’t even think to take pictures, I think my hands would have been too sticky anyway, but they went down an absolute treat!! I’d say around a third of the birthday weight is from carrot cake pops and chocolate fudge cake pops…. Oops!
I also baked probably one of the best yet most simple recipes I’ve come across. Whenever I bake a Victoria Sponge I sometimes find it can be a little egg-y or too vanilla-y. This recipe calls for a little zest of orange and it just creates such a deliciously light flavour – you can’t really go wrong.
After this recipe I will be posting an interesting piece about extracting and harvesting honey as well as making Blackcurrant, Strawberry & Raspberry Jam. Our field is really thriving at the moment and we’ve had such a blast harvesting the honey from our bees, as well as picking fruit for jam!
So this queen of sponges uses homemade jam, as well as freshly picked raspberries left over from when George visited (also used in my Raspberry, Almond & White Chocolate Blondies)
Spot the conveniently placed homemade jam in the background 😉
*recipe inspired by Jamie Oliver*
Queen Victoria Sponge (serves 8)
250g softened unsalted butter
250g self-raising flour
250g caster sugar
zest of 1 orange
Handful of fresh raspberries
icing sugar, for dusting
For the Jam:
a few drops of rosewater, to taste
4 tbsp raspberry jam (or homemade blackcurrant, raspberry & strawberry jam!)
For the crystallized rose petals:
1 egg white
Handful of rose petals
Sprinkle of caster sugar
For the vanilla cream:
150ml double cream
½ a vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
2 tsp caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees and grease/line your cake tins
- Cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring you beat well after each addition. Now fold in the orange zest and flour
- Divide the mixture between your prepared tins and smooth with a spatula. Bake for around 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool a little then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool (if the cake is still warm when you assemble the jam and cream with fly off!)
- Mix a few drops of rosewater into your jam, but make sure you don’t overpower it, it’s simply to get that light flowery taste!
- For the crystallized petals: Turn the oven right down to 110°C and whisk the egg white to stiff peaks. Using a pastry brush, coat the petals on both sides and then sprinkle over your caster sugar. Shake any excess sugar off and place on a lined baking tray. Cook for around 4 minutes, until they are nice and crispy!
- Whip your cream with the vanilla seeds and sugar until you get soft peaks
- To assemble the cake: Spread the jam and then the vanilla cream over one of the cakes, throwing in some raspberries before you place the second cake on top
- Dust with icing sugar and decorate with your crystallized rose petals