Friday, 25 May 2012

Rhubarb Victoria Sponge Cake - fit for a Queen's Jubilee

It's officially Spring (and in London this week it even feels like Summer) which means that one of my favourite ingredients is in season - rhubarb. Here's a delicious and seasonal twist on the classic Victoria sponge cake. Serve with tea and an extra blob of the sticky pink rhubarb compote on the side. This would be perfect for a Jubilee party - I'll be at the Bourne & Hollingswoth one next weekend- how about you?

PS you can also find my recipe on the Good Food Channel website.

For the sponge:
200g unsalted butter 
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 a vanilla pod
200g self raising flour
Pinch of salt

For the filling:
400g trimmed rhubarb
200g sugar
1/2 a vanilla pod
300ml double cream
Icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
2. Butter and line the bases of two 20cm cake tins.
3. Beat the butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy using an electric mixer - at least 4 minutes.
4. Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time with a small amount of the flour. This stops the mixture from curdling.
5. Add the salt and remaining flour until just incorporated - don't over mix at this stage.
6. Split the mixture between the two tins and bake for 25 minutes. The sponges are done when they are golden in colour, springy to the touch and a skewer or cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let them cool in their tins.

While the sponges are baking you can make the filling:
1. Chop the rhubarb into 2.5cm chunks and mix with the sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Leave to sit for 20 minutes, this draws some of the moisture out of the rhubarb and lets it take on the vanilla flavour.
2. Heat the syrupy mixture in a saucepan over a medium heat until the rhubarb is soft but still holds it's shape.
3. Sieve the mixture (saving the syrup), put the syrup back into the pan and keep heating until it thickens up.
4. Combine the rhubarb and syrup and leave to cool.
5. While your rhubarb is cooling, lightly whip the double cream

On a cake stand or pretty plate, spread the bottom layer of sponge with the rhubarb compote, then add a layer of whipped double cream. Top with the second sponge and sift over the icing sugar to decorate.  

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