Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Cultural Mix




Last spring I watched the Great British Bake Off via Youtube, and got all inspired to bake some British treats. Our trip to the UK last summer continued to fuel that obsession interest. The classic Victoria Sponge is one I've tried to replicate, but I've had a hard time finding a good recipe for the sponge. They turn out tough and chewy rather than tender. 

I've discovered that recipes that work in one country, with one set of ingredients, often don't work quite as well in another. I know that when we lived in Texas and Ecuador, my baking efforts required serious tweaking before I was happy with them. 


This Victoria Sponge is definitely not the classic. Instead of a sponge cake, I used a recipe for a Yogurt Cake (Gateau au Yaourt) that I've made for years. I baked it in two round cake pans and got two thin layers of cake. The raspberry jam is homemade from last summer, and made for a very delicious result paired with a cup of Lady Grey tea. 

A happy partnership between three cultures: British, French, and Canadian. Sometimes it takes global effort to be successful. 

Any recipes for Victoria Sponge that you've had great success with?  

27 comments:

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Sounds like to me you got a great final result. Not just ingredients, but environment and weather conditions can also play a role in how baked goods turn out. I found that out when I made vegan almond butter cookies over Christmas when it was very damp and cloudy each day. Overnight, they turned rather spongy. Last week, I made them for a friend's birthday and they were perfect.

Amy at love made my home said...

American flour is very different than English flour, still flour, but different sorts of wheat and different amounts of raising agents and so on all make a difference. But different is what makes us all interesting isn't it! Glad you have found what works for you! Tasty I am sure.

Rosemary said...

It doesn't look like a classic English Victoria Sponge, but it does look really delicious.

podso said...

This was fun to read. I admire your determination to come to a successful alternative and see the beauty in the results of your global effort! I love the British baking show … but have never been inspired to make one of their amazing creations. I guess they look a bit complex to me!

Vee said...

You are determined! I agree that ingredients are very different and may not be able to be sucessfully duplicated.

ann said...

I've not made sponge cake. Here a higher altitude might make a difference. I think I made one years ago as a jelly roll. I don't remember the texture, though. I do enjoy the British baking off. I see it on public tv here and just finished watching the American version, knowing full well that I don't have the patience to do such masterful balking. Keep trying. You will get it right one of these times.

mamasmercantile said...

I love the idea of mixing cultures to make a great cake. Sadly the flours from around the world are different so what works in one country won't necessarily work in another. Take care.

Pondside said...

It looks good. but as Rosemary said, not quite like an English sponge. By coincidence, I had a slice of Victoria Sponge just yesterday. If you are in the Fraser Valley, there is a little tea shop in Mission called The English Tarts. Two recent newcomers from England make everything from the sponge to flapjacks and it's all delicious!

Stephanie said...

It certainly looks delicious, my friend. You're a step ahead of me as I have never made a sponge cake. I have thought about doing so, but simply haven't :)

Happy day to you! Hugs!

Studio Maywyn said...

Lovely Cake
I love the show as well.
I make cakes from scratch, tossing on whatever additions feel right at the time. Following a recipe is admirable.

SpicingUpIdaho said...

I understand what you mean about different climates having different results with the same recipe. I've had to tweak bread recipes that I made in Texas when living here in Idaho now. I think it may have something to do with the humidity? I don't know. But your sponge cake looks really delicious. I have never made a sponge cake, so can't help you out with a recipe. Also, the flour or other ingredients that they use in England may be different than what you get here. Perhaps sifting would help? I don't know. Just a thought. Have a blessed day :)

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Tea looks lovely in your home.
I posted a recipe for Victoria sponge on my blog a few years ago and I think you might like to try it if you have not already made it...look at the labels on my right hand side bar and click on the recipes. lease let me know what you think if you try it.

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Looking delicious! I have a recipe of my mothers that works - whether it's correct or not is fine by me! Have a lovely week Lorrie...
Ruby

Elizabethd said...

Every Victoria sponge that I make turns out different. No idea why.

September Violets said...

Can't help you with the cake as I've never made a sponge cake. My mom made them all the time and we usually had them with fresh strawberries. The jam sounds yummy!
Wendy

ellen b said...

Love the Great British Baking show. I'm also impressed with those oven doors and how they weigh their ingredients.

Gina said...

Lorrie, that cake looks so delicious!

Margie said...

Gotta love fusion cuisine! Sponge cake is perfect with a cup of tea.

Deanna Rabe said...

Looks wonderful!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

True sponge cake or not, it looks yummy! It reminds me of a cake my mother used to bake. Speaking of mothers...I met up with your parents on a little getaway earlier this week. We had a nice little chat!

Beatrice Euphemie said...

This looks delicious on a cold winter day! I've never tried to bake a sponge, but now I am intrigued.....

Mrs Tiggywinkle said...

Lorrie, did you weigh the eggs? I weigh 2 eggs in their shells and use the same weight of butter, sugar and self-raising flour - I always use butter rather than margarine. It works every time for me but I suspect that those who have commented about different types of flour are right. Anyway, I love the idea of your multicultural cake and it looks scrummy! x

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

My Victoria sponge recipe comes from a British cookery book. I learned it as a 4-4-4-2 recipe. 4 oz. softened butter, 4 oz castor sugar, 4 oz self raising flour and 2 eggs. I would make it lots when we lived in England, but flour and sugar just don't seem to be the same here in Canada. Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs adding a tablespoon of flour with each egg, fold in remaining flour. Transfer to 2 sandwich tins, bake center of moderate oven 350F for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool, remove from tins, add filling, serve.

Connie said...

I love your cake . . . wish I was there to sample a piece, LOL
I also love watching The Great British Bake Off, not only is it an interesting show, but don't you find it so beautiful :)

Helen Philipps said...

Your cake looks delicious Lorrie! I like Delia Smith's sponge cake recipes especially the all-in-one method....they seem to work well for me though I am more of a fairy cake/cup cake baker than a big Victoria sponge baker now!
Helen xox

Marilyn Miller said...

I love yogurt cake and this is a delicious idea. I think only once did I try a sponge cake, but don't remember the results. Since I haven't tried again I am wondering. Love the British Baking show.

Dewena said...

I know that Poppy of Poppy View makes a beautiful one. I printed out her recipe and am determined to make it this spring with homegrown local strawberries, but your raspberry jam looks yummy!

I also enjoyed your post on focusing on the beautiful things in your life as that is what I'm trying to do also, here lately more difficult to do with so much angst on my Facebook feed. But we must keep trying.

Blessings to you--and to your dear daughter as she befriends a family in a new land,
Dewena