A group of ladies met in Linden Square to watch our new shiny red food mixer in action, but having taken a good look at it they decided that arm power would be better. At our previous baking session they unanimously decided they would like to make a Victoria sponge. While chatting we discovered that; Sponge cakes became the cake recognised today when bakers started using beaten egg as a raising agent in the Mid-18th
Century. The Victorian creation of baking powder by English food manufacturer Alfred Bird in 1843 enabled the sponge to rise higher than cakes made previously.The sponge cake was named after Queen Victoria, who was known to have a sweet tooth and enjoyed a slice of cake with her afternoon tea. It is said that the Victoria Sponge may have originally been made for the children in the Royal Nursery, where afternoon tea consisted of seed cake and fruit cake. For safety reasons it was believed that children should not eat a piece of cake containing pieces of fruit or seeds. So the light harmless Victoria Sponge was prepared as a teatime treat for them instead. Only later did it make its way to the Queens tea table.
Until becoming a favourite with Queen Victoria this cake was simply called a sponge cake. The jam and cream are between two sponge cakes which obviously resembles a sandwich, so therefore is often referred to as a Victoria Sandwich instead of the proper name of a Victoria Sponge Cake. The top of the cake is not iced or decorated.
Nigel eagerly spread strawberry jam between the two sponges and waited patiently for afternoon tea.