Ten Tips To Make The Perfect Victoria Sponge

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A question I get asked a lot is how to make the perfect Vicky Sponge so I thought it was about time I dedicate a post to this very question.

Now, I’m not saying I’m an expert here HOWEVER I have picked up a few little tricks along the way which have resulted in a pretty mean tasting Victoria Sponge (if I do say so myself…)

The recipe you choose is VERY important. I have tried and tested a lot of combinations out there, and without fail, I always end up coming back to a Mary Berry recipe, the same as I used in one of my most popular posts My Jazzy Victoria Sponge. Use the same method too, although of course omit the sprinkles if you want a “normal” looking cake. Personally I like a bit of jazz!

Some of these tips may seem pretty basic, but follow them all and I guarantee you’ll have a great end result.

1. Bring all ingredients to room temperature. HELLO butter, eggs and milk, I’m looking at you. The butter should be softened, but not melted. It’s ok to zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so to achieve the desired effect!

2. Make sure your oven is the right temperature for the recipe. I bought an oven thermometer for about £1.50 off eBay and found that my oven was out by 20 degrees!!

3. Always line the bottom of your tin with grease proof paper, but you don’t need to do the sides, just butter them.

4. While we’re on the subject of butter, margarine is fine for the cake mixture but always use butter for the buttercream. It’s a MUCH nicer flavour!

5. The most important tool (in my opinion) is an electric mixer. It doesn’t have to be an all-singing-all-dancing affair, you can pick them up pretty cheaply. The two pronged sort will suffice and it really makes all the difference.

6. Mix the ingredients as the recipe directs, but don’t stop once everything is combined. Oh no. Keep going. Give it another good 2-3 minutes on a medium/high speed to get the mixture light and fluffy. You’ll see it change colour and texture as you go on… Magic.

7. This sounds a bit anal, but I always weigh the amount of batter into each tin and try to get the same amount in each. If you do it by eye they’ll never be the same and you’ll likely end up with two layers of different thicknesses.

8. Once the batter is in the tins, take the time to use a palette knife/normal knife/spoon to spread the mixture evenly. Check it from all angles to make sure one side isn’t higher than the other. If it’s starts off wonky, it’ll end up wonky!

9. Try to place the cakes on the same shelf and they should bake at a similar rate. Use the clock as a guide, but I always set my alarm 5-7 minutes earlier than the recommended time so I can check how the cake is doing and pull it out if it’s done early. Remember, it’ll be done when it’s lightly golden, springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. The longer you bake it, the dryer it will become so I whip it out as soon as I can.

10. The best part of a Victoria Sponge (for me anyway) is the filling. DON’T BE STINGY. A nice amount of jam and buttercream please!! (Top tips for buttercream coming up soon)

Add a sprinkling of sugar on top once cool (caster or icing, whichever you prefer… Some people have a pretty strong opinion on this but I’m not fussy!).

Have you got any top tips to share?

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Review – The Victoria Park Pub, Bristol

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I think I’m one of the few people I know who NEVER cooks a Sunday Roast at home. We just don’t do it. With me being a veggie, it hardly seems worth cooking the meat just for one, and to be honest because of our jobs it’s not often we get a Sunday off together.

So when we do I love to go and have a proper Sunday Roast somewhere nice.

I’ve been searching for The One. The restaurant/pub/establishment which will satisfy my every Sunday Roast need.

And I think I may have found it!

The Victoria Park is nestled away on a quiet residential road in Victoria Park (near Totterdown) in Bristol. It has a relaxed feel to it, and although I’ve only ever been there on a Sunday, the rest of their menu always sounds delicious.

The Sunday lunch menu changes on a regular basis but always has a good variety of meat dishes. There’s at least one veggie option and the thing I really like is that, although it’s always been a nut roast when I’ve been there, the main ingredients change so it’s like a new meal every time!

The portions are generous, and all roasts are priced at £10 which I think is very reasonable for the quality you get. Every meal I’ve had here has been well cooked, nicely presented and fantastic value.

I’ve only had one pudding at the pub (I try to resist every time but this weekend I just couldn’t say no); I had the chocolate brownie with honeycomb ice cream. Again, this was lovely.

The thing I like about this pub is that it doesn’t try too hard. There’s nothing particularly fancy on the menu, but that’s ok because what they do, they do it well.

They also support local artists; every time I’ve been there they have a range of art on the walls which you can purchase. I always look forward to seeing what’s new!

If you’re in the area, I’d highly recommend a visit, but make sure to book as their tables go quick!

You can see their website here.

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Gone But Not Forgotten

I’ve thought a lot about writing this post.

I haven’t posted on here for over 6 months. Things all got a bit much and days turned into weeks, which turned into, well, 6 months.

I started putting so much pressure on myself to post that it wasn’t enjoyable anymore, it was a chore.

2014 was a busy year for me; the blog started taking off, I had a new job, I was planning our wedding, I started a new business, and I had a bad injury to get over. So blogging just fell by the wayside a little bit and before I knew it, it felt like it was too late. Like when you mean to text someone back for something important, but something comes up and you forget, and then time goes by and you feel like too much has passed, you know what I mean?

But, unbelievably, people are still reading what I wrote last year! People are still visiting, liking, following and commenting! And that’s what has really spurred me on to write this post.

So. Things are going to be changing around here, for the better I hope.

I’m still going to be writing posts, not because I have to, but because I WANT to. I’m not going to pressure myself into posting X amount of posts per week, and I’m not going to pigeon-hole myself into JUST baking, beauty or whatever. Yes, this was mainly a baking blog, and you’ll still see some great recipes on here, but going forward, I’m going to post about the things I love, as and when I want to.

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to follow this blog via email or Bloglovin’ (both options to the right of the screen if you’re on a desktop or scroll to the bottom on a phone or tablet).

I’m looking forward to continuing this journey with you!

 

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Yummy Scrummy Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

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These cupcakes were a bit of a forgone conclusion really. I had some bits and pieces that I needed to use up and a little bit of time this morning to kill, so it didn’t take me long to decide what to make.

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Eat Sleep Bake Repeat Facebook Page Giveaway

Hi all!

Just a very quick post to let you know that I’m hosting a giveaway on my Facebook page! I only started the page (after much nagging on friends’ parts, and much procrastination on my own) two days ago, and am already up to almost 150 likes. Which is pretty cool for me!

But I’d love to get up to 250, and when I reach that magic number I’ll be holding a giveaway with a special prize for one lucky winner!

So, if you’re on Facebook (who isn’t?!), I’d be forever grateful if you’d pop over to my page and like, share, work your magic!

K x

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Eyes Lips Face Mega Sale

For those of you who know me personally, you’re likely to have heard me rave on about E.L.F make up.

They’re a brand who (I believe) are only available online and are super cheap to begin with. Their products are often talked about by beauty bloggers and a while ago I placed an order.

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June’s WI Meeting – Hoola Hooping and a Bake Off!

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Every month, I come away from our WI meeting thinking this was the best yet. I can confirm that in the past, I was wrong. THIS was my favourite meeting so far!

I had been looking forward to this meeting since I saw it on the calendar when I first joined up. A bake off means two things to me.

1. I get to bake.

2. I get to EAT cake!

And there was A LOT of eating that went down.

I decided to make two of my old faithful recipes – Oreo Truffles and my three layer chocolate cake with cheesecake layers. You can find these recipes by clicking on the links. There were plenty of categories to choose from so I entered two. Competitive much?!

Being on the committee for our WI, I was involved in a lot of the work leading up to it and I have to say, there was a LOT of stuff to organise. But the night ran smoothly, all of our judges turning up, lots of bakes entered and prizes laid out.

Everyone placed their bakes on the table for their category, then after a few formalities we headed out into the park for a hoola hooping session. It was SO MUCH fun! And a great workout to boot! An hour later we headed back inside for prize giving (a rosette for the winner of each category and a pimped up wooden spoon for runners up). It was especially lovely to see special prizes given to the judges’ choices of Showstopper (Sarah Jane) and Epic Fail (Jackie) – good job ladies, I wish I had sweet pinnie like you got!

And THEN. The part I think we had all been waiting for… Donate £2 and help yourself to as much food as possible.

!!!!!!!!

I would say that I’m ashamed of the amount I ate, but that would be a lie. You can’t have too much WI cake!

I went home feeling suitably stuffed, with a bit of a sugar headache. A good night all round!

Check out the photos below, aren’t they lovely? I have to admit, these aren’t my photos, they were taken by our resident photographer Fran, who has mad skills that I could only dream of…

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That Was The Week That Was #27

Blogging seems to have fallen by the wayside a little bit recently, mainly due to my obsession with fabric flowers and my many orders I’ve had for occasion cakes which I’ve been steadily working my way through. I have one more left, a christening cake, and then I can relax!

I’ve really enjoyed making the cakes for people; it’s so rewarding when they love something you’ve created, but it has become a little bit all-consuming and I’ve suffered on a number of occasions from acute attacks of ‘cake stress’ – the moments where you’ve spent hours on something and in one second you do something which could ruin the whole thing. Your heart stops and your stomach falls through your feet. Does anybody else get this?! Luckily they’ve all turned out ok in the end!

I didn’t do a TWTWTW post last week as Mike and I went to see Kings of Leon on their Mechanical Bull tour at the Milton Keynes bowl – it was an amazing gig and we had perfect weather.

Here are some snaps from the past couple of weeks and thanks for hanging in there with me!

Kit Kat and Smarties cake

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My special boy!

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A family tree cake…

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… And all the leaves and flowers for it!

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At KOL

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Pirate ship cake

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And Elmo/Cookie Monster cupcakes!

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Bargain Beauty Find – Primark Mascara

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My favourite mascara, by a mile, is by Lancome. But at around £24 a pop it doesn’t come cheap. I tend to ask for it for Christmas and am always gutted when it runs out. For the rest of the year I flit from brand to brand, never really finding anything that great or affordable. Sigh.

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