Mar 01 2007

Victoria Sponge

Victoria Sponge, cucumber sandwiches – no crusts – and chocolate biscuits and those ones that look as if they were filled with dead flies, what were they called? It’s tea time on a winter’s afternoon. Granny has had the fire lit and the table laid, Nanny has cleaned me up and sent me down from the nursery…
“ And it is the nicest meal of the day. whether it is taken in the nursery with a two year old host making milk and honey flow with a lavishness that rouses wonder … or in a North country inn with eleven or twelve different sorts of cakes on the table; out of doors or merely in the drawing room. Philosophers might say the charm of the meal lay in the informal conversation: pedants may contend that all hangs on the country of origin of the tea itself; but all children, and all sensible people know that the fascination of tea really depends entirely upon the cakes.” Mrs C. F Level: The Gentle Art of Cookery 1925.
From the Constance Spry Cookery Book 1964:
“Take 3 eggs and their weight in butter, caster sugar, self raising flour, some good jam and icing or caster sugar. Cream the butter until it looks like whipped cream. Add the sugar and beat until white. Add the eggs one at a time with a good spoonful of sifted flour. Beat thoroughly. Sift the baking powder with the remaining flour, stir quickly into mixture. Turn into two sandwich tins 7 inches across, well buttered and floured; bake in a moderate oven 20-30 minutes. Turn out when cool, sandwich well with a good jam. Powder with icing or caster sugar.” Or, then again, you could just do what the Calendar Girls did…

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