Leafing through How to be a Domestic Goddess the other night, I saw Nigella’s treatise on Victoria sponges and although she didn’t have a chocolate one, I was inspired by her to create my own for the Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club, CCC. The theme was afternoon tea, so what could be more appropriate than a Victoria sandwich? I was also inspired by Karen’s drinking chocolate cake over at Lavender and Lovage, so decided to use a drinking chocolate mix rather than cocoa. As I was planning on using the vanilla apricot jam I made before Christmas, I was hoping this would make for a lighter taste, which would allow the apricot and vanilla flavours to shine through.
This is how I made: Hot Chocolate Victoria Sponge with Vanilla Apricot Jam and Cream
Creamed 250g unsalted butter with 240g vanilla (caster) sugar until very pale.
Beat in 4 duck eggs, one at a time, mixing in a little of the flour in between each egg to stop curdling.
Stirred in 210g flour (half wholemeal, half white), 50g drinking chocolate, and 2 scant teaspoons of baking powder.
Added about 4 tbsp of milk to make a loose, but not runny mixture.
Divided mixture between two 21 cm cake moulds and baked at 180C for 20 minutes until firm on top and cake tester came out clean.
Left to cool for ten minutes, then turned out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Spread one half with a jar of my vanilla apricot jam.
Whisked 150 ml double cream until soft peaks formed.
Spread cream over the top of the jam and placed the other half on top.
Sprinkled with caster sugar.
One of my cakes broke up a little when I turned it out, a rare occurrence for me as I use silicone moulds; I am always taken aback when it happens and not best pleased. Luckily, I managed to rescue it by gluing most of it back together with the jam and using it as the bottom layer.
My goodness that jam was good. The cake wasn’t bad either. Others thought so too and demonstrated their appreciation by coming up for seconds – no mean feat with the vast array of cakes available.
Our CCC event was held at Lanhydrock, one of our local National Trust estates which is just up the road from us – in Cornwall terms anyway. The meeting was held in one of the offices away from the main house, a pleasant corner of the estate I’d not seen before. The converted stables, recently revamped, made an excellent location for our gathering. The cakes were many, splendid and varied. To top it all we had an informative and entertaining talk by Sue Bamford on the surprisingly dramatic history of afternoon tea. Who knew that a married woman in Victorian times could entertain a male guest in her dressing gown for tea, but was unable to do so fully dressed for dinner.
Many thanks to Ellie Michell for continuing to organise our wonderful cakey gatherings. As I said the cakes were many and varied and I rather lost the plot on what they were, who had baked them and whether I’d photographed them or not. So here follows a random selection:
Kat’s lemon curd and raspberry sponge
Ellie’s Carrot Cake
Boiled Fruit Cake with Pineapple
Irish Whisky Cake
Nat’s Cherry Bakewell
Brown Sugar Chocolate Cake
Inspired by Nigella as it was, I’m entering my Hot Chocolate Victoria Sandwich to Forever Nigella, created by Maison Cupcake and this month hosted by Jen of Blue Kitchen Bakes. The Theme is Easter and I reckon this would make a perfect cake for Easter tea.
As I used four very large duck eggs which were coming to the end of their useful life, I am entering this to the No Waste Food Challenge, created by Kate of Turquoise Lemons and this month hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen. The theme this month is eggs.
Although most of my bakes are entirely made from scratch, I don’t often remember to submit them to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays, but I’ve remembered this time.
Hello, I’m Choclette. I’m a vegetarian recipe developer and writer from Cornwall. I have a sweet tooth and a passion for baking and chocolate. Welcome to my award winning blog. Here you will find nourishing home cooked food with a twist as well as foodie tales from my home county and beyond.
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