Last month I went to the Soho food feast and I was told that there was a cake competition, so I thought I’d give it a go a and it’s another excuse to bake. But the question was what do I bake? It had to be easy to transport because I was carrying it all the way into London, but I also wanted to make a pretty looking cake. So I decided to make a victoria sponge and decorate it with three shades of pink buttercream. The weather was warm that day – not the best temperature to be handling buttercream, I had to put it in the fridge to harden up as it a little runny.
I used the victoria sponge recipe by Paul Hollywood
- 230g plain flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 230g caster sugar
- 230g unsalted butter softened, plus extra for greasing
- 4 medium eggs
- 100g strawberry jam
- 1kg sifted icing sugar
- 320g unsalted butter softened
- 100ml milk
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- Gel icing colour of your choice
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Line the base of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment and lightly butter the sides
- Put the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, softened butter and eggs into an electric mixer or large bowl. mix on a low speed, or whisk slowly using an electric hand-held whisk, until all the ingredients are evenly combined, do not over mix as this will tighten the mixture and result in a rubbery texture
- Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and slightly shrunk from the side of the tin. Leave the sponges to cool slightly in the tins for about 5 minutes, then transfer from the tins to a wire rack to cool
- Put the icing sugar and butter into an electric mixer or large bowl and whisk until the mixture comes together
- Reduce the speed, and slowly pour in the milk. Add the vanilla essence. Once this has been incorporated turn this back up to high speed
- Continue beating the buttercream for at least 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy
- Divide the icing into three equal portions (keep a small portion uncoloured) and add some gel icing to each portion – enough to create three different shades
- To assemble, keep the best looking sponge for the top. Lay the other one top side down, on a serving plate. Spread the bottom layer with strawberry jam, and place the other cake on top. Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of the uncoloured buttercream.
- Then starting from the bottom, using a plain nozzle pipe a blob of butter cream (dark pink) and using a palette knife spread this to one direction (left or right). Then pipe another blob next to this and spread again. Continue this until you have completed one row. Move onto the next colour for the second row (medium pink) and the third row (light pink). Also repeat this pattern on the top of the cake.