Victoria Sponge Cake with Cardamom, Rose Cream & Rhubarb

Beautiful Victoria Sponge with Cardamom, Rose Cream and Rhubarb
I have met a thoroughly lovely lady through Twitter – Vanessa Kimbell.  One heck of an inspirational lady she gave up work in May 2010 with a plan – to write a cookery book in one year and so Prepped! was born.

The philosophy behind Prepped! is a recipe book for the time short food lover, delicious food for real life.  The whole picture is like a jigsaw. The recipes link together to create a new, practical and workable collection of linked recipes.
Anyway to cut to the chase, Vanessa was looking for folks to help test the recipes for the book and I was more than willing to oblige with a little cake!
You can read more of Vanessa’s adventures on her website here …and of course you can pre-order the book from Amazon.

Victoria Sponge Cake with Cardamom, Rose Cream & Rhubarb
Serves 8 – 10Prep time 35Cooking time 25 minutes
Suitable for freezing? Yes before filling or decorating

IngredientsCake250g butter250g caster sugar
10 cardamom pods250g self-raising flour4 large eggs
For the filling 400ml double cream3 drops of rose essence80g icing sugar (sifted) 200g of rhubarb jam
To decorate100g icing sugar (sifted) 50g white chocolate curls
(Note – The book also gives recipes to make your own cardamom sugar and rhubarb jam.  As I don’t have these to hand I’m improvising!)

Preheat the oven to 160?c Fan/180?c/Gas Mark 4.
Add the cardamom pods to a pestle and mortar and give them a bash to split the green husks.  Shake out the seeds and discard the husks.  Grind the pods using the pestle and mortar (or alternatively the end of a rolling pin in a mug!)

Using a hand mixer or food mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and cardamom. Beat well until light and fluffy.

Add 3–4 tablespoons of flour to the mixture, then add the eggs. Adding the flour like this prevents the mixture from curdling. If it does, just keep adding flour a little at a time, beating the mixture to ensure it is evenly distributed.

Divide the mixture between 23cm (8″) round cake tins.

Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, until firm to the touch.

Cool on a wire rack.
Once fully cooled whip the cream, rose essence and icing sugar until thick. You can get rose essence from Waitrose and Lakeland.  Using the essence as opposed to rose water means you will only need a few drops which gives the full flavour without affecting the consistency.

Spread the jam on the base of one cake and the cream on the other and sandwich together.

There is a bit of trick to getting the lovely cream bulge when sandwiching cakes – when spreading the filling don’t take it right to the edges.  Leave one centimetre of cake showing.  The weight of the top layer will push out the filling putting it in just the right spot for you.

Mix the icing sugar and make into a viscous mix about the consistency of custard.  Pour this over the top of the cake and allow to spread.

(and don’t ask what the peeler and bowl of sweetcorn are doing in the background – I obviously wasn’t paying attention!)

Sprinkle the top with the white chocolate curls – see now I remember what the peeler was for.  I made the chocolate curls myself just peeling them off the bar of white chocolate.  Still no explanation for the sweetcorn…

If you want to add some further decoration add some crystallised rose petals.  Could be tricky to get at this time of year but if you can my how to make your own is here.

Beautiful Victoria Sponge with Cardamom, Rose Cream and Rhubarb

Beautiful Victoria Sponge with Cardamom, Rose Cream and Rhubarb

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

Finalist on BBC2 The Great British Bake Off 2010

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