I have to say, I was a bit disappointed by the Bake Off finale. I know that at the time of filming, they didn’t know it would be the last ever episode of Bake Off on the BBC, so they can’t truly be blamed for not sending it off with some fanfare. But as an audience member that’s what I wanted. I wanted chocolate fountains, biscuits that were also fireworks, breads that could tell fortunes (maybe not).
But what I wanted was big, dramatic, over-the-top. Something epic to send Bake Off off. What I got was a picnic and some Victoria sponge. Which isn’t to say that it’s not delicious. Or takes skill. But come on! Last year at least we got multi-tiered cakes; the year before that a piece montee, and before that a three tiered wedding cake. A wedding cake! That’s more like what I was after.
I’m sure it’s partially just the disappointment of Bake Off being over that has framed the last episode for me poorly. Once I’ve properly mourned, I might go back and re-watch the episode and enjoy it more. Yet again, I’ve been thwarted off one bake by my lack of liking meringue. Seriously, why has it been baked so often this series? Yuck! And I liked the idea of a the mini picnic: chocolate cake, tarts, sausage rolls.
I’ve actually baked a Victoria sponge for the finale of Bake Off before, in my bake along way back in 2014. But it was a mini-sponge cake, so I’m going to count that as a different thing. (That was my first time ever making jam too!) In honour of the last episode, I made an ENORMOUS cake. The recipe below is for a normal sized Victoria sponge cake, not the huge monster that I created.
- 250 g of soft butter
- 250 g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 250 g self-raising flour
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- 200 mL of double cream
- 2 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 225 g of raspberries
- 150 g of caster sugar
- Preheat your oven to 180C and grease two cake tins. Cream your butter and sugar together until it's very pale. Then add in your vanilla. Beat your eggs in a separate smaller bowl with a fork and then add them in to your butter mixture. Lastly fold in your flour and use the milk to loosen the texture of your batter. Pour into your two cake tins and cake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Set your cakes aside to cool whilst you make your jam. Crush your berries a bit, but not too much as the raspberries will disintegrate a bit. Add them to a steel pot. Then add 2 1/2 cups of sugar and turn the heat up high for the first five minutes while stirring constantly. Then turn the heat down and continue to stir for 20-25 minutes. If it's looking gooey, you're probably done. Take the pot off the heat, and set your jam aside to cool.
- While your jam is cooling, make your cream. In a large bowl, add your sugar, double cream and vanilla and whisk it until it holds stiff peaks.
- To assemble your cake (only when all components are completely cooled), first spread your jam nearly to the edges of the cake and then pipe the cream on top before sandwiching with your second cake. Then give it a good dusting of icing sugar for good measure.
- If you pop a saucer into the freezer, you can test if your jam is done by dropping a smidgen onto the frozen saucer. If it doesn't drip or run off, it's done. You can also test it by dipping a frozen spoon into the jam, if it thickens around the spoon, it's ready.