#AD. Oh Victoria Sponge – so simple yet so iconic. Each ingredient is carefully selected and combined into a layered cake of loveliness; soft buttery sponge, pillowy cream and vibrant strawberry jam. Raspberry jam is, of course, another acceptable option. I had a little panic when I couldn’t find either in my jam stash, having only apricot, marmalade or blackcurrant, all which seemed unthinkable for no rational reason. I feel Queen Victoria would insist on only strawberry, and one must do what Queen Victoria requests.
On that topic, today is actually the 200th anniversary of Queen Vic’s birth! To commemorate that, I’ve made the only appropriate birthday cake, the Victoria Sponge of course. Anyone who had the audacity to name a cake after themselves seems worth knowing, so very fitting, the people at ITV sent me a copy of Victoria.
A guilty pleasure of mine has always been period dramas. I was obsessed with Downton Abbey when it aired, and am a loyal Call the Midwife fan. I also LOVED The Crown – wasn’t Claire Foy and Matt Smith just fabulous? When I applied for GBBO, part of the application process in the final stages is the production company calling up a friend to verify that you are who you say you are, and you’re a normal, sane human being. They asked my best friend Louise what we got up to in our free time, and, somewhat embarrassingly, the only thing she could think to say was that we liked to watch CtM together (true, but not that cutting-edge for a 17 year old trying to impress TV producers!). It didn’t put them off though, as here we are 5 years later.
I’ve not actually ever seen Victoria, despite recommendations from countless friends and family, so am looking forward to an evening in front of the TV with a big slice of sponge cake!
Victoria Series Three is available to buy now on Blu-ray and DVD.
Find my recipe for Victoria Sponge on the Waitrose webiste by clicking here. Make sure to tag @marthacollison and #BakingMartha if you give it a go.