I had a Clothes Swapping/Afternoon Tea party at the weekend and decided to make a few classic treats for my guests. I will be covering what I made over my next few posts. I have to highly recommend Clothes Swapping parties as well - it is such a brilliant idea! There was 12 girls, all with bags full of unwanted clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. We hung the clothes all over my house, and then everyone went shopping! It was a free for all as we browsed the selection, tried on clothes, picked things we liked, and bagged some new things. Free shopping has to be one of the best things ever! I have to admit I was quite giddy when I found a beautiful black sparkly dress, I may have even twirled around a little bit. I also bagged two other dresses, two black embellished vest tops, a lovely black hangbag and even some purple nail varnish! And combined with a selection of cake goodness... What more can you ask for?!
I chose to make Victoria Sponge Cupcakes because Victoria Sponge Cake is a traditional afternoon tea cake. It is usually made with a buttercream and jam filling, now I love buttercream, but it is very sweet, so I decided to use fresh cream instead to make the cakes a little lighter on the sugar. I also thought cupcakes made it a lot easier to serve. I used a muffin recipe to make sure the cupcakes were nice and big!
First I melted 60g butter in a pan. I sifted 280g plain flour, 1 tbsp. baking powder, and a pinch of salt into a large bowl, then stirred in 200g caster sugar. In a separate bowl I beat one egg, added the melted butter, 250ml of milk and 1 tsp. of vanilla extract. I made a well in the flour, and added the egg mixture bit by bit, mixing in thoroughly each time.
I divided the mixture into 12 muffin cases in my muffin baking tray. I baked on 220C/425F/Gas 7 for 20-25 minutes until they were golden brown.
I constructed the cupcakes the next day when they were fully cooled, but this can easily be done the same day as long as the sponge is thoroughly cool so that the cream doesn't melt. I started by using a sharp knife to cut the cupcakes in half.
I have to recommend St. Dalfour jam. Which is what I used for these cupcakes. It is an old french recipe where the jam is sweetened with fruit juices instead of with sugar. Jam is often too sweet and processed, but this jam retains the flavour of the fruit and has the added bonus of being lower in calories! I get it from Asda, and I used the raspberry flavour for this recipe. It's also available in strawberry and blueberry.
I put jam onto the bottom section of the halved cupcakes.
In a food processor, I whipped up a pot of double cream. I like to mix my cake batter by hand, but having a food processor for a job like whipping cream is so handy and time saving! I smeared the cream onto the top half of the cupcake and sandwiched the two halves back together again.
Then I sprinkled icing sugar over the tops (messy warning!)
And ta-da! There you have it! A delicious individually portioned Victoria Sponge Cupcake oozing with freshly whipped cream.
These were extremely well received by my party guests and they all got eaten up. A couple of people thought they were shop bought which I was quite pleased with. Try these yourself for an easy, yet impressive result!