The Victoria sponge was named after Queen Victoria, who favoured a slice of sponge cake with her afternoon tea. Traditionally filled with raspberry jam and dusted with icing sugar, my preference is for lashings of whipped passionfruit cream or lemon curd folded through whipped cream.
200 grams butter at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
finely grated zest 1 large lemon
4 eggs at room temperature
1 ¼ cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup cream, softly whipped
½ cup passionfruit in syrup
icing sugar for dusting
12 hole ½ cup muffin tray, greased and the bases lined with a circle of baking paper
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until the mixture is very light and pale.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour and baking powder and sift over the batter. Using a large metal spoon, gently but thoroughly fold in the flour making sure there are no pockets of flour in the batter.
Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake for about 18 minutes or until the cakes feel firm to the touch and the tops are golden.
Cool the cakes in the tins for 2 minutes then gently run a palette knife around the edges to loosen. Lift out and gently peel off the baking paper. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
To assemble: Fold ½ the passionfruit syrup through the cream, reserving the rest for garnish.
Slice each cake on a 45˚ angle but not cutting all the way through. Fill each cake with the cream and place on a serving platter. Spoon over the remaining passionfruit syrup and dust generously with icing sugar. Makes 12
Pantry note: Jars of passionfruit in syrup are available in supermarkets. Use fresh passionfruit when in season.