Spiced vic­to­ria sponge with amaretto & jam

The Mail on Sunday - You - - Merry & Bright -

MAKES 1 x 20CM CAKE CAKE 225g diced un­salted but­ter plus ex­tra for greas­ing 225g golden caster sugar 4 medium eggs 225g self-rais­ing flour 2 tsp bak­ing pow­der 1 ½ tsp ground cin­na­mon plus ex­tra for dust­ing 100ml amaretto ic­ing sugar for dust­ing TO FILL 100g mas­car­pone 100g quark 100g your favourite red fruit jam

Pre­heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. But­ter a 20cm loose-bot­tomed cake tin about 8cm deep (or see Tin Tip be­low). Us­ing an elec­tric whisk on high speed, whisk the but­ter in a large bowl for 1-2 min­utes un­til very pale and fluffy, then add the sugar and con­tinue to whisk for 1-2 min­utes more. Add the eggs one at a time, mix­ing well with each ad­di­tion un­til com­bined. Sift and whisk in the flour, bak­ing pow­der and cin­na­mon in two goes, just lightly, then whisk in the amaretto. Trans­fer the mix­ture to your tin and smooth the sur­face.

Bake for 50-55 min­utes or un­til a skewer in­serted at the cen­tre comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges and leave to cool be­fore re­mov­ing from the tin. When ready to fill, slit the cake into two lay­ers us­ing a bread knife.

For the fill­ing, com­bine the mas­car­pone and quark in a medium bowl un­til smooth and creamy. Spread this over the lower half of the cake up to the rim. Work the jam in a bowl and spread this on top. Sand­wich with the top half. Dust with ic­ing sugar (you could use a pa­per doily as a tem­plate) and a lit­tle more cin­na­mon. Cover and chill for a few hours if wished and re­turn to room tem­per­a­ture to serve. TIN TIP You can also use 2 x 20cm tins at least 4cm deep, di­vid­ing the mix­ture evenly be­tween them (weigh it for ac­cu­racy). Re­duce the bak­ing time to 30-35 min­utes.

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