Rules for Village Show Victoria Sponge Cake

(607 Posts)
ArtisanLentilWeaver Sat 22-Jun-13 09:23:02

I cried at 'The High sift" grin

Yes, this must go to Classics.

RustyBear Sat 22-Jun-13 09:13:25

While it's here, shouldn't this be in Classics?

gillypanda Sat 22-Jun-13 09:09:00

I've just found this thread by Googling "Baking competition victoria sponge" and have spent an hour reading it all! A brilliant and very entertaining read grin

I'm entering a competition tomorrow which has no rules, except the entries have to be in the marquee by 10:30am. It's 30 years since I entered my baking into any sort of competition and I've had such fun reading through all this.

I guess that, despite "no rules" they won't be wanting cream in my VCS, but if I get there and I'm the only one who hasn't, I shan't be amused! It's being judged professionally, let's hope they agree. I also want to enter the bread section, but that will be such an early start, like a "proper" baker I'm not sure I'll manage that as well. Fingers crossed!

Oi, away with your accusations of resurrecting an old thread! That was yummyyummymummy. I was just showing an interest after I was suckered in to reading an old thead.



A very belated congratulations on your 2nd place, Slubber! grin

<wonders how many others will see this in active convos and not notice it's age?wink>

T has already decided on our scarecrow - but I bet I'll be making it!

Indith Mon 01-Nov-10 13:41:11

Good going slubber.

Yes SPB I did come second and third. Mustn't forget our scarecrow came 3rd. Next year we'll be on a mission!

For the fullness of the record I came first with my cookies and received two further seconds for my jar of 5 fresh herbs and ugliest vegetable.

any anyway I didn't resurrect this, Sacharissa did, a few weeks ago <cough>. and it's only polite to answer when you come across it when you are searching your name to see if anyone missed you while you took a break accidentally.

didn't you come second and third??
I think that's even better

GuyFawkesIsMyLoveSlave Mon 01-Nov-10 13:16:06

I saw that this thread had been resurrected and thought "Oooh, I wonder whether Slubber won in the end?". Glad to see that others wondered the same thing and that Slubber was on hand to answer promptly...

lol Indith. A second is still second even in a field of 4. well done grin

Indith Mon 01-Nov-10 13:04:07

I came second with my Victoria Sandwich <proud> <ignores the old thread bumping competition> <conveniently forgets that only 4 cakes were entered, of which 2 were mine>.

go on then, I will do my best

Trillian rules are no cream, rasp jam, caster sugar dusting. everything else is fully open to personal sponge artistic licence.

SPB do the Robert Palmer is death thread. Someone always falls for that 'really how sad sad' when he has been dead for aeons.

not that you're bitter
Shall I go an resurrect a thread from 2006 and see how many people I can sucker in?

Well done Slubs!

What were the rules in the end? Were they rules or just tradition that a cake with cream in the middle never won?

(didn't actually read whole thread, resuscitating a 'village fete' thread in November is always suspicious)

I lost out to a cake that imvo had a dry looking crust.

Not that I bear a grudge 3 years on or anything.

how odd
well done slubber

I came second (out of a field of 13 or 14 - a BIG field anyway) but a placing nonetheless.

I still have the little certificate somewhere.

SacharissaCryptlock Tue 12-Oct-10 17:03:15

I need to know the outcome. Even though it was 3 years ago!

Well, Slubber, did you win? grin

yummyyummymummy Sun 10-Oct-10 13:56:55

Hi I got a lovely vinatage cake stand at a webiste called and it was free postage!

Get one from Waitrose....bash it a bit. Eh voila! <<takes slummy mummy bow and tit falls out of bra>>

bohemianbint Tue 26-Jun-07 20:09:16

Sorry, latecomer to this fantastic thread but just wanted to say, re doily, that there was a whole programme on Radio 4 the other day devoted to the use and etiquette of doilies. With Janet Ellis. Sorry, I can't remember what the upshot was, other than that you should probably eschew any doilies with Wayne Ronney's face on.

Sorry, not much use after all but fascinated by the kind of person who would buy a Wayne Rooney doily...

Pidge Mon 18-Jun-07 20:51:55


I made strawberry ice cream today - halving the recipe because we just had some left over strawbs that I was using up - unfortunately I forgot to halve the quantity of sugar. Methinks the kids are going to love it!

Slubberdegullion Mon 18-Jun-07 12:53:37


Village Show here I come!

slubber, have you just won the competition???

Slubberdegullion Mon 18-Jun-07 08:42:20

SMS the welsh woman cake won.

MrsFish Mon 18-Jun-07 07:48:20

Thankyou will try that out.

aviatrix Sun 17-Jun-07 22:46:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlightlyMadScientist Sun 17-Jun-07 22:38:37

Did you see teh cake decorating on the Great British Village show today. The map of wales was Shite. Which one won. When I last saw it they were getting a third jusdge in to deliberate between that tall green thing (not actually sure what it was) and the little lady cakes.

Pidge Sun 17-Jun-07 21:05:44

I'm going to be restricting my baking obsession too - I did the London marathon this year, but now my running shoes are gathering dust somewhat, I can ill afford to eat this quantity of pudding/cake without becoming distinctly blobby!

MrsFish Sun 17-Jun-07 21:00:58

Pastry is one thing I can not get right, so a pastry thread would be good

Slubberdegullion Sun 17-Jun-07 20:58:44

Pidge, no more VSC for me for a few weeks now. I'm starting to smell of them.

Could you not start a pastry thread either, jeans considerably tighter than they were a week ago.

Pidge Sun 17-Jun-07 20:54:22

slubber - feeble I know, I'm just wasn't in VSC mood, and had a requirement for a non-cake dessert for entertainment purposes. Pretty good it was too - though the pastry was somewhat dry and crumbly rather than melt in the mouth - I feel a whole new pastry thread coming on ....

kickassangel Sun 17-Jun-07 14:05:46

ooh slubber was that a bit of a pointed comment towards a certain film star?
do you have a child called blackberry (goes well with apples)

Slubberdegullion Sun 17-Jun-07 08:30:39

My cake and I owe everything to our friends and expert advisors here on this thread.

<yes I have a badly fitting pink satin dress on, and am sobbing uncontrollably>

MintyDixCharrington Sat 16-Jun-07 22:29:15

Oh Slub!
You sifted from a Great Height!

I'm SOOOOO proud. Your cake looks loverly and you even polished the frame on the Blessed Queen Empress


kickassangel Sat 16-Jun-07 20:31:58

H, i live in a village but have managed to Not Get Involved so far. i happily wizz off to work every day & politely chat to passers by at weekens. i DID meet people whilst on mat leave, but was put off by comments about arriving early at church to sit with their friends & decided to back off. however, dd atarts school in sep & i am wondering about joing the pta and becoming head of the playground mafia, by virtue of my supreme cake baking skils (splutter, cough)

Slubberdegullion Sat 16-Jun-07 19:55:13

KAA, longish story,
forgot to buy anything for Harvest Festival, but did have bread mix in the house, shoved it in the bread maker on rapid bake.
Smugly took warm bread to church, dd1 walked up aisle and handed it over to vicar (compliments +++, increased smuggery)etc.
So then for the rest of the service the smell of freshly baked bread is wafting around the church esp into the choir stalls, making them drool and loose concentration on their anthem.

Complaints ++ following the service.

I tell you life in a village is harsh and full of hidden pitfalls.

Slubberdegullion Sat 16-Jun-07 19:51:03

Pidge, why are you fiddling around with a Nigella pastry. Come on woman, get your flour & eggs out, make a VSC, take some piccies, put them in the comp.

You know you want to.

Pidge Sat 16-Jun-07 18:45:05

Love the royal touch slubber!

I'm still boycotting the sponge antics I'm afraid. Am mid preparing Nigella's chocolate pastry filled with white choc and mascarpone and topped with fresh raspberries - yum. And had some left over egg white, so whisked up a meringue whilst I was at it.

Dusts flour off hands and remembers she's supposed to be getting dd2 ready for bed!!

UCM Sat 16-Jun-07 18:03:22

It was a night out at a 'greek' restaurant, where they have tambourines and sorta greekish dancing & entertainment. Much wine consumed and feeling a trifle roughish. Good night though.

kickassangel Sat 16-Jun-07 15:35:16

what happened to make the choir so upset?
did you not show your bread an episode of miss marple before serving their ploughmans?

Slubberdegullion Sat 16-Jun-07 14:38:26
Slubberdegullion Sat 16-Jun-07 11:15:13

KAA, nope no bread. there is Irish Brack (fruit bread), cheese scones, savory quiche, ooooh hang on, have just spotted cottage loaf.

People round here know I do bread in my bread maker (after an incident at Harvest Festival and the choir getting upset), I can't afford to be labeled a cheat.

kickassangel Fri 15-Jun-07 21:51:58

Slubber, is there a bread baking section for your village show? can i make things, postr them you & show them. i know of nothing around her like this!

Pidge Fri 15-Jun-07 20:48:36

Oh cripes - one day away from the cake saga and a veritable torrent of baking issues to catch up with.

Personally I have boycotted the whole VSC thing and made a rather fine banana bread today. Just scoffed a piece. Yum. Now washing it down with wine. Double yum.

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 19:51:43

keep up with the fluids then

ChippyMinton Fri 15-Jun-07 19:43:00

[ugh] I shall merely be nibbling on a lettuce leaf between slices of cake.

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 19:37:52

Chiipy, may I politely suggest if that has been/is going to be your menu over the w/e that you add a few bags of prunes and maybe some sennacot to your shopping basket.

ChippyMinton Fri 15-Jun-07 19:21:07

I miscounted - i had 36 . My friend came for lunch and i made a six egg omelette, 3 in the cake and 3 for the DC's tea. I have to make another VSC (8884 this time), a chocolate cake, a fry-up on sunday and then...DH will be eating egg mayo sandwiches for about a month . That'll make a change from leftover fishfingers

Tesco raspberry conserve is my jam of choice.

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 19:15:50

Well you can't do a VSC without jam can you?

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 19:15:02

Well, one prop is bought, the rest are fully hand crafted.

You stil have a lot of eggs your DH going to be getting mostly scrambled egg, quiche and cake over the w/e then?

ChippyMinton Fri 15-Jun-07 19:13:16

We may spark a Delia type shortage of ingredients <ponders - shall i nip out to the all night tesco?>

ChippyMinton Fri 15-Jun-07 19:11:51

You are buying display props???

I need to fix my oven temperature probe which seems to be hanging loose.

I have 24 eggs left but am right out of jam.

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 18:59:57

Oh absolutely Chippy. I'm undecided whether I will go for my attempt tomorrow or on sunday. I have almost all of my display props. But need to go out and buy some more jam.

The standard is frighteningly high already.

ChippyMinton Fri 15-Jun-07 18:57:41

slubber are you ready to post yours here? alongside the competition?

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 18:48:06

<pushes sunglasses on top of head> you want to get into a scrap...because believe me I'm more than prepared to go outside, fish about in my bins, retrieve sections of the 'pile-o'-shie' and start lobbing them in your direction.

'may or may not exsist' sheeesh

what is a "greek night"? (pictures UCM dressed up as Penelope waiting for Ulysses)

Oenophile Fri 15-Jun-07 18:39:18

Thanks Slubber! How delightful to imagine your cakes inching bit by bit up the sides of the tin in answer to the summons of The Lark! (though I prefer the Tallis Fantasia myself)

Seriously, that is an awesome looking cake and if it doesn't get a place I'll wonder who lives in your village. After all, Delia probably sneaks her cakes into her local show every year.

Anchovy Fri 15-Jun-07 18:38:19

Ooooh - not turning this into a SAHM/WOHM matter are we.....

Did I say I was going to pass off the VSC as my own work? No sirree. My nanny would get full credit for the cake (and I would take the credit as being an employer who created an environment in which a perfect VSC could flourish).

I agree the novelty wording could be a bit of an impediment. When she said "Shall I put some wording on the top?", "Yes" seemed a more appropriate response than "Oh, but I wanted to take a photo of it, upload it onto a website, palm it off as my own and put it into a virtual competition against people I've never met and who may or may not actually exist"...

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 18:22:55

Anchovy, not only have you revealed yourself there as a cheat, but you are destined for the booby prize with dusted words.

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 18:20:45

Oenophile I am giddy with childish delight that someone is asking me how I created a nice looking VSC.

Well... I followed the Hugh Freneley Whippetstall technique of weighing the eggs (2) and then reproducing their weight in flour/sugar/butter. It is quite pleasing as it feels moderately 'scientific', and by golly my 2 eggs this morning weighed 5oz (and I would have been adding only 4oz of flour etc if I had gone with the trad. Delia).

There was also a calmer atmosphere as I was not blaspheming at the shitting bacoliners.

And today as I creamed, I listened to Williams' Lark Ascending. Most pleasant.

Anchovy Fri 15-Jun-07 18:15:55

My nanny (cake baker extrordinaire) has made a VSC (at my wily suggestion) for DH for father's day. I am going to take a photo for the competition. Presumably I will not be marked down because it has "Dad" in an icing sugar cutout on the top?

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 18:15:04

Pennies, all I can say is do not dispair. Yesterday was my darkest VSC moment following the disgraceful effort that was the 'pile-o'-shite'.

Today I have an altogether brighter and more optomistic outlook with regards to the future of sponges and me in a happy relationship.

Go back a few posts and listen to Chippys YouTube link. And have some good quality wine. Tomorrow is another day.

UCM Fri 15-Jun-07 18:06:38

They are all looking lovely, there is small prize & a lovely Rosette for the winner.

I am not baking today as I am off out a 'Greek night'. But I am going to have a go at MkII tomorrow.

Keep baking girls. We could all be a stone heavier by Sunday

Pennies Fri 15-Jun-07 17:28:24

After an hour in the oven (!WTF?!?) my Mark II was a resounding failure. It was sweaty, had loads of burst zits that gaped crater-like from the surface. The internal consistency was spongy but not in a good way and the base congealed into something more akin to cookie dough. Oh, and it was tasteless.

Now this cake was a total experiment though. I used Flora Buttery and it's fair to say that I won't go near the stuff again. It was also done in a rushed hour whilst the kids were napping and it's construction was interspersed with toddler demands and also the curdling crisis that also happened. It's fair to say it had a bad start in life and it didn't get to feel the love, only the frustration. Many many things therefore contributed to it's myriad of problems. Basically, it didn't stand a chance.

Oenophile Fri 15-Jun-07 15:57:58

Slubber, your Mk IV would have knocked the socks off my third-place-winner from last year's village show! I'm in awe.

Can you sum up exactly what made Mk IV go so well?

honeybrown Fri 15-Jun-07 15:50:09

Fabulous thread! It has nearly tempted me away from Poultry chat but not quite!

Pennies Fri 15-Jun-07 14:23:50

Fighting doesn't begin to describe what they were trying to do. Commemorating 25 years since the Falkands with a full scale re-enactment more like.

Still in the oven (they are taking 40 mins in my aga which I also don't understand as Lucy Young says 20 mins).

These are proving harder than I thought.

SlightlyMadScientist Fri 15-Jun-07 14:19:36

Indeed - apprantely it is natural to get a little bit of curdling. The eggs and the fat are apparently fighting

yoyo Fri 15-Jun-07 14:06:29

Adding a tablespoon of flour before carrying on with adding the eggs usually does the trick.

Pennies Fri 15-Jun-07 13:50:30

Just out of curiousity, obviously, but what if, by some possible mischance, one's cake mixture starts to curdle. Not that it's happened here, oh no, but I'm others might find remedies useful.

If, perchance such an awful thing should befall any mixuture of mine I might possibly frantically add flour and beat the farkin mix like a loon whilst wildy hoping and praying that it can be salvaged.

Bolleaux. Said cake is now in t'oven. What can I expect from this sorry effort?

CuttingCod Fri 15-Jun-07 13:49:23

i ma concerned that she is using hte ouictured pickeld beetroot

newgirl Fri 15-Jun-07 13:48:39

so many people trying to look at slubber's cake that the website has crashed!!!

janemw Fri 15-Jun-07 13:40:03

My DH would love it if I had made as many cakes as you Slub, he is cake mad! Maybe I'll have another try this weekend as it's Father's Day! I shall have to consult my MIL as to show rules here. She'll be really glad about this thread too as we both had the same biscuit type cakes! I entered our show 2 years ago with other foods, but no way was I going to enter cakes. I won with Fudge though!! Keep practising, I think I am going to get the cake making bug now!!

yoyo Fri 15-Jun-07 13:37:52

This thread really cheers me up. I love the pictures. DH thinks I am bomkers to boot him off the PC to look at VSCs. I might have to make one now.

i have no idea of any comps in this area lol.

i might infringe on pennies terrioty as she is in the closest village to me

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 13:28:30

Oh go on enter this year. we can all laugh at the judges 'comments & critisisms' here together. One big family of VSC novices.

i am going to enter next year. i might get deeper tins by then lol

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 13:19:10

jane you must enter. I'm having such fun with my practices. DH thinks I have completely lost the plot.

I know I'm not going to win, but the taking part is hugely entertaining.

There is a weight gain issue going on here which is slightly less amusing I should add.

janemw Fri 15-Jun-07 13:14:16

Slubberdegullion yours looks great! Thanks for all your comments too! I do live in a village and will consider entering the yearly show, (maybe!) I think I have to practice a bit more though!!

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 13:05:52

Thank you Franca. Inspiration has returned [grin}

And now for the MkV (the MN comp cake).Will be making and displaying on sunday am.

Looks fantastic slubs

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 12:37:09

Oh janemw, that looks loverly. Take a piccie of a slice and enter it into the MN comp. Theres a homemade red rosette up for grabs I believe.

completed Mk IV. A huge improvement on yesterday's effort I'm sure you will all agree.

And it sold....was one of the first to go. Huge relief and joy here.

that looks delicious as well.
Spent a restless night, having nightmares of me taking out of the oven burnt silicone baking pans

themoon66 Fri 15-Jun-07 11:40:59

My God.... fab cakes . I just hope you live in a village!!!

janemw Fri 15-Jun-07 10:55:36

thanks, haven't tried it yet, better wait til hubby and dd1 comes home or I'll be in trouble!!! ha ha

MrsTweedy Fri 15-Jun-07 10:43:06

That looks scrummy!

janemw Fri 15-Jun-07 10:40:57

Here they are, any suggestions as to how to improve them further, gratefully accepted!!

"Here are are my pics of cake "

janemw Fri 15-Jun-07 10:28:07

Ok, just uploading them now!! The cake's not great but it's the best I have ever done so I am

MrsTweedy Fri 15-Jun-07 10:18:08

You can either had pics onto your profile (I have some cakes on mine) or UCM has posted a link on either this thread or the other to picturetrail.

janemw Fri 15-Jun-07 10:16:22

Not sure I know how to!!

MrsTweedy Fri 15-Jun-07 10:03:01

Oooh post a pic janemw, love seeing the results!

janemw Fri 15-Jun-07 10:00:32

Hi all,
Don't post very often, but saw this thread and read it all last night!! You have inspired me to try vsc again! Mine always turn out in disaster, thin and biscuit like, so I have just made one and is in the oven. I used the 4 eggs on one side of scales and weighed the butter sugar and flour according to them. I used a glass bowl, sifted from great height, used room temp eggs, fingers crossed they will turn out well! Oh! and 20cm cake tins. If they turn out I shall be dancing around the kithcen with a big and if not I shall be very . Let you know in a few mins!!

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 09:30:47

Minty, those liners wre my new ones that I bought from Lakeland. They didn't have instructions on, but with hindsight I think they should have been trimmed down a bit.

Slubberdegullion Fri 15-Jun-07 09:29:39

MkIV just out of oven. Looking a LOT better than the 'pile o' shite' Well at least they're round.

Will jam up and photograph in a min. Then will have to take to cake sale and pray like mad that someone will buy it.

My confidence is at a low ebb, so if my VSC is the last cake standing well then, it might just be curtains for me and my sponges.

kickassangel Fri 15-Jun-07 09:27:28

minty - stop helping - we have our own comp going now! no further help until after midnight on sun!

MintyDixCharrington Fri 15-Jun-07 00:05:14

WHAT were those liners?
Did I not tell you in my very first post (or was it my second) to CUT a ROUND piece for the base and a BAND for the side?


I'm going to have to make one tomorrow to show you how it is done, this is SO funny

hodgeymum Fri 15-Jun-07 00:01:15

keep those cakes coming,i'm sure you'll get there in the end!!definately intrigued by this cake competition-where is it held?we could all come along and cheer!

ProjectIcarus Thu 14-Jun-07 23:27:06

missed the cake comp bit. damnit have shared expert vickie sponge tips .

and yes mostly out of my head and a wee bit from delias book of cakes 1977 stylee.

MrsWednesday Thu 14-Jun-07 22:47:14

Sorry Slubberdeguillion but I have been crying with laughter at the sight of your hexagonal flat cakes.

Fabulous, fabulous thread. Thank you.

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 22:13:24

Well UCM, it looks a darn sight better than all of my attempts so far...your red rosette is safe in your own house atm!

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 22:04:14

I will be doing my MN comp cake on sunday am, it will also be used for Fathers day cake and my dad's birthday cake. It better be bloody fantastic as it has a lot of responsibility riding on its shoulders.

UCM Thu 14-Jun-07 22:03:10

Slub, the fucker rose on the wrong bleeding side. I used a bit more baking powder than normal

UCM Thu 14-Jun-07 22:02:08

I hope you are all going to put your cakes in the pic trail.

My cake is very tasty but very heavy.

morello must be delicious

UCM Thu 14-Jun-07 21:59:08

I haven't stopped eating it, there is only half left, it doesn't taste light & fluffy though. Hang on I will ask Dh his op.

'The cake was very nice but the Jam was better, it wasn't as heavy as it looked'.

I put homemade (not by me) Morello Cherry Jam in it.

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 21:55:26

UCM that looks great, what fabulous rise. Yhe wedge looks a thin at the thin end, but def. edible. yum.

Used icing sugar....a brave decision indeed

is it yummie, did you taste it?

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 21:53:14

ProjectIcarus, wow, did all of that just come out of your head, without notes or anything. I'm deeply impressed

Will turn oven down, have had it at 170 but maybe its more powerful than I think.

Everything in kitchen is at room temp, apart from me & my oven ...eggs are not cold (I promise).

Will try the MkIV tomorrow without the stupid liners.


well, it looks slightly depressed, but I'd kill for that slice right now.

UCM Thu 14-Jun-07 21:51:09
Pidge Thu 14-Jun-07 21:45:10

UCM - search this page for "A CAKE WHICH HAS SUNK IN THE MIDDLE" for some ideas on sinking

link ucm

Pidge Thu 14-Jun-07 21:44:19

What's the 'all in one' method?!

UCM Thu 14-Jun-07 21:43:10

I have added my cake on the MNCakeComp. It was ever so slightly fucked as in it sunk. This hasn't happened to me bfore so can anyone tell me why.

ProjectIcarus Thu 14-Jun-07 21:17:50

<no but i am working on it>

ChippyMinton Thu 14-Jun-07 21:16:30

<are you nigella?>

ProjectIcarus Thu 14-Jun-07 21:12:11

<Rolls up sleeves>
<dons apron>

The weird bubbles mean your oven is too hot.

Are you using room temp butter. i.e. left out over night a knife on it's side can go right through it easily?

18cm tins. Lined with baking paper. I alwyas leave about an inch higher than the tin sticking up. How deep are your tins btw? Your tin lining is iffy tbh. Ideally you cut out a length two inches deeper than your tin depth fold up an inch then cut slits down to the fold all the way down so it sits neatly in your round tin. A little butter in the tin ensure the lining paper sits nicely while you put the mixture in.

Don't bang the tin you will knock the air out. Whole point is to put air in.

Personally I always use the all in one method and they are alwyas fine. But if you must beat the butter and the sugar together it should be pale and creamy afterwards. Whisk your eggs up before adding them then add them a teeny bit at a time. use large eggs btw.

adding the eggs a wee bit at a time prevents curdling (makes the sponge heavier.

Fold in the flour (sifting from a high height obv) with a metal tablespoon. about a quarter at a time.

If it does not drop off the spoon at a sharp tap add hot water one or two teasponfuls.

when you are putting the mixture in make sure it is flattish, delia9who some of these tips are gleaned from - but tried and tested by me) says use balance scales to ensure your mixture is evenly divided but that sounds a bit mental to me.

2 egg mixture gives two one in sponges. 3 eggs higher obv. Delia frown on more in 72 tins as it does not balance with the filling. Apparently if you do deeper you should cut each sponge in half to have more layers of filling. Which is jam only btw. and sifted with icing sugar.

hope this helps.

oh and 25 to 30 mins at 170 trad oven.

SlightlyMadScientist Thu 14-Jun-07 21:04:27

I only got the towel wrapping from baking911...everything else came from one of the links I posted earlier.

ChippyMinton Thu 14-Jun-07 21:01:42

baking911 you may have missed this link slubber (i think it's where SMS is getting her expertise from

oh dear what happened there slubs?

SlightlyMadScientist Thu 14-Jun-07 20:58:26

Slubber have a hankie to slubber into....I think the liners should go in the bin...

BUT how is the zittage - any improvement there? Have you learnt anything about the important zittage issue?

Now my problem is than mine rise like volcanoes. Last time I made one the edges of each layer were about 3/4" high. The middle was 2+" .

Apparently my outside is cooking too quickly and sets so it can't rise at teh edges and all explodes in a spectacular rise in teh middle...and ends up cracking.

If I wrap a think wet strip of towel around the outside of my tins - attaching with a safety pin it will cool the outside of the tin and allow it to cook at a more even rate.

<Do you think DP will notice if I wrap my cake tins in towel???>

Callmemadam Thu 14-Jun-07 20:53:27

yeah chippy - it tastes fantastic

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 20:48:10

aww chippy, I'm having a little weep here. I will arise tomorrow morning and have another stab at the MkIV.

KAA oops-a-daisy. This endevour is filled with pitfalls for us all.

yoyo Thu 14-Jun-07 20:46:43

Slubber - what are those weird-looking liners?

kickassangel Thu 14-Jun-07 20:41:56

slubber - if ti makes you feel any better i've just broken mine in half!! sheer clumsiness - oven glove got in the way as i turned it out. 'twas a half way decent one as well!

dh (who is working v long hours) will not be impressed if i ask him to sort out photos when he eventually gets home tonight, so don't ask!

ChippyMinton Thu 14-Jun-07 20:41:43

ooh callmemadam that's a fab idea, thanks

i'm sorry slub but am laughing on those ones.

ChippyMinton Thu 14-Jun-07 20:40:35
Pidge Thu 14-Jun-07 20:38:47

Now don't take this the wrong way - but those pictures have brightened up my evening no end!!

Listen here - stick with recipe 1, get that oven lower, sift high and bob's your uncle.

Callmemadam Thu 14-Jun-07 20:36:55

chippyminto - use marscapone cheese - straight from the tub - on one half, and rasberry jam on the other ( not my idea but Tana Ramsay's)

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 20:33:39

KAA, kick me while I'm down why don't you.

I'm just floundering around here. I'm trying to do my best and, and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

<lies on floor, beats fists into Lakeland bacoliners>

it's all going wrong.

how hard can a bloody sponge cake be??

just look at the photos

kickassangel Thu 14-Jun-07 20:13:18

butter icing is just butter & icing sugar, perhaps with a little vanilla
OR whipped cream witha little ic ing sugar to keep its shape

ChippyMinton Thu 14-Jun-07 20:07:09

Has anyone got a creamy filling recipe? Not for the comp, you understand, but BIL wants something to go with the jam in his birthday VSC <whispers - like the stuff in shop-bought ones>.

pennies, got any school ftees to attend on saturday?

kids one is all done.

the onyl real VSC i am actually going to be making is for the school fete so i cant enter in the online comp as dont want to cut it open lol.

Pennies Thu 14-Jun-07 19:43:05

Have been getting some practice in here too. The Mark I is in the oven as I type. Brought back memories. Haven't made a VSC for about 15 years.

kickassangel Thu 14-Jun-07 19:42:59

slubber, i fear that i must needs terminate our relationship. i shuddered but forgave when you made a tart of yourself with that nigella woman, i grimaced but soldiered on over the whole 'new money' issue - but lakeland? and digital scales? you deserve what you get with that kind of equipment!

i am sorely tempted to travel to your village and instruct the chief judge on EXCTLY what to write for your comment card!

kickass sniffs primly, turns neatly on her heal, and flounces out of the kitchen!

hugs sliubber and pours some vodka

Pidge Thu 14-Jun-07 19:30:56

Pour yourself a large glass of wine, then another, then eat a large slab of the cake with some forbidden cream on it (to hell with those rules) - bet it doesn't taste as bad as it looks!

well tonights first attempt is going to be for the kids, no jam, just buttercream type filling (i think dd1 mentioned choc filling).

it stuck slightly to the tin, so lost a bit of an edge, and sligth zittage, not as bad as slubs, but not happy with it.

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 19:18:38

and now picture rail won't let me upload the pictures. No bloody wonder, looks like loose stools in a cake tin.

I'm going to have a drink. (and a quiet sob.)

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 19:14:09

Just taken the MkIV out of the oven.

Am uploading the photos as I type.

All I can say is very disappointing.

No I can say more than that. Complete unmitigated disaster. Wouldn't give that to my worst enemies pig. Blooody new tins, twatting fancy fangled bakoliners. Just as well the show isn't this w/e. Wouldn't be allowed in the parish Hall holding that. They would push me out into the road.

I'm not even going to refer to it as the MkIV. It will from now on be called the 'pile-o'-shite'.

MintyDixCharrington Thu 14-Jun-07 18:58:20

the first one has either been in too long or in too hot or both.
the zittage is a bit disturbing. I'm not convinced of your beating technique - I think you are trying too hard IYKWIM. lay off the beating a bit
they look a little bit.... heavy.
think you need a lighter touch, a slightly cooler oven and sift sift sift!

ChippyMinton Thu 14-Jun-07 18:50:51

What is your problem SMS? [intrigued]

slubber - cake acne = oven too hot

SlightlyMadScientist Thu 14-Jun-07 18:39:29

I like that link. I need to solve my biggest problem by wrapping my backing tin in a wet towel before I bake

<Heads off to the airing cupboard to find an old towel>

but slubs the nigella has been seriously overcooked...

ChippyMinton Thu 14-Jun-07 17:54:52

slubber - have you tried setting your oven on bottom heat only? Vague recollection of when i had this type of cooker and the manual explained when to use which setting...

Check this out -

hmmm i think i may have 'zittage' away on this lot.

newgirl Thu 14-Jun-07 16:14:12

25 quid quite a price to pay especially if 'accidentally' elbowed by fellow contestant

themoon66 Thu 14-Jun-07 15:23:38

Just looked at your pics Slubber....see what you mean about 'zittage'... never imagined it could be that bad!

Off work today. Had to go to the bank after picking DS up from GCSE History. Found myself browsing cake tins in the Co-op dept store. They didn't have silcone ones and I was VERY disappointed.

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 15:13:16

Oh God, we're on page 2 if you just put in Victoria Sponge Cake.

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 15:10:42

newgirl, sounds classy . I am becoming fond of the classic doily as I am concerned that they are becoming an endangered species.

I also cannot buy anything else related to the VSC (apart from ingredients obviously). If DH finds out he will become quite cross and eye rolly.

Pidge Thu 14-Jun-07 15:09:10

I have a classy glass cake stand courtesy of my mum ... makes even the most wonky domestic cake output look like it's from the finest patisserie.

LOL at the googling cake air holes and finding this threaad!!!!

newgirl Thu 14-Jun-07 15:06:34

i saw a lovely glass cake stand with etched doily pattern on it in divertimenti today and thought of you

stand not too high to be show-off but a bit classier than scaggy doily alone

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 15:03:10

Groove, are you entering the MN comp too?

mine are being made tonight, so i can drop them off at school tomorrow afternoon.

i will be sneaking to the cake stall to see if they sell well lol.

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 14:50:19

OK, pictures of the cakes here , I hope.

SlightlyMadScientist Thu 14-Jun-07 14:44:09

Or maybe your oven temp is too low and you are not putting cake in long enough....

Soo next attempt.

Mke sure you are at sea level
Drop 6 times
Don't over beat (try doing by hand perhaps?)
Run to the oven

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 14:40:21

SMS love that link.

'delightfully light, just moist enough to please the palate but uncomplicated enough to highlight the simple filling of jam and cream'. This is where I need to be at (without the cream obviously). I'm fearful I don't have the sponge touch.

SlightlyMadScientist Thu 14-Jun-07 14:38:43

Apparently butter gives bigger air bubbles than marg - but then we have been round that debate...

SlightlyMadScientist Thu 14-Jun-07 14:37:24
SlightlyMadScientist Thu 14-Jun-07 14:35:09

Or maybe you are not pre-heating your oven long enough

"Always pre-heat the oven, because you want the cake to start to cook and set
as soon as you put it in. If you don’t there’s a risk that the air bubbles that form
in the mixture will get too big and will join together before the cake sets. You
could end up with a cake full of holes."

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 14:32:55

OK Minty, for the MkIV (the Pre-school) I was going to do the weigh eggs (with lovely new & precise scales) and then use for quantities of flour/sugar/butter.

I'll be up on a frikin chair to do my sift tommorow.

SlightlyMadScientist Thu 14-Jun-07 14:31:38

Just googled "sponge cake air holes" and I get this bloody thread in the top 10!!!

SlightlyMadScientist Thu 14-Jun-07 14:30:18

LOL at researching tents

MintyDixCharrington Thu 14-Jun-07 14:24:26

you will end up with a zit free and completely flat cake, you nutter
your oven is too hot
turn it down a bit
and weigh your eggs
and sift high

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 14:23:20

Some more cake thoughts.
Had a long chat with a non-village friend today who had an idea re the zits. She said if I went in the oven aprox 7 mins into cooking time, the zits would have started to form and I could prick and release them, without risk to the overall rise of the cake. Opinions?

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 14:20:49

Mirage, am re your daughter and posy to the Mayor. That's a noteworthy achievement indeed .

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 14:19:15

Back from equipment recon.

SMS don't tell me I've got to go out again and buy an oven thermometer. I have just spent a bloody fortune in Lakeland buying new 7" tins, non stick liners for the 7" and 8" tins, an new set of digital scales. And some props for the MN competition.

I'm going to have to hide all the receipts you know, DH has no idea what I'm up to, he thinks I'm still researching tents.

SlightlyMadScientist Thu 14-Jun-07 13:22:28

Just cos you temp display is digital doesn't mean that is what the temperature actually is. The themostat and display have to be calibrated together.

kickassangel Thu 14-Jun-07 12:05:55

everyone buys cake at the village school - even if they've already donated one! aah bless about you & your dd!

Mirage Thu 14-Jun-07 11:27:01

I'm following this thread with interest.Our fete is at the weekend & I have got to make a cake for the cake stall.I'm dreading my poor offering being the only one not sold at the end of the day.
DD has been asked to present the mayor with a posy after he has opened the fete,so I have got to teach her how to curtsey 'like princesses do',too.

It brings back memories of me doing posy presenting at the same fete,33 years ago.I've still got the photo of me in my home made pink paisley dress with my bouquet.

kickassangel Thu 14-Jun-07 11:23:16

i give dd her own little things at the end of the worktop, then let her wash up, then finish mopping the floor.
there was one experience with mince pies - after which we had to we had to wash the WHOLE of the kitchen, put our clothes in the wash, and have a bath!

Anchovy Thu 14-Jun-07 09:32:19

Hmm - we may make one for Father's Day, although involving the DCs involves levels of kitchen hygiene that make the cake not suitable for anyone with a compromised immune system...

Slubberdegullion Thu 14-Jun-07 08:42:10

Indeed KAA, I frequently flash a photo of Mary (and Delia) at my DC.

This morning I am off into town to research tins and scales.

Prob no VSC made today, but will be in mental preparation for the MkIV (the pre-school) for tomorrow. And obviously the MN comp over the w/e.

kickassangel Wed 13-Jun-07 22:22:12

i do believe that dd and i will have to make a cake this weekend, although i doubt she has the patience for double sifting. do you think if i read to her from mary berry that she'll learn these important lessons? you're never too young.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 21:35:09

see you tomorrow pidge!

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 21:33:52

Blast, am being told to "get off that computer and stop obsessing about cakes" ....

Will tune in tomorrow for more pleasant distraction from my computing exploits!

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 21:32:55

Ahh - oven envy setting in now!!!

Rather hope I'm not a scary teacher type though - that's dp in our house - he spends his days shouting at the teenage girls of south london who would rather be txting their mates than listening to his science lessons. Me, I'm the mild mannered computer nerd!

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 21:25:07

But my new posh siemens is digital (can alter temp by 5 degs)

<strokes new oven proudly>

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 21:23:48

You may get away with 20 mins cooking time.

And you could even try 160 degrees.

Trouble is a lot of ovens are wildly inaccurate. That's why old Heston Blumenthal is so obsessed with oven thermometers.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 21:23:20

yes, yes Pidge, they're in the middle I promise

Will turn down temp tomorrow miss

<afraid of teacher emoticn>

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 21:22:31

computer playing up - excuse double post - am not hectoring you

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 21:21:10

Yup, I reckon shrinking away from sides and bubbles is a sign of overcooking. Try lower heat. And don't leave it in too long.

And you're putting your cake in the middle of the oven right?

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 21:19:20

Yes, both tins on middle shelf. 170 for 25mins (as recommended by Delia).

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 21:18:10

Yup, I reckon shrinking away from sides and bubbles is a sign of overcooking. Try lower heat. And don't leave it in too long.

And you're putting your cake in the middle of the oven right?

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 21:17:49

Don't worry I'll keep you posted Franca on the Mk V, VI VII etc etc.

I'm already feeling withdrawal symptoms

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 21:06:32

The surface is covered with lots of little lumps. looks just like trapped air bubbles under the crust.

I'm not using my oven on fan, just normal top & bottom heat (as recommended in the manual for cake baking). Will turn down the heat tomorrow then.

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 21:03:32

What exactly do you mean by zitty?

Do you mean little spots of wrinkled stuff on top?

That would suggest you're overcooking it - too hot an oven, too long in the oven.

In my fan oven I subtract 20 from the cooking temperature.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 21:02:25

The shrinking away from the sides happens to me. Will reduce tomorrows cooking time by 5mins for the MkIV.

Thank you.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 21:00:29

Pidge...where is the zitty cake sub section?

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 20:58:39

Or the triple (high) siftings SMS?

I want little bubbles in, and big bubbles out. maybe I'm transfering the mix into the tins all wrong?

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 20:57:18

Right, SlubberCakeQueen, as promised, here's a summary of Tamasin's cake tips:

The making
Weigh everything carefully

Butter should be soft but not melted – melted butter doesn’t hold air.
Cream the fat and butter very thoroughly until light and fluffy.

Add lightly beaten eggs gradually. If eggs are cold and the mix curdles add spoonful of sifted flour (though she suggests this can result in a ‘not so delicate’ cake with a coarser texture).

The mix should have a soft dropping consistency when sufficiently creamed. It will plop off the spoon when banged on the side of the bowl, but it shouldn’t slide off independently.

Put the cake in the oven immediately the mix is ready.

Don’t keep opening the oven door, and make sure it cools on a wire rack.

Cake should be well risen and evenly browned.
Touch the surface lightly and if it seems firm, it is done.
Insert a warm skewer into the cake – if it comes out dry the cake is ready.
If the cake is shrinking away from the sides of the tin it is probably over-cooked.

The disaster and why it happens
A COARSE-TEXTURED CAKE is the result of too much raising agent, so never exceed the specified amount.

That you’ve used the wrong proportion of ingredients
The oven is too cool
The cake has been exposed to a sudden draught

A sudden draught caused by opening the oven door too soon
Too hot an oven at first
Too much baking powder which causes the gluten in the flour to over stretch and the cake to collapse as a result

Not enough liquid – the mixture was too dry
Too hot an oven
Baking the cake too high up in the oven

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 20:56:46

But franca, the VSC's are having a physiological effect on me. As DH's granny said tonight...I'm becoming 'egg bound'.

SlightlyMadScientist Wed 13-Jun-07 20:54:52

I know I suggested it - but could the supreme sponge flour be introducing too much air?

No, you can't abandon us for a whole week

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 20:49:30

lol at the toast.

My DC are rapidly going off my VSC's. Today they both just licked the jam and cream off and then scarpered.

After the comp on sunday I think I will be laying off the VSC's for a week, re-charge the passion and then have another big push at perfecting the Delia.

I am embarrassed to post that after dishing out advice on baking cakes earlier in this thread, I made some banana muffins yesterday and forgot to put the egg in. They were so dry that DS1 told me 'don't like this toast mummy'. So no more advice from me till I'm back to my usual standard!

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 20:36:46

way-hey, over 400 posts on this thread!! Must be a record for the recipes section

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 20:34:57

Well the Nigella got a little drenched in this syphilitic rain on the way from the car into MIL's house, washing all the icing sugar off and re-revealing the crater. MIL said it looked v. nice though (probably a lie).

The taste was OK. Bit of a rubbery texture compared with the Bishops, and full of worm holes again.

I def. have issues with trapped air. I need to advice on this, I am prepared to reconcider droppings but need specifics from the experts re height and frequency.

Lovecat Wed 13-Jun-07 19:40:27

T'was I who mentioned Flora, several hundred posts ago (I would have replied sooner but I was doing dull things like de-nitting dd) but I must add it was not just any old Flora, but Flora BUTTERY (the clue is in the name...), which has hoodwinked numerous old ladies at my church's cake sales. (How was the Gamma version, Slubber?)

As for tins, you can't beat Silverthorns. Bloomin' brilliant, they have revolutionised my VSCs.

Robinpud, if you're still there - the Delia cake book is fab - but have you ever made her Poire Belle Helene Cake from it successfully? I've tried it twice and both times it came out like Slubber's aforementioned biscuits - I can't help feeling there's an ingredient missing from the list (like flour!)

foxinsocks Wed 13-Jun-07 19:36:41

have just made an enormous coffee cake because this thread had me thinking of cake all day (sigh). I hold you personally responsible for my ever expanding waistline Slub!

Fan ovens are fine - I just do the cakes at 170C rather than 180C.

how did it go with Mil slubs?
Question: I think I have a fan oven. Does this spell the end of my baking experiments?

filthymindedvixen Wed 13-Jun-07 17:47:43

My home made shortbread won first prize at our allotment show - on my first ever entry <<<preen>>>.
I also won novice classes for spuds, runner beans and green beans and ds won a painting comp.
Some of the old timers were giving me daggers. I thought I was going to be knobbled by marrow-wielding pensioners...

I have to have a cake done for the school fete now this saturday, ooo i cant wait! (misd)

PomsMum Wed 13-Jun-07 17:14:02

Have enjoyed this thread so much I have gone to find the local fete catalogue thingy - now according to these rules 'entries should be displayed on a suitable plate, board or tray covered with clingfilm and labelled with competitors number'

I'm thinking clingfilm = no cream, certainly no mention of doilys, sugar dusting around a stencil could cover the labelling with competitors number but might just be too smart....and no word regarding jam.

It also states 'made with 3 egg mixture' - pretty specific there then, have you considered moving to a village where you stand a chance of competing on a level playing field?

UCM Wed 13-Jun-07 15:58:29

MrsTweedy, you are banned from the MN Comp, yours look far too lovely

kickassangel Wed 13-Jun-07 14:45:03

for my birthday i made cake for my dept - i filled them with whipped cream & a touch of icing sugar to keep the cream from splodging everywhere yum

MrsTweedy Wed 13-Jun-07 14:34:40

Better go find some doilies then!

Pennies Wed 13-Jun-07 14:29:20

Deadline is this Sunday (17th) at midnight.

MrsTweedy Wed 13-Jun-07 14:27:43

I've scanned the other thread quickly & I'm up for it (I think) but I couldn't find the date?

Anna8888 Wed 13-Jun-07 14:23:58

Get Mastrad brand silicone pans - they have handles and a firmer edge so you don't get them slopping all over the place.

casbie Wed 13-Jun-07 14:22:06

i like the idea of cornish clotted cream in the filling, but regs say jam only.

: (

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 14:21:46

oh nooooo ... don't tell me there's another cake baking thread .... all is lost ... I will never get anything done ever again!

littlelapin Wed 13-Jun-07 14:21:36

Did you paint that third one, MrsTweedie? Respeck!

I'm not entering if MRsT does, hers look too good.

foxinsocks Wed 13-Jun-07 14:20:06

silicon cake tins are fabulous - I am a complete convert (in fact, bought a square one recently to attempt swiss rolls)

Slub - hope MIL doesn't notice the crater. Did you fill it up with icing to disguise it?

Pennies Wed 13-Jun-07 14:18:37

Mrs Tweedy see other thread in recipes for MN VSC comp. We're using Slubs' rules that she has to follow for her real one and giving extra points for Britishness. Three pics to be placed on your profile and stict adherance to white plate / doily requirements.

Do you "drop" your muffins, then?

MrsTweedy Wed 13-Jun-07 14:15:58

Err, not sure how the comp works?
I put my silicon muffin molds on a baking tray or it all slops everywhere.

prettybird Wed 13-Jun-07 14:15:56

For domestic purposes, definitely whipped cream. I've done the Nigella lemon variation, with lemon oil plus lemon curd and mscarponse for the filling. Yummmmmmm.

Must try the delia/Berry classic variations.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 14:15:36

MrsTweedy, are you doing the MN VSC comp (see other thread)? Your cakes look sublime.

Have to take the Nigella round to MIL's now not looking forward to the look on her face when she sees it.

Pennies Wed 13-Jun-07 14:13:22

Ooh Mrs Tweedy - are you joining in the comp then? If so I'm a tad worried. Am anticipating the biscuit effect mentioned about a million posts ago, rather than anything resembling your ones which look utterly divine.

Also I'm planning on getting some silicon tray this PM - but am worried about the drop. What if it bounces?

foxinsocks Wed 13-Jun-07 14:13:12

or was it traditionally whipped cream that was the filling and the buttercream has just taken over in popularity?

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 14:12:47

themoon, Marguerite Patten OBE. I think I love her. What a totally amazing woman.

LOL at Spam cookbook, but I want that book of British teas.

Who here lives in Brighton? We need someone to persuade Marguerite to come on MN.

foxinsocks Wed 13-Jun-07 14:09:57

ooh you get a good rise out of yours Mrs Tweedy

<seriously considers making a victoria sponge to compare>

I prefer it with whipped cream (but let's face it, anything more calorific and I'm there) but I'm sure traditionalists would argue for the buttercream

I once made one of those fatless sponges - the ones you have to whisk. It was so unbelievably light, it makes any butter sponge seem dense but it only lasts for about a day.

MrsTweedy Wed 13-Jun-07 14:06:41

Oooh I just have to join in as Cakes Are My Thing (I make paintings of them).

I make VSC cake a lot (we call it ToYou Cake - as we always sing Happy Birthday To You when it's served!) and I've put 2 pics on my profile page, one made with 4/4/4/2 and Nigella's with 8/8/8/4 and although the photos are bad I think you can tell that Nigella's is a denser, richer sponge. FWIW you should never make it in a blender - I do Nigella's in a KitchenAid without the baking powder.

Big debate in the Tweedy house re whipped cream; I prefer it with, everyone else without (but it is homemade jam)

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 14:05:36

Excellent pidge,

need troubleshooting with regards to surface zits and lippage, and mini wormery effect within. I have a feeling these are all linked to trapped air, should I be increasing the frequency (or height) of the drops.

themoon66 Wed 13-Jun-07 14:03:57

never mind Nigella et al. Young upstarts the lot of em.

This lady has been doing VSCs before you or I were born.... and we are talking ^dried egg^ in wartime! Hell, she can probably turn out a decent cake in a trench whilst carrying a small firearm.

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 13:58:34

I was discussing weighing eggs only on Saturday morning. That was with regard to cupcakes, where I think it's probably a bit OTT as they tend to be covered in gloopy icing and scoffed by little kids who couldn't care less. But I LIKE it for the serious village show baker!!

Can I just add another authority name to the mix here .... Tamasin Day Lewis and her kitchen bible anyone? Her recipe will be just like anoyone elses, but she has a good page of 'diagnosing where you went wrong', i.e. she gives a description of your cake mishaps and then tells you what to change to fix it next time.

I'll dig it out later .... must do some work though first!

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 13:50:40

re eggs & chickens.

Is a chicken for life, not just for the Village Show?

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 13:49:08

Right I'm going to buy new scales tomorrow, and some new 18cm tins (so I can do the 4/4/4 & 2). Better show cake size.

Anna8888 Wed 13-Jun-07 13:48:40

VSC tips:

- unsalted butter, beaten with the sugar from room temperature to a white cream using a hand-held electric beater

- very fresh eggs - buy them just laid from a farm

- silicone baking pans - stops the edges burning to a crisp

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 13:46:49

I'm sorry PrincessPea, like a churlish toddler I was just pushing the boundaries.

You and the others before you were right. The magimix is for the weak and lazy.

I will be lifting my sifting arm very very high tomorrow for the MkIV (pre-school cake sale)

PrincessPeaNips Wed 13-Jun-07 13:44:21

I challenge you to make your next cake the PrincessPeaHead Weighed Egg and High Sifted Special

And then come on here, sobbing, to tell me how glorious it is and how I've saved your social bacon

God I'd LOVE that! ha ha

PrincessPeaNips Wed 13-Jun-07 13:42:43

also just to put an additional nuance into the whole thing, some people swear you have to weigh your eggs first, then use the same weight of sugar, butter and
self-raising flour, plus a pinch of salt

no baking powder obviously

why don't you try that? eggs vary so much in size and weight (especially if you are using eggs from your own chickens preen preen)

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 13:42:34

PPN - hear hear. It's these modern gadgets that get in the way of a fine light and airy cake-tastic experience!

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 13:40:20

A fine plan! I think Nigella minus her crazy food processing obsession is pretty much like Delia anyway.

Personally I could talk about cakes every day for a year or more.

Come to think of it ... I do ...

PrincessPeaNips Wed 13-Jun-07 13:40:14

I have given you the golden rule
and you have ignored it to your cost.


Sift very high, fold in carefully, do it all by hand except the initial creaming of butter and sugar, and it will be as light and fluffy as a light and fluffy thing.

But there's no telling some people <<<shakes head wearily>>>
I bet you the reigning champion knows that it is all in the sift <<<folds arms primly across bosom>>>

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 13:39:07

Pidge, I think this week is recipe experimentation, and from then on in it will be practice and perfection.

(not sure this thread is sustainable for another whole month though)

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 13:32:48

Aaah - that's a relief - several more weeks of cake intrigue!

My additional tuppence worth is this ... the actual recipe doesn't matter that much, it's all in the execution. So decide on one recipe now and practice the same one over and over again. I think Nigella is fine but DON'T use the food processor. Delia is probably better for a relative beginner (not suggesting this is you by the way). Then the crucial thing is in the quality of ingredients, mixing them properly, and getting the cooking right, e.g. not opening the oven door every two minutes to look at the dratted thing, don't overcook - my experience is that modern ovens often need a shorter baking time and even a slightly lower temperature than the books suggest.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 13:30:46

But the 6/6/6 minus the baking powder is just the naked Delia!!!

I will try out the Mary as I am a follower (and she does look to be the very epitomy of the show class cake baker).

littlelapin Wed 13-Jun-07 13:27:45

Yes, I had to go and look up the thread

foxinsocks Wed 13-Jun-07 13:27:36

I know Slub! (think it may even have been me who mentioned the baking powder further down!)

but you can leave out the baking powder if you are willing to beat the sugar and butter (and eggs) then fold in the flour carefully.

You'll have to try two - one with the BP and one without and do a taste test.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 13:25:57

Ooooooooooh nice word bump usage there LL

<scurries back to thread to remind myself what they mean>

Pidge, show not until sat July 14th, which I know is ages off, but if anything this weeks attempts have taught me is that I need a lot of practice if I want a placing.

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 13:25:18

Hi motherinf - have you tried out your baby muffin tray yet? I'm having a muffin craze at the moment - triple chocolate, banana and blueberry have all been created in the last week (that's 3 varieties, not one monstrous mixed up muffin by the way)

<guilty emoticon> for passing on Nigella's recipe. I'm now nurturing hard feelings towards her

motherinferior Wed 13-Jun-07 13:22:48

And when it's done, can you post a picture? It has taken the place of Ugly Betty in my life.

littlelapin Wed 13-Jun-07 13:22:00

Ah, slubbers, they are all bloviating. You family must be suffering from sagination by now!

Pidge Wed 13-Jun-07 13:21:51

I so love this thread - when is this fabled show? I need to plan alternative entertainment when this saga comes to a dramatic conclusion!!

Poor old Nigella though - I know she is a bit erratic, but I can't help have a fondness for her. Did you follow her instructions to do the cake mixing in the food processor? I did that once and it was hopeless - far too dense a cake. So I always go for the traditional mixing method.

Defo agree that ingredients should be room temperature before starting.

Butter is a must - I heard mention of flora earlier - don't even think about it!

Good luck!

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 13:12:29

fox, am looking in my Mary Berry Aga book now.

She's gone for the devils proportions.....and

I can't quite believe it

a rounded teaspoon of baking powder .

I'm very suprised. Those WI judges can taste the baking powder you see.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 13:08:45

yes absolutely motherinferior, no wrathful tigers on this here thread oh no.

Am slightly regretting using Jerusalem quote due to obvious high brow literary types who are also interested in cake perfection techniques.

foxinsocks Wed 13-Jun-07 13:07:27

Slub, you have to go with Mary Berry. She is Queen of Cakes and I always use her recipes (and they've not failed me yet!).

motherinferior Wed 13-Jun-07 13:01:21

WB also suggested that the Tygers of Wrath are wiser than the Horses of Instruction: a good principle in many ways but not, I fear, when it comes to Cake.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 13:00:57

Anchovy, hmmmm yes that worm quote is rather daft (but has made me think about can a worm experience forgiveness. Rage obviously yes, but regret at things past, I'm not so sure).

midnightexpress, yes eggs and butter at room temp. Although there is nothing of either left in my house now.

The Nigella (so far) has been a great disappointment (I know, I know I was warned etc). Haven't eaten it yet but the overall look is disapointing. Tried to hide the crater with a heavy handed splash of icing fuck up.

Have stuck two fingers up at the rules and added whipped cream and whole strawberries to the filling.

Unless it tastes like sponge dropped down from on high by the Good Lord himself then I won't be doing this one again.

midnightexpress Wed 13-Jun-07 11:38:42

haven't got time to read the whole thread so apologies if this has already been mentioned but i belive ingredients (esp. eggs) at room temperature when you start helps avoid curdling (and therefore a heavy sponge).

And Nigella has a cheat's rasp jam recipe involving just sticking rasps and sugar in the oven. Doesn't keep well, but would be easy enough to make on the eve of the show I think. Will copy recipe for you if you like.

Anchovy Wed 13-Jun-07 10:32:45

Slubbers, William Blake also wrote "The cut worm forgives the plough". I bet it doesn't. I think therefore his words should be treated with a pinch of salt.

Don't say I didn't warn you about Nigella...

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 10:28:31

righto off to rythmn time.

back later for the full account of the nigella.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 10:27:42

Anchovy re noble failure.

I would like to quote these words to you.

'I shall not cease from mental fight,
nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
'till we have built Jerusalem,
in Englands green and pleasant land'.

Now were those words inspired by a considered effort to fail in a cake baking competition?

I think not.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 10:24:10

The Nigella is out.

Shit I have a crater crust. Maybe I should have dropped it. No surface zittage though.

Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks. MIL will not be v impressed.

kickassangel Wed 13-Jun-07 10:22:45

anchovy - i know nothing about these kind of stealth manouvres. obviously, this is why i have never got anywhere in life, in spite of my excellent cake baking skills!

Anchovy Wed 13-Jun-07 10:15:00

I am waiting for the results with interest. I will be interested in this. As I think I may have mentioned before, Nigella is very unreliable on the baking front.

Now, tactics. Make sure you don't try to cover too many angles at once. You don't want to be the woman who opens the fete and whose daughter is the Rose Queen and leader of the Pond Committee and Queen of the Rainbows or whatever. That would show that you are Trying Too Hard and that is very Un-British. Select a few key goals and infiltrate by stealth, would be my advice.

I'm still liking the Noble Failure approach in the first year of cake competition. As I have said, failure can be very bonding between you and the other recipients of cutting comments. You bond over this and slowly you will set up an alternative power base...

kickassangel Wed 13-Jun-07 10:05:24

no judge in this land would find you guilty after tasting a VSC baked in an aga

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 10:02:28

KAA, I have Mary's Aga book. But not her cake one. I'm sure a friend has got it so will ask to borrow.

I also love Mary. Can't believe I thought of Delia before her.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 09:59:39

The Nigella is in.

No need to drop this one, poured out of magimix like pancake batter. A drop would have been extremely foolish.

With regards to the Aga. Don't remember actally putting a cake into the tin of water. Upside down lemon suprise pudding yes, sponge no.
Our old house is currently vacant. And I have a feeling that I still have a set of keys. I could creep round there in the night, start up the aga, and come back the next night to make the cake.

Is a conviction for breaking and entering worth the rewards of doing well in the show????

kickassangel Wed 13-Jun-07 09:53:20
kickassangel Wed 13-Jun-07 09:49:40

i am def spending too much time thinking about this - just as i was going to bed last night i started trying to think of occassions when i could bake a cake without eating it ll myself!
alos, suddenly remembered something in an aga cook book about standing the tin in a bigger tine of water - stops the sides from scorching & keeps moisture levels high? BUT that was for aga cooking & perhaps a little too poncy even for this?
btw - forget nigella (all flash and no substance) and even delia (young upstart) the place to go for TRUE cooking knowledge is Mary Berry!
Could you possible go back to your old house, explain the situation & negotiate a loan of the aga - swap them a cake for a couple of hours access? Let this be a lesson- next time you move house you should retain visitation rights.

WaynettaSlob Wed 13-Jun-07 09:45:32

You see if I tried DROPPING, I guarantee you there would be splatters of cake mixture everywhere, and then the tin would slide off the surface on to the floor!!!

littlelapin Wed 13-Jun-07 09:30:06

Oh casbie, you told her! <pouts>

Actually, I think it was 70cm.

TMMJ, read kickassangel's post on Mon 11-Jun-07 10:42:25

tmmj, I think she dropped it from a high of 30 cm...
I'm still thinking of Barbara Pym. Actually, I'm going to re-read some of my favourites.

casbie Wed 13-Jun-07 09:26:46

how do people cope with an oven without a glass door...

hemildmanneredjanitor - just drop tin on counter to get the biggest bubbles out of your VSC.

learning all the time!

someone tell me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!

littlelapin Wed 13-Jun-07 09:08:50


Give it a try and tell us how that turns out

will someone please explain dropping? do you literally drop the tin on the floor or something?
does it not all spill?

Pennies Wed 13-Jun-07 08:52:20

Ah jsut seen thread re. Dh's fete status. All is redemmed.

As for today's clothing decision I wold just do a Calendar Girls and do it in the buff! I'm sure that would make most things rise.

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 08:51:44

interesting pennies....will think on that at length.

right must go

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 08:50:31

oooh I'd love some tiffin.

We'll do a virtual swap when the Nigella is completed.

Right off to do Pre-school drop off.

see you later

Pennies Wed 13-Jun-07 08:49:59

Slubs, I see my recectly shed townie status still pervades my modus operandi and advice re. tactics. I therefore retract my hasty advice to clobber the competition and second Anchovy's counsel to seek the favoured underdog position.

However, Califrau's point about match fixing due to your marital links is sage indeed. Your DH must seek a lowlier position in fete organisation next year for you to truly succeed. So not to hurt the male ego I would pitch this demotion to him as being akin to Dennis Thatcher's supportive role to the Iron Lady during her reign. You must be sure to advise him of the 5 year plan of course and if this create problems I am sure the nice ladies in Relationships will be able to assist. <imagines long thread entitled "VSC ruined my marriage...">

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 08:49:04

Hmmm no tiara.

I could put on my wedding dress. No that's ridiculous.

Tell you what, I'll put in my diamond earings. And maybe put on my new Birkenstocks rather than my sensible echo walking sandals.

littlelapin Wed 13-Jun-07 08:48:57

Swap you some tiffin?

littlelapin Wed 13-Jun-07 08:48:40

I was thinking more ParcelForce?

WaynettaSlob Wed 13-Jun-07 08:46:09

oh Slubber you should publish a Bridget-Jones stylee diary about this - 'twould be a best seller

Back to dropping - is it to do with the actual way in which you pour the mixture into the tin?

Oh, and am not sure about the BHS apron - perhaps not reverant enough? Although Elgar is a good counter-action. Perhaps you should wear a tiara or something to raise the tone???

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 08:44:19

You are most welcome LL, I think the length of your trip up north might however, not be worth it

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 08:42:58

Righto, apology over, lets crack on.

re being married to the village fete chair. This bears no relevance upon the cake awards.

You see village fete and village show are quite seperate entities. Different location, different commitee, whole different ball game.

Today, with some assistance from small hands, I will be making VSC Mk III (the Nigella) .

I note from Franca's copy that it contains the dreaded baking soda, so already its in an uphill battle against the Delia.

It will be consumed at MIL's first garden tea party of the year (the stakes are high).

Today I will be wearing a BHS yellow apron, and listening to Elgar's Cello concerto.

I am undecided with regards to the drop.

littlelapin Wed 13-Jun-07 08:38:08

Slubbers, you bring light to my day , you are blardy hilarious woman.

(Can I have some cake please?!)

Slubberdegullion Wed 13-Jun-07 08:36:15

I have an apology to make.

Before going to bed, quite unthinkingly, I said, "The VSC is but a tool to me".

Last night I had a dream. An endless green field stretched before me, filled with row upon row of perfectly formed Victoria Sponge Cakes. Their quiet condemnation was deafening.

It gave me the willies I can tell you.

I am truely sorry. I showed great disrespect both to the sponge, and to my fellow bakers & advisors here. I seek your forgiveness.

robinpud Wed 13-Jun-07 03:05:14

quite so Califrau- pointless pointless.

However at our show names are not on cakes so unless they can spot your doilie you are ok.. however comments afterwards might not help sbdg's subtle campagin to rule the village...

Califrau Wed 13-Jun-07 01:47:59

Stop sifting RIGHT NOW. you are doomed and I cannot believe you didnt realise this.

you said it yourself...."I am wife of the chair of the village fete commitee " of course you can't win. Whatever entry you put in you can never get more than a muttered about 2nd otherwise it'd be seen as favouritism toward the chair of the village fete commitee <sigh> and even then there could be cries of "fix"

[shakes head sadly]

Slubberdeseedlessraspberryjam Wed 13-Jun-07 00:29:30

My word PrincessPeaNips, you are absolutely right. My aspirations do seem terribly Lower-Middle Middle Class when compared with yours.

Loaning out my gardner eh... (currently a man comes and does the hedges once a year), that will def. have to go in the 10+ year plan.

I am helping to judge the fancy dress at the fete. Is that not a step in the right direction?

I better go to bed now. Lied to DH and told him I was 'just going on line to print out Nigellas sponge recipe'.

PrincessPeaNips Wed 13-Jun-07 00:19:53

Actually I'm so top of the heap I spend each year frantically ignoring all the incredibly heavy hints dropped in my direction that the village fete should be held in our gardens "Well of course it was always held at [name of house] in Major Godawful-Paine's day. So lovely, it was." "Oh really? Gosh, that must have been a lot of work for him. The village green is always lovely though, and such easy parking." Nightmare on legs. Have held it at bay for 5 years without once actually ever having to say "not on your nelly". Quite an achievement!

PrincessPeaNips Wed 13-Jun-07 00:15:56

Slubber, you are but a mere child in your aspirations
To truly be top of the heap, you need to be aspiring not to bake cakes for the fete, nor to be the wife of the grunt who organises it, but to OPEN the fete. Not to be on the pond committee, but to volunteer your GARDENER to be on the pond committee. Not to do the church flowers, but allow the church flower committee to cut whatever blooms and foliage they require from YOUR garden. Not be the secretary of the village WI, but to be the person who says "well of course our WI is simply MARVELLOUS, they work so hard and I make sure to buy enough jams and preserves from their little sale to last me through until christmas. Well one has a duty to SUPPORT the village, doesn't one?".

Honestly. Do you know NOTHING?

Slubberdeseedlessraspberryjam Wed 13-Jun-07 00:03:27

Anchovy, Pennies, my endgame is in the forefront of my mind. The VSC is but a tool, an exceptionally tasty and fairly calorific tool mind, but still is just a piece of equipment in my toolbox of where I want to be in the social heirachy of this village.

Obviously I wasn't born here so that is an indelible stain on my logbook. I am still a relative newbie (and will be for many years to come). I don't do horses, or gardening, or play bridge, and am not involved in the pond commiteee. These are all further black marks.

In my favour dd2 was born here, I am heavily involved in toddlers and girl guiding. And my current trump card is I am wife of the chair of the village fete commitee (an important position indeed).

I suppose my ultimate goal is to be asked to do the Mothering Sunday New Testement Reading in church. Or have either of my daughters crowned Rose Queen. Or become secretary of the village WI. Or return to work and contribute to society in that manner (fairly low down the list really).

I'm thinking that the highly commended VSC may be a good move. I need to keep my enemies close, lulled into a false sense of security. I am liking the 3-5 year concept.

sophable Tue 12-Jun-07 22:43:55

i have sent out a batman like distress signal (a silhouette of a cake tin beamed from my house to hers).

she'll be here anon.

Megglevache Tue 12-Jun-07 22:39:54

Message withdrawn

sophable Tue 12-Jun-07 22:38:51

this is the best thread ever.

you need countess dracula.

she is queen of pudding and cake

SlightlyMadScientist Tue 12-Jun-07 22:11:18

Thr dropping - causes the biggest air bubbles to rise to teh top and burst so that the cake has a nice even texture of small even bubbles.

Except Slubber got zits when she tried it first time

kickassangel Tue 12-Jun-07 22:08:44
WaynettaSlob Tue 12-Jun-07 21:53:46

Did anyone explain what 'dropping' was?

(and how long before a reference to this thread appears in the press????)

Waswondering Tue 12-Jun-07 21:45:23

I made a truly excellent sponge in my mother's 4 oven aga when I was 15, but have never got round to repeating the experiment. No idea how I made it but I remember mum and I falling out over it

WideWebWitch Tue 12-Jun-07 21:42:52

I once completely buggeresd up a sponge in an Aga. Used the cold shelf thing and everything.

Waswondering Tue 12-Jun-07 21:41:48

Re 4 oven aga - I think you need to put the shelf in the middle of the baking oven and the cakes underneath - this reduces the heat. Using a thermometer should help too - does Mary Berry's aga book have a VSC recipe?

(As I type that, I hear a 1940s BBC commentator, in clipped RP, announcing, "and here stepping forward to receive her VSC for outstanding services to bakery is Mrs Slubbergullion")

Good luck!

(And fab thread too!)

Anchovy Tue 12-Jun-07 21:31:27

But Pennies that's why she needs to think about her endgame. Is Fernando Alonso playing nicely with Lewis Hamilton? No sirree - the new boy on the block has ruffled feathers. A "failure" will lull them into a false sense of security (and we all love the Plucky British Loser), and position her to be everyone's favourite next year, the Underdog.

PrincessPeaNips Tue 12-Jun-07 19:30:57

(oh and for clean sides you need to line each whole tin properly (ie round base and bands for the sides) with very lightly greased baking paper

or if you are SERIOUS, with specially cut bakeoglide )

PrincessPeaNips Tue 12-Jun-07 19:28:44

the key to a good victoria sponge is a Very High Sift

that is my royal pronouncement. if you get placed, the sift will have done it [nod] [saynomore]

Greensleeves Tue 12-Jun-07 19:28:41

300 fkn posts about cake

<wanders off, shaking head>

Pennies Tue 12-Jun-07 19:27:58

Anchovy - interesting softly softly approach you have there re. tactics.

There's always the Lewis Hamilton approach (i.e. come from nowhere to just blast the oppostition to smithereens - look how much cred that's got him). I say aim high.

The current incumbent of the title has had it two years in a row now and I reckon she may be deeply hated by others in town. There may even be a Midsomers kind of sabotage attempt being planed as we type. Knock her off the top spot and those who despie her will love you for it. Better watch your back in the future though - you could diversify into chutneys, jams and maybe start to crochet your own doyleys / doilies to ensure the future safety of yourself and your family.

I reckon that this village needs shakin' up and the cake stall is the best place to do that.

Wilbur Tue 12-Jun-07 19:15:24

Another vote for the Delia sponge here, over Nigella (although I do like many of Nigella's cakes). Used to make the Delia one endlessly in my teens, when I could eat a whole cake in one sitting and not weigh in 8lbs heavier the next day. [wilbur sighs and looks down at her thighs, spreading over the kitchen chair]

V funny thread by the way. If anything were to make me want to move to the country, this would be it.

I was expecting you sooner or later motherinferior .
OK I confess I followed Nigella's recipe, it wasn't the moist cake ever, but I thought I must have done something wrong. After all, I'm Italian, I can do Carbonara and risotti, but baking is not really in my DNA. And now I find out that nigella was a baking faux pas. Oh dear! Havo to get a Delia asap.

motherinferior Tue 12-Jun-07 17:54:52

Why have I only just found this thread? Cake and Village Intrigue...

What's Mr Anchovy's reservation re Nigella?

Anchovy Tue 12-Jun-07 17:50:33

No, No, No - Nigella does NOT know what she is talking about on the baking front. Even DH - who is slavish in his admiration for Nigella - thinks she is suspect in this regard.

But let's talk tactics: this is about much more than a cake. Firstly - how do you want to be seen in the village. I think you need a three year plan. This year, I think we are really going for a "highly commended" at most. You won't put anyone's nose out of joint and will give yourself a good platform for next year.

Alternatively you could do a laughably duff cake this year (eg by following Nigella's recipe) to get the sympathy vote and garner a huge amount of hints and tips. Plus it is very bonding getting a crap result. This gives you a platform for a highly commended next year, and then a sweep to victory in 2009.

Its all about the long game...

bakedpotato Tue 12-Jun-07 17:20:20

So anxious to hear what the bish made of his cake. Any feedback from your friend?

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 16:58:57

Now the Bishops cake episode is over, I would like to move on and consider Anchovie's thoughts regarding strategy and tactics.

Also eggs still concern me.

I have a VSC to make for friday (Pre-school cake sale). I am considering being unfaithful to Delia and having a playful flirt with Nigellas sponge. Opinions?

Post Rainbows I'm seeing spiderman with DH and will therefore be unable to attend here , please, please keep up the thoughts & suggestions. The energy here is quite something.

btw UCM have joined the VSC comp. Excellent idea

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 16:53:07

soapbox, many thanks. I'm so very definately going to buy that book.

Pennies, my aga was just a 2 oven. Top runner of the simmering oven was used most frequently. But a 4 oven....well you have the baking oven there (you lucky old cow), how can you possibly cock it up??

Annejones, butter icing right out. A def. no no.
The 2 cakes vs the large cake cut into 2 is, I am being led to believe, a source of great consternation the nation over. Personally I would always go for the 2 cakes, but that is because I am shockingly inept with a knife.

UCM Tue 12-Jun-07 14:55:03

I have started a thread for a MN VSC comp if anyone is interested. It's in recipes.

newgirl Tue 12-Jun-07 14:44:47

can you buy 'home made' jam from a wi fair anywhere? probably from another village?

ours get advertised in local paper so then you have your jam sorted

AnneJones Tue 12-Jun-07 14:39:40

Briliant thread! But can I ask clarification on two points? If I am not considering entering a village competition (as I live in London) would it be acceptible, or a dreadful faux pas, to;

a) include lovely buttercream with the jam?
b) make the sponge in a lage tin then slice in two.

Please don't laugh - am a cake-novice. But craving one now. If it helps, I would be listening to radio 4 and wearing a Kidston floral apron (if I wasn't at work, pretending to work while reading Mumsnet).

Pennies Tue 12-Jun-07 14:34:31

Slubber - I note you used to own an Aga. After reading this thread I'm just desperate to get baking but my cake attempts in my 4-oven have been dire.

How would you bake a VSC in a 4-oven aga?

Def up for a comp! Bring it on!!!

soapbox Tue 12-Jun-07 14:01:51

Still haven't called MIL but will do so soon!

In the meantime - you need this!

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"It's not just the produce that makes village shows up and down the country so special; it's the people, their stories, their personalities, and their quirkiness," says James Martin.

"What's great about everything on offer is that it's made and produced by people who really care about what they do. How else could you explain why someone would spend up to a year growing massive long carrots in drainpipes down the side of their house, just for a rosette and 30 quid if they win?"

The Great British Village Show Cookbook features dozens of new ways to make the most of fresh produce and recreate a slice of country life in your kitchen. Uncover the secrets of the fruitiest strawberry jam, the tangiest pickles, the lightest Victoria sponge and the most satisfying meals, brimming with just-harvested fruit and vegetables.

Village show contestants share their favourite recipes, passed from family to family, and the expert judges reveal insiders' tips for growing the tastiest ingredients. Choose from recipes for every occasion, from light meals and wholesome dinners, to cakes, breads, jams and pickles.

The Great British Show Village Cookbook is packed with mouthwatering recipes including Honey Duck Breast With Chicory, Vanilla Castle Pudding With Raspberry Jam, Pear and Rosemary Crumble With Cinnamon Sauce, and Chocolate Stout Cake.

Recipes are easy to follow with colourful photographs to show you the finished dish. This is a good old fashioned recipe book with plenty of traditional ideas so that you can make the most of fresh, natural ingredients from the comfort of your own home.

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The Great British Village Show takes the Village show to a national level, with six regional heats in some of the most beautiful stately homes in Great Britain, each heat comprising of 15 categories.

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The Great British Village Show Cookbook is published by DK. Priced is £18.99 for the hardback edition.

For more information and to buy the book online click on

casbie Tue 12-Jun-07 13:53:26

wow! love this thread and read every one!!

i made a victoria sponge for my son's birthday yesterday, using 4442 combo doubled to make it 8883...

free range eggs
sieved flour/baking powder
granular sugar (i know, i know will buy caster from now on)
strawberry jam (hubby hates raspberry)
and icing sugar topping
strawberries cut in half to decorate
centre strawberry whole with green bit still left on

and it was the best cake i've ever made!

slub i sympathise with the biscuit, mine used to get disguised with allsorts of colourful icing sugar!

will heed warning about drop for future ref....

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 13:52:29

Have to go and jam and sprinkle the gamma. Then will have to do some hands on parenting with DC (NOT baking).

May try picturerail later. Nice tent btw lucycat

Lucycat Tue 12-Jun-07 13:50:29

So does it have to be regulation VSC, raspberry filling, castor sugar sprinkling, no lippage, no buttercream filling (boo hoo)
no cooling rack marks?


better get practicing.

UCM Tue 12-Jun-07 13:45:18

Ooooooooooo yes, I would lurve to have a cake competition, bet mine will get lippage though.

I think this thread is the bestest one ever for a long time

Lucycat Tue 12-Jun-07 13:43:28

This is Picturetrail just register then you can upload them and then link us to your faboolous cakes!

here are some of my photos in Picturetrail guess what they are of?

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 13:42:31

yes misdee, just jam. Cake does have a certain WW2 minimalist quality to it.

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 13:41:24

No pretty bird. lakeland cake release to bottom & sides. Cake slips out like a greased pig.

misdee Tue 12-Jun-07 13:41:04

so just jam?


Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 13:39:55

Whats that then lucycat?

prettybird Tue 12-Jun-07 13:39:55

Glad you got minimal lippage. Are you also greasing (and flouring?) the sides of the in, in addition to the lakeland plasitc non stick thingy for the bottom.

Lucycat Tue 12-Jun-07 13:38:26

no tis peasy.

Put them onto Picturetrail!

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 13:38:14

For the gamma I'm using the Bonne Maman raspberry preserve. Personally I prefer whipped double cream as well, but competition rules forbid this (health & safety).

misdee Tue 12-Jun-07 13:36:10

what do you do for filling?

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 13:32:55

I will need Dh's assistance to do the photos.
I am quite incompetent with regards to such things.

Lucycat Tue 12-Jun-07 13:30:49

gawd cheshire life is sooo scary - I used to teach out 'there' and it's a mine field of etiquette and horseyness.

Still no pictures?

Could we have our own cake comp?

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 13:27:27

suzywong's recomendation re tea towel.

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Jun-07 13:27:05

I'm still lurking [housewife]

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 13:24:57

Oh dear, am just posting away to myself here.

Well the gamma is looking goooooood.

Minimal lippage.

I still have the zit phenomenon, but no crater crust (phew). That whole dropping business is looking most suspect.

On a brighter note the thin tea towel recommendation over the cooling rack is working a treat. No marks and also a total absence of a moist bottom. Thank you to whoever suggested that. (will go and check)

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 13:14:44

To answer previous posts;

re oven. I did used to own an Aga. I loved it with a great passion (in fact dd2 was concieved practically on top of it and born next to it). It made a perfect cake. But then we moved down the road, and now I have a very efficient Siemens. My mother tells me that when cake baking you should use conventional oven and not fan (better rising or summat).

My tins are Tesco's non stick sandwich. I have no OTT spillage. I do not line but apply lake-lands no stick cake away product thigmy.

My scales are shite. I need some new ones without a doubt (ones with weights etc).

re Bishops tea party. Well it turns out that his minion who is coming to collect is also in my book group. I will ask her to lurk by the cakes stand and eaves-drop on VSC comments.

re apron. sensible blue & white striped variety.

re music. sang Zadok the priest (alto line) whilst putting mix in tins.

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 12:57:25

The Bishops Sponge: gamma, now in oven.

The alpha version is now semi consumed. tbh I really couldn't have handed it over, the pox ridden effort that it was, that and incessant nagging from DC/DH and my general unease about how it might taste.

Well by-jingo's it certainly had a buttery flavour, but it was a tad heavy, and if I'm honest maybe a little dry. Also the middle of the cake is full of frickin holes. Like a little mini wormery in there. that can't be right.

So with the gamma version I've gone for flora butterly. Creamed up v. nicely.

Oh yes on another note, do you know we have all been spelling doily wrong. According to Mr Sainsbury it is Doyley. I have some now, and some jolly primrose yellow paper plates to send tothe Bishop.

right will now read mid mornings posts/advice.

lol at picked onions being ridiculed (sorry the moon).
I'm known for disliking the countryside and cities with less than 500.000 inhabitants (that's why I've been slightly depressed for the last 7 years ), but I'm thinking of moving to slubber's village....

MegaLegs Tue 12-Jun-07 11:54:54

Just looked on the village web site - our show is 4th August - I've always wanted to enter. Will find out what categories there are.

EllieK Tue 12-Jun-07 11:45:11

we had our village fayre at the weekend, I helped organise it and none of us knew about 'the rules' so anything went! some ladies in the village got quite cross at this but we were informed that a Victoris Sponge has only jam and no cream.

that disqualified the man that sandwiched his together using mushy peas!

robinpud Tue 12-Jun-07 11:41:38

Probably best to hum the archers theme tune abd think of Phil and Jill whilst dropping the cake!

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Jun-07 11:35:34

ooh ooh i have an emma bridgwater apron and radio 4 Feel the love LOL

robinpud Tue 12-Jun-07 11:34:05

I also think that your apron matters. Plastic wipe off is a definite no-no- the plastic will get into the VSC. I am thinking an apron probably something not disimilar to Cath Kidston. It's probably also important to have radio 4 playing quietly in the background so that the vsc will feel the love

robinpud Tue 12-Jun-07 11:34:04

I also think that your apron matters. Plastic wipe off is a definite no-no- the plastic will get into the VSC. I am thinking an apron probably something not disimilar to Cath Kidston. It's probably also important to have radio 4 playing quietly in the background so that the vsc will feel the love

themoon66 Tue 12-Jun-07 11:33:33

Read whole thread. Sat here laughing. At work and supposed to be working though. Now I just want to nip home and start baking.

Must add... I DO live in a village and have never dared enter any baking in local competitions. I was traumatised at an early age by my mother entering pickled onions that were ridiculed in 1977. She never recovered, poor woman.

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Jun-07 11:08:20

slubber, how is your equipment list looking now (never mind the special ingredients)

old style balance scales
professional cake tins
sugar sprinkling device for the dusting of caster sugar
etc etc

a kitchen like this should do it

slubber & scullery maid

littlelapin Tue 12-Jun-07 10:51:23

This thread has me in tears . I'm going to bookmark it in the hope that we might one day live in a village!

so how is the bishops cake turned out? i'm very very interested in this!

misdee Tue 12-Jun-07 10:18:47

oooooooo i cant tell you that

its school fete this weekend as well. I wonder if i should tajke on the school cook for baking

sugarfree Tue 12-Jun-07 10:14:11

Woah Misdee,you can't come in here bragging about your cakes without leaving a blow by blow account of how you made it and which recipe you used.
This is The VSC Campaign thread you know.

kickassangel Tue 12-Jun-07 10:11:33

just a thought - what kind of tins are you suing, and what kind of oven do you have?
the best cakes i ever made were in a rayburn (which takes hlaf hour to light and several hours to warm up so not generally in use) as they give a very gentle and even heat, whereas your modern gas/electric have definite hot spots. a fan oven is better, but turn the heat down slightly from the recipe.
cake tins - really thick, professional ones, spring sides are the best - make turning out easier & the wight of the metal keeps the baking more even than a thin tin. you can hire them from cake shops & bakers.
is there a set height as well as wieght for the cake? that could affect the recipe!

part of me is still thinking - what a load of tosh i never bother with all this, but nowadays if i bake it's with dd helping. in my youth my fairy cakes did win first prize at village fete, but it was a very competitive 'well done for trying' and no rude comments kind of thing. i was so young that i barely remember it.

part of me is also thinking - gosh i need to read up more about eggs so i know the best kind to get. then i remember i'm at work & should be reading more about the 7 deadly sins, although i think i've covered gluttony well.

BTW - PICTURES of your various cakes. please!

misdee Tue 12-Jun-07 10:06:16

well i am not in baking comps, but my victoria sponge went down a treat with the kids.

I have to make another one this weekend for in-laws

<near chester apparently tmmj. I suggested barbara pym, but not sure she's at all happy with the reference...>
Agree with Anchovy re strategy.

prettybird Tue 12-Jun-07 10:01:49

Are you using sandwich tins or are you using larger (18 or 20 inch) tins. Sandwich tins can sometins be too shallow.

If you are getting good at getting the cake to rise (and it sounds like you are), then you will have problems with the cake rising and spilling over the edge of a sandwich tin and creating a lip. I now use a pair of "taller" (Christmas cake type) cake tins and don't have that problem any more.

i am all hungry reading this thread!

where does slub live? this is the question? obviously she is a character in a joanna trollope novel- cakes for the bishop et al!!!

someone please explain dropping for me?

i will give no advice as i am a TERRIBLE baker!!

Anchovy Tue 12-Jun-07 09:53:36

I don't think you want the Bishop's Cake to be perfect, though. That would be seen as an aggressive "throwing down the gauntlet" style action, which is inappropriate at any time and particularly so in the bishop's presence.

I think you have 2 options. Option one, make it fair-to-middling, to throw people off the scent. If they think it is perfect they will feel threatened and start honing their own techniques. With due respect, I don't think we are ready for turbo-charged competition yet.

Option two is to make it slightly-less-than-adequate, and then see if you can play the sympathy card and get all the motherly cake-whizzes to give you lots of tips (because let's face it, they won't feel threatened).

This isn't all about recipes - there's tactics and strategy to consider as well...

Let me get this straight slubber, you are not going to be there but your cakes are? Who is going to report any comment back to you?

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 09:40:26

Bugger, mild zittage and lip still present.

have to work on this ladies. Presentation v important.

back later.

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 09:34:49

and yes you chocpot <points>, I am holding you and suzy fully responsible if the Bishops beta is zitty. At least the markI (aka the biscuit) had a nice smooth top.

Better go and check it now (dont worry I wont be opening the door). Will report back at lunch as have to go to Toddlers.

Slubberdegullion Tue 12-Jun-07 09:28:43

Right Bishop's Sponge beta now in.

Dropped from maybe 70cms today (x2). Finger run round rim to prevent unsightly lip.

re eggs: will try and go to farmers market on w/e to discuss with the egg lady re free range with light yellow yolks. She has many a variety on offer (inc duck eggs) so I'm sure she will be of assistance. (middle class chicken welfare anxieties I think will prevent me from buying battery eggs, even if it does cost me a least my concious will remain clean.)

Very sadly, I will not be able to attend the Bishop's tea party (and I have a lovely cream and navy outfit that would have been just perfect), as I have to honour my commitments to my Rainbow Guides.

My VSC's will be my representatives there instead.

I'm making cupcakes today...

WaynettaSlob Tue 12-Jun-07 09:06:10

I can't believe I've only just found this - has had me enthralled, and am currently crying tears of laughter at Slubber filing off the VSC's zits!!!

Hope all goes well with the Bishop!

(am dying to get get out of work now and do some baking!!)

sugarfree Tue 12-Jun-07 08:08:25

So we need to find an organic supplier of pale yolked eggs then.

lemonaid Tue 12-Jun-07 07:58:57

Free range / organic are not always yellower -- depends on the diet (many battery hens have additives added to their diet to make the yolks yellower).

Do I need to go away and hang my head in shame over the fact that the Bishop's alpha cake had zits because of the dropping ?

I still stand by this dropping malarky though, I don't think you dropped it from high enough. Kickassangel (whose VSC knowledge is absolutely inspirational) said 2 feet originally and 30cm is only a foot.

We're off to stay with my very good friend at the weekend in deepest darkest rural Somerset. She's the queen of Aga cooking and produces cakes that are definitely worthy of a placing at the village show and I've never asked her but I would put money on her entering now I think about it. We don't tend to discuss cakes as she knows I am rubbish, however I can see a whole new direction that conversation after dinner will now take - she might even now let me put the kettle on the Aga now I am in the know about VSCs.

robinpud Tue 12-Jun-07 07:27:24

wakey wakey you lot.. there are cakes to be baked and ingredients to be discussed.
what does one wear to a boshop's tea party btw?

That Delia cake book is a gem; every recipe in it that I have ever done is fab. Hang on to it as it has been out of print for years.

sugarfree Mon 11-Jun-07 22:36:20

A thought re free range/organic eggs eggs.They are yellower and more eggy tasting.You don't want a bright yellow eggy tasting cake therefore might this be the one time where <gasp> battery eggs may be permissable.
Hope this may liven up the egg debate and then we can move onto sugar.
My thoughts being,white castor sugar rather than the golden stuff.

ChippyMinton Mon 11-Jun-07 22:34:18

Sweet dreams. Will check for update in the morning.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 22:26:22

Shit, completely forgot about the cake. Better go and apply jam now. And then to bed, up early for Bishop's beta.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 22:20:56

<whispers. You know if Cod's mum came on here and told me to do the all in one magimix, I would do it. No arguments>

ChippyMinton Mon 11-Jun-07 22:08:40

Fine plastic mesh?
Or metal?
I have no idea!

LOL at cod's mother.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 22:05:28

I do not currently own a sieve with small enough holes for that particular activity.

And anway some judges prefer seeds.

FluffyMummy123 Mon 11-Jun-07 22:02:02

Message withdrawn

ChippyMinton Mon 11-Jun-07 22:01:41

No no you must seive away the seeds

ChippyMinton Mon 11-Jun-07 22:01:08

lol pennies - i had very same thoughwhilst typing - made sure to put slashes in between, to ward off any nasties.

Pennies Mon 11-Jun-07 22:01:07

But those seeds have a devilish habit of getting stuck in your teeth!

Bet it tastes heavenly though!

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 21:59:20

lol pennies.

I think the raspberry jam (with seeds) negates the satanic proportions.

Pennies Mon 11-Jun-07 21:56:58

Slubber - are you not torn by the devil's mix being used for Bishop's Alpha. Something not right there for me. Are you turning a cake compo into a battle of Good and Evil by presenting him with a cake that incorporates the number of the beast?

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 21:55:11

yes cod, is she a cake judge?

<hides behind chippy> she said it first, she said it first.

ChippyMinton Mon 11-Jun-07 21:52:18

yeh, but cod is she a cake judge?

ChippyMinton Mon 11-Jun-07 21:51:50

old fashioned scales, even!!
That's what my mum does - eggs on one side,in place of the weights.

FluffyMummy123 Mon 11-Jun-07 21:51:42

Message withdrawn

ChippyMinton Mon 11-Jun-07 21:50:57

Better get yourself some old-fashioned slubber.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 21:50:43

Yup chippy, 6/6/6 (the devils sponge mix) is butter/sugar/selfraising flour. + 3 eggs.

I would be tempted to do the weighing eggs on one side of the scales, and other bits on the other side, but I don't have those type of scales. Does this competition merit me going out and purchasing some poncey scales.

cod, that is delia's preferred sponge, but I fear would not be a show winner (detection of magimix usage frowned upon).

kickassangel Mon 11-Jun-07 21:49:16

baking powder easy to taste. if you use free range eggs they are more yellow - the more you whisk them the lighter in colour they are so sould be a way to get the flavour without the colour. you could leave your cake mix for a few mins before putting in oven - may reduce pimple effect.

re the aussie recipes - custard powder is just cornflour & vanilla flavouring so suitable for a lazy all in one cake.
ideally your flour, fat & sugar should each be the same eight as the eggs - earlier people suggested using balances to ensure this - son't use scales ona spring as they aren't as accurate.

i assume from what you're saying that your oven is even ( i once lived with a crooked kitchen & oven - all cakes were wedge shaped)

SlightlyMadScientist Mon 11-Jun-07 21:46:19

indeed weight in ounces of butter, sugar & flour + 3 eggs.

(I used to do 4442)

ChippyMinton Mon 11-Jun-07 21:43:06

I can't believe how tense i was awaiting outcome of the bishop's cake.

I am confused by all the 6/6/6/ refernces - is this the weight in ounces of the flour/ sugar/butter? My mum (keen WI member )taught me to weigh the eggs and use this weight for the other ingredients.

Something occured to me about baking powder - does it have a distinctive taste? When i first made LDC, MIL's comment was 'it's got baking powder in it' (she's lovely BTW, so this took me by surprise)

SlightlyMadScientist Mon 11-Jun-07 21:42:08

Maybe twice was your mistake???

FluffyMummy123 Mon 11-Jun-07 21:41:50

Message withdrawn

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 21:41:00

My thoughts exactly SMS re cake surface zits.

But I dropped them twice pre oven entry. Surely thrice would be foolhardy?

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 21:39:19

Yes eggs at room temp.

DH went to fry one with his steak tonight and I shrieked at him

'GET YOUR BLOODY HANDS OFF THE BISHOP'S EGGS'. He moved away slowly and carefully.

Kiki...brilliant re finger around edge regarding lip avoidance. Will def. do that tomorrow morning with the Bishop's sponge:beta version.

SlightlyMadStilton Mon 11-Jun-07 21:35:54

I wonder if your zits were caused by the big air bubbles coming to top but not actually breaking the suface - so bubbling up into zits during the cooking?

Maybe 30cm is not high enough .

<I never knew there was such an art to cake baking>

kickassangel Mon 11-Jun-07 21:31:31

back again!
forgot to mention that eggs should be at room temp! - someone else picked up on that one. you drop the mixture because you whick 7 sieve for fine air bubbles but may fold in a few big ones by mistake, which then rise & leave huge holes (like you get in supermarket bread). dropping the mixture forces these to rise to the top - where they pop before cooking & avoids the problem, but doesn't ruin the fine bubbles which give it a light texture. also evens out the mix without the need to smooth the top which will also kill the little bubbles.
Dear lord, how do i know all this? I'm not even having to look it up & I have a feeling there's more to come - e.g. it is very important to get tin size & recipe in proportion.
if you think your cake may stick a little, run a cold wet dish cloth over the outside before turning it out. to avoid the 'lip' at the edge, run something blunt (finger works) around the edge before going in the oven
would just like to add that i have NEVER been to the wi - i'm saving that for when i'm old enough to retire (just another 30 year to go then)

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 21:30:28

Thank you kikidee. There has not been too much egg discussion here (yet). That is interesting re colour (my word these judges do examine from all angles don't they)?

Would a free range egg not add to the flavour though?

These VSC's are a whole world of compromise. I bet Relate councellors and those industrial tribunal people all have to sit a lengthy course in Sponge making before they're allowed our on the job.

kikidee Mon 11-Jun-07 21:24:56

Can I make a contribution re eggs please? My friend's mum shows her cakes and she will not use free range eggs in competition cakes. Their yolks are a lot yellower than battery eggs' yolks and it makes the colour of the sponge wrong for a competition entry. She is an old hand at this and her baked goods are regularly placed.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 21:10:07

Well I picked at a bit of the lip, and an everso small and yet obvious lump fell off the side. That cake is destined for the bottom now.

Pennies Mon 11-Jun-07 21:08:16

Could you "file" the raised lip with something? can't think what tho..

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 21:05:22


I'm smiling here but I tell you, my hands were trembling there during cake turn out.

Well they look OK. I have a raised lip around the edge that doesn't look very elegant.

And there are some lumps on the top. Like when you were 14 and you knew there was just a giant zit coming, about 3 days away, and the skin is rising up.

It smells good, but doesn't look very pretty.

Obviously I can't taste this one, as it's for the Bishop.

lol at accomplished dropper.
the things you learn on mn! .

WideWebWitch Mon 11-Jun-07 20:58:43

lolol at this thread, thanks for cheering me up!

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 20:54:56

Just out of oven. Will give them a few mins before moving onto thin tea-toweled cooling rack.

Franca, I'm not an accomplished dropper, but I lifted the tin containing unbaked mix about 30cm off the work surface and dropped it. bang. The mix did settle somewhat (much wringing of hands), but so far I do not seem to have a crater crust.

Pennies Mon 11-Jun-07 20:50:15

Ooohh. When are they coming out of the oven then? Need to know when to come back for update!

what do you mean by dropping? I keep imagine someone bouncing the tin up and down

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 20:35:53

OK all, VSC MkII (aka The Bishop's sponge:alpha version) is now in the oven.

Tonight I have opted for:

Delia's 6/6/6 option with;

unsalted butter

McDougals supreme sponge flour (sifted twice - from a great height)

3 large free range eggs

Tate&Lyle caster sugar (am still awaiting advice on this ingredient)

20cm tin

Tins with mix dropped twice pre oven entry.

I can tell you, I'm quite tense here.

ok, a bit lost in translation here: what do you mean about dropping the cake?
Should I ditch Nigella and convert to Delia (at least cakewise)? oh, I have so much to learn...

theheadgirl Mon 11-Jun-07 18:49:00

Why is this thread so absorbing? I am hypnotised by all your talk of a perfect VSC. In the past 2 years I have escaped village life to live in the city. But.. damn you all...I want to make a sponge cake!
Kick ass Slubber

sugarfree Mon 11-Jun-07 18:21:40

I think we need pictures so we can monitor your progress from VSC#2 til VSC#Show Day.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 17:33:30

(Apologies for my spelling on this thread. In my excitement to share and learn I have lost the ability to spell and punctuate in the correct manner).

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 17:25:16

Lovecat are you absolutely sure they will not be able to notice the difference?

I will quote directly from St.Delia:

'Everyone liked the texture of the all-in-one (with marg), but tasted side-by-side the Victoria Sandwich (containing butter) did have a slightly better flavour - though how often are they likely to be tasted side-by-side?'

Well not very often Delia, except at a Village Show (would be my reply).

I am concerned that what I may gain in lightness I will loose on flavour. This compromise does not sit easily in my waters.

I have committed myself fully to the Bishops Tea party. One of his minions is coming to collect VSC mkII tomorrow pm. <aprehensive emoticon>

Anchovy Mon 11-Jun-07 17:15:13

I think Nigella is fine in many regards. But she has a bit of a slapdash element to her that just doesn't work with baking. Have done lots of the "How to Eat" recipes with fantastic results but I do think with baking you do need to be quite precise and she really isn't.

St Delia really won't let you down. I'm going to go and read the pages in "How to Cook" about sponge cakes and see if I can come back with any words of enlightenment...

(But I do remember its very important to make sure your eggs are at room temperature!)

Lovecat Mon 11-Jun-07 14:57:40

As no-one else has said it (love this thread!) re. the butter/marge question, I have two words for you:

Flora Buttery!

I switched to this from using unsalted butter in my church cake sale VSCs, as it was getting too pricey for the 5 or 6 cakes I was making and too timeconsuming whisking up butter rather than soft marge.

No-one has noticed... in fact, I have received rather more compliments on the moistness of the cakes since I made the switch.

I use the blessed Delia's all-in-one recipe myself, but have noticed that the proportions of Nigella's VSC can be substituted if you've got a bigger tin (have not tried using cornflour, may give that a whizz when reputation of church cakestall is not at stake...)

As for jam, a nice thick raspberry is the Bonne Maman one, but if you like seedless then I've found Morrison's own to be perfectly acceptable (and again, undetectable in origin!).

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 14:48:34

whoah I absolutely want to avoid a crater crust. Well I am converted. I will be dropping all my cakes from now on.

suzywong Mon 11-Jun-07 14:46:04

because you just must!!!! you are not knocking air out but warding off any huge rogue air bubbles that may mutate and explode and give yo ua crater crust

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 14:44:09

ah good back to VSc thank you suzy.

I still don't understand, if you have gone to all that effort of putting air in (and have denied yourself use of the magimix), then why are you trying to bash air out of it before you put it in the oven?

suzywong Mon 11-Jun-07 14:41:41

yes, yes you must drop it
in fact you should tap ANY tin of cake batter on the bench to get air bubbles out

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 14:41:13

You need a big bucket mind if you have a big bird.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 14:40:41

Drown your Turkey pennies. You will not regret it I promise.

Pennies Mon 11-Jun-07 14:39:23

Blimey! I saw that turkey recipe on Nigella's show and me and DH were amazed that anyone would ever do it!!

Nigella's quite hit and miss I find. Her fairy cakes are sublime though.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 14:34:11

Anchovy, I am also a little bit shify with regards to Nigella. However,I did follow her instrustions re the 12 hour drowning of the turkey in the infused brine on christmas eve.

Wel there was a lot of 's on Christmas day from my mother and DH's granny. But oh did they retract their 's, it was a very moist turkey indeed.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 14:29:25

Anchovy I have been lent Dehlia's book of cakes. Its is undoubtably about 30 years old as she is looking as fresh as the morning dew on the front. With a bowl haircut to die for. I followed her classic VSC recp....but will up the amounts tomorrow for the Bishop.

I do not think that WI judges 'do' retro ironic. I will be utterly subservient to tradition and do light dusting of caster only.

Pennies Mon 11-Jun-07 14:15:36

I will do an inital recce at our village fete in July, at which our new playground is being officially opened. Have managed to totally convince DH that the Queen is coming to open said playground!! Will be too intersted in maintaining the charade to get actively involved in any competitions.

Anchovy Mon 11-Jun-07 14:11:59

Do you know what I like? A pattern on the top made by sifting icing sugar through a doiley! In an ironic, retro manner, obviously...

St Delia has one immutable rule which you have already broken, which is that you must use the right sized tins for the mixture. Have you got her "How to Cook" books - the white ones? One of those has pages of instructions on the zen of VSC's.

Do not trust Nigella - she is a baking strumpet and that "Domestic Goddess" book is very unreliable.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 14:11:48

Pennies, I've been in this village for nearly 4 years and have only this year plucked up the courage to enter. It is a rite of passage to being fully accepted here I think.

Thank you Slubber

Pennies Mon 11-Jun-07 14:09:41

Priceless, priceless thread. One of the best I've seen for ages! I never even knew such competitons existed! Have just moved t'country though so need to aquaint myself with the rural mores before I get the competitive bug and start baking in a frenzy.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 14:06:23

Well I tell you what chocpot. I'll say a prayer and drop the Bishop's VSC. If its another victoria sponge biscuit then you are to blame.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 14:01:56

Oenophile regarding your jam questions. Well I'm even more of a jam virgin than a VSC one, but the judges on last nights Great British show prog were most definately against the wax disc.

I sensed they were looking for a nice clean jar, with attractive homemade label. And def. no gingham hat.

My chutney has no wax lid. And is in a nice clean jar. It does unfortunately have a glitter christmas tree stuck on the side by dd1 (made for christmas presents). I'm bound to be disqualified for that but it might just charm the judges into trying it. It's bloody gorg once tasted btw

The ingredients were quite alarming to me, never mind an English WI judge !! I reckon there might be something in the sifting and dropping business though. I am now worrying myself about how into the theory of VSCs I am getting T

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 13:56:30

Yes I read you link Chocpot. Plenty of droppings there, but then it's an Aussie site and their sponge recipe was at the least rather unusual but I suspect to an English WI judge would frankly be alarming. Custard Powder...and baking soda I seem to recall. Not cricket really IMO.

I've linked to an article further down where they are strongly into the dropping thing. It's almost enough to make me dust the mixer off so I can give it a go.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 13:51:20

chocolate cake lilymaid??? Don't confuse and flusterate me with a third cake option please.

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 13:49:59

So the mark II VSC with McDougals supreme sponge flour (purchased this morning), siftings, metal spoons, teatowls on cooling rack, creaming with hand whisker etc etc to the Bishop then.

Lilymaid Mon 11-Jun-07 13:49:08

Lemon Drizzle cake very suitable for the Bishop, chocolate cake less approved of in church circles (but LDC contains fruit so it must be good).

practice practice practice slubber

Slubberdegullion Mon 11-Jun-07 13:23:34

My word, this is just a hidden world of worm cans waiting to be opened.

I think def. salt free butter. They have the taste buds of a...what has a lot of taste buds? I was going to say basset hound but then dogs lick their own arses don't they, and eat cow pats given half a chance, so not dogs then.

Someone here will help me with me with what a Village show cake judges taste buds are like.

Kickassangel, your description has also been added to my word document. I am very dubious about the whole dropping of the cake pre oven insertion. If you've gone to the effort of double or even triple siftings, and then careful folding with metal spoons, why would you then want to drop it?? I will do a practice dropper as I still have a month before the show, but if I am perfectly honest I'm very about that suggestion!!

Well I have a dilemma here. The ladies from church have all been asked to make a cake for the Bishop's tea party tomorrow afternoon. (yes, I know, I do seem to be living in a Barbara Pym novel). So do I donate a practice VSC, or win approval from possibly the Bishop's wife (and who knows maybe the Great Almighty also) by making the MN LDC (always a winner).

kickassangel Mon 11-Jun-07 11:23:02

and mix it in a pyrex bowl, not plastic or metal!
did you check about cake tin sizes? i think the standard is 7 in - 8 in is for cheesecakes

robinpud Mon 11-Jun-07 11:06:31

You realise of course that the wretched cake is not actually going to get eaten? Once the judges have had their tiny sliver , it will then sit in the hot humid tent for the entire day whilst the rest of the village gawps at it and surreptiously pokes it to see how spongey it really is. Then at 5pm you can collect it and decide you probably don't want to eat it either.
Make your cake and share it with the people who matter and don't worry about the glory!

Lilymaid Mon 11-Jun-07 11:02:24

Warning re the judges. IN MIL's village one judge of the children's jam tart competition wrote on the judging notes that the tarts were not of competition standard - for a plate of tarts made by an under-6! Another judge disqualified a jar of jam because it had a gingham cloth cover tied with twine (put on by ex-townie to look rustic) instead of clear cellophane. You are entering a minefield and only misery can result!

kickassangel Mon 11-Jun-07 10:42:25

ok - i'd recommend sifting the flour twice - into the wighing bowl & then into the mixing bowl. cream the butter first - pref by hand as you're less likely to miss out bits, but with hand held mixer if not. then fold in a couple of spoons of flour & add eggs one at a time - i crack them into another bowl & give them a quick 'fluff' with a fork, that way they have plenty of ari in them. then fold in the flour witha metal spoon (not plastic or wooden - their blunt edges will burst too many air bubbles). you can taste baking powder, so use sr flour.
line the cake tin with 2 layers of greasproof paper & make sure the oven is the correct temp. ideally each cake needs to be in the exact centre - or one side gets cooked more than another - so do each ahlf separarately. before cooking putting the cake in the oven, left about 2 feet off the work surface & DROP it!! (scary) - stops any BIG air bubbles. don't put a prong in to test it - it will show.
cake should have risen, but not a big lump in the middle - as even as possible.
when you turn it out, have a FINE teac cloth on the cooling rack - allows air to escape withoug leaving grid marks. must have NO grid marks on top & ideally there shouldn't be that layer of crust left in the tin - should have come out with the cake! ( i have never achieved this!)
raspeberry jam - warm it & sive it before spreading it - no pips get through & spreads more easily.
btw, i have only once bothered to do all this for a cake, just to see if it made a difference, and YES it is noticeably better.
(now wondering htf i know all this useless shite when i'm meant to be reading dr faustus & researching the seven deadly sins!)

Mumbojumbo Mon 11-Jun-07 10:13:47

Love this thread!

ChippyMinton Mon 11-Jun-07 10:04:05

There's something about not using metal lids on chutney/pickles because the vinegar can corrode the metal - can't remember what you're supposed to do though.
If doing fabric covers put them over the cellophane cover. The judges made a big fuss about having clean jars and nice labels.

fishie Mon 11-Jun-07 09:56:40

sorry oenophile i started typing mine abuot an hour ago!

i think you are right re tops, wax + cellophane OR lid no wax but i think safer no lid becuase there is somethign different for chutney and possibly marmalade. mil knew all this stuff but died so have noone to ask. also i live in deepest london, our local fete is more deep fried chilli and deafening rap music than vsc.

fishie Mon 11-Jun-07 09:50:42

slub do you think salted or unsalted butter? i like salted myself as enjoy the contrast with jam, but judges may prefer unadulterated sweetness. hmm. also i have got silicon cake tins, they're dead good.

have they given instruction for presetnation of chutney? i believe there are lots of rules about lids waxed papers and little covers on jam/ marmalade, it would be too awful to be out on a technicality.

Oenophile Mon 11-Jun-07 09:46:42

I too felt I could not stand the shame of poor comments on my first show. DD2 (17) and I got round this by sidling into the show tent at a busy time of day, circling the cake table from afar while pretending an interest in the knitted craft, and jerking swift glances over to see if we could spot what sort of card was beside my offering. It was at this point that DD reminded me how DD1 had taken a bite of one of the test cakes the previous nights and spat it out, crying 'this is truly disgusting!' (this is no lie) but we managed to calm ourselves by remembering that a) DD1 is very fussy and b) had probably encountered an unfortunate pocket of baking powder (which I won't be using this year as from comments here I see it's probably Infra Dig.)

I jumped like someone caught in the act of a crime when someone I knew spoke to me as we were doing our circling/peering. It took us AGES to get up the courage to get close enough to face up to our judgement.

Also watched the Great British VS last night and noted that the jam must not be 'doubly sealed'!! I'm entering the jam class this year - does this mean a wax disc AND a cellophane top should not be used? or did they just mean no wax with a screw top? Are those chequered squares of material which look so pretty considered an unforgiveable crime which will have everyone pointing and sniggering?

Do I really want to put myself through this again? Or shall I just vicariously enjoy Slubber's experience?

ChippyMinton Mon 11-Jun-07 09:18:31

slayerette i think the Calendar Girls beat you to it - One of them famously won a VSC competition with an M&S cake

slayerette Mon 11-Jun-07 08:22:03

pmsl at entire thread!

Right, am off to write prize-winning debut novel inspired by VSC crisis. Will give you all a MN name-check in the acknowledgements

gscrym Mon 11-Jun-07 08:02:19

I remember someone form work telling me about the debate that raged at the local horticultural society for years.

Is a Victoria Sponge 1 cake, cut in half and sandwiched with jam or two separate cakes.

He used to ask the question at dull comittee meatings and watch some of the older members go off about it.