Mary Berry's simple Victoria sponge is perfect for serving with friends at teatime
Makes 6-8 slices
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 4. Cut 2 greaseproof paper circles, grease the sandwich tins with butter and put the circles inside. Grease the circles.
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl, then add the caster sugar, self-raising flour and baking powder. Crack the eggs one at a time and then add to the bowl.
Using the electric mixer on slow speed, beat for 2 minutes until smooth. The mixture will be soft enough to drop off the beaters when you lift them up.
Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins and level the surfaces with a palette knife or spatula. Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.
The cakes are ready when they are risen and pale golden. The tops should spring back when lightly pressed. Cool for about 2 minutes; loosen the edges with a knife.
Push the cased out of the tins on their bases, invert them and remove the bases. Cool the cakes the right way up on a rack. Soften the jam with a palette knife.
When the cakes are cold, remove the lining papers and invert one cake layer onto a plate. Spread with jam, put the other layer on top and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Add the zested rind of 1 lemon in step 2. For the filling, whip 150ml whipping cream until thick, then stir in 4 tbsp lemon curd
Mix 2 tbsp cocoa powder with 3 tbsp boiling water. Add to the mixture before beating. For the filling, melt 140g plain chocolate with 150ml double cream. Leave until cool and thick.
Butter or soft margarine blend easily for this all-in-one method. Do not use low-fat spread because its water content is too high and it will spoil the result.
Together, the baking powder and self-raising flour give the cake an extra lift, so there is no need for endless beating. Here an electric mixer is used, but you can get a good result with a wooden spoon if the butter or margarine is at room temperature.
The baking time is only a guide. Look at the cake after the minimum time. If it is golden but soft in the centre, lay a sheet of foil over it and cook for an extra 5–10 minutes.
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