Flora Shedden: Strawberry and Hibiscus Victoria Sponge Recipe

Flora Shedden: Strawberry and Hibiscus Victoria Sponge Recipe

  1. List Of Ingredients
  2. 200g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  3. 200g (7oz) caster sugar
  4. 200g (7oz) white spelt or plain flour
  5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  6. 4 eggs
  7. For the filling and decoration
  8. 200g (7oz) strawberries, halved
  9. 1 tablespoon dried hibiscus flowers
  10. 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  11. 60ml (4 tablespoons) Pimm’s
  12. 300ml (½ pint) double cream
  13. 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  14. 2 tablespoons icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  15. non-toxic fresh flowers or rose petals, to decorate
  1. Serves 8-10

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF), Gas Mark 4. Grease 2 x 20cm (8 inch) round loose-bottomed cake tins and line them with baking paper.

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder together. Beat the eggs into the butter mix one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the flour with each egg and beating well between each addition. Fold in the remaining flour until the mixture is smooth. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared tins and level out the surfaces.

Bake for 25–30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, make the filling. Put the strawberries, hibiscus flowers, caster sugar and Pimm’s into a saucepan and bring to a very gentle boil over a medium-low heat, stirring continuously. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until the mixture has reduced slightly, to the consistency of a loose jam. Take the pan off the heat and set aside to allow the filling mixture to cool. Remove and discard the hibiscus petals once cold.

When ready to assemble the cake, whip the cream, vanilla and icing sugar together in a bowl to form very soft peaks. Place one cake on a cake stand or plate, then spread the cream generously on top. Spoon the strawberry mixture over the top surface and drizzle with the juices. Place the second cake on top and dust with icing sugar. Decorate with flowers or a few rose petals. Serve immediately.