We’ve all got our secret favourites, and you can’t beat the classics. Here’s a line-up of three dream cakes:
If you get that ‘sinking feeling’ of an afternoon, simply reach for a slice of Victoria Sponge. That’s the motivation that allegedly inspired one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, Anna the Duchess of Bedford (1783-1857), to create the entire concept of afternoon tea. This cake with a pedigree, also known as the Victoria Sandwich, is indeed the quintessential, English teatime cake and has remained a firm favourite to this day. With its winning combination of perfectly textured, light sponge, and gorgeous raspberry jam, it’s hard to fault this hardy perennial. A light dusting of delicious icing sugar nudges this cake into dream territory.
2. Lemon drizzle cake
The winning combination of fresh lemon juice and sugar creates a sweet and sour sensation when immersed in a sticky sponge. This sends lemon drizzle into the top tier of cakes. The trick is to use fresh lemon juice to create the extremely lemony icing on top. It tastes fantastic with a cup of tea, and for a dinner choice, pairs very well with ice cream for dessert, accompanied by a drizzle of limoncello lemon liqueur.
3. Chocolate Brownie
The simple ingredients of butter, the best quality dark chocolate, eggs and sugar combine to make the sensational chocolate brownie. The texture needs to be just right, neither too soft, nor too chewy, but almost part sweet and part cake, fudgy and dense. The origin of this classic cake is baked in mythology. Some believe it’s the happy result of an accident when a chef dropped melted chocolate onto some biscuits, whereas there’s more truth in them being an American creation, as the first similar recipe appears in an 1896 Boston Cooking School Cookbook for cookies in a pan. The recipe has since evolved to heady heights, with creations ranging from soft and light, to perfectly crisp on top with a sumptuous gooey middle.