The new year has started in a grey, wet and grisly way here in south of Sweden, and I can not say how happy I am to escape to the sunshine, beaches and tapas of the Canary island Tenerife for a week tomorrow. For those of you who need other kind of comfort I share this recipe for miniature heart shaped hazelnut Victoria sandwich cakes. They have very little sugar and are almost healthy and a definitely a guilt free desert or treat on any gloomy, or for that matter sunny day.
The hazelnut flour gives them a nutty touch that goes very well with the cream and the vanilla, and makes them a bit more exciting then the regular sponge cake that is commonly used for Victoria sponge cakes.
In Sweden we have a cake called “gräddtårta” or cream cake, that is very similar to a Victoria sponge cake, but it usually has cream on the outside as well. It is traditionally eaten in the summer, for children’s birthday parties or for midsummer or graduations. The soft sponge, the fluffy cream and the sweet and a little bit sour raspberries brings me back to sunny summer days with the smell of green grass and a warm sothing brezze in the air. That is something that can be nice to dream away to at times like these.
On thing that confuses me is if the right name for this cake is Victoria sponge or Victoria sandwich cake? Both versions are used in recipes online. Anyone who can clear it out?
Also, does anyone know if there is any rules for whether you should put the cream or the jam on to the cake first, in a similar way that there is with the scones in Cornwall and Devon? I found it more practical to put the cream first…
From the research I have done about the cake I have found out that it was part of the very first tea time, or after noon tea rituals! The tradition is said to be invented by a Dutchess of Bedford; Anna Maria Russell, who was one of the ladies-in-waiting for Queen Victoria at the time. She would get a craving in the afternoons, and came up with the idea that small cakes should be eaten together with tea. Soon the tradition had spread across the country. The small cakes filled with cream and jam was said to be Queen Victorias favorites, and therefor got named after her.
1,5 dl spelt flour
1, 5 dl hazelnut flour or ground hazelnuts
1 tsp baking powder
75 gram butter
½ decilitre sugar
½ tsp vanilla powder
1 pinch of salt
1 decilitre of frozen raspberries (or fresh in the summer
Icing sugar or vanilla powder to dust over the cakes
Heat the oven to 180 c.
Melt the butter and leave to cool. Mix the flours, the salt, vanilla and baking powder in a bowl. Beat the sugar and the eggs to a fluffy consistency. Fold the flour mix in to the egg mix and pour in the butter. Steer everything well.
Butter some small baking trays (heart shapes if you have) and line them with hazelnut flour. Pour mixture in to the trays, about 1 cm from the edge (the cakes will rise a lot)
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and a skewer comes out dry.
Leave the cakes to cool and cut them in half.
Mash the raspberries together, add some sugar if you want it sweater.
Spread the cream and then the raspberries evenly on the lover half of the cakes. Place the other half on top. Dust some icing sugar or vanilla powder over the cake.