With baking, you never know if you're really inventing anything new, especially with a classic recipe like a Victoria Sandwich. But, I'll put my neck out there, and say that with the addition of Almond Flour to the cake and Lemon Curd to the filling, I've made something unusual and delicious.
The person I made it for said she wanted this to be her birthday cake from now on. And, the entire cake was gone at the end of the evening. No leftovers. No half eaten pieces in the trash, fed to the dog, or hidden in the potted plants.
Makes: One two layer 8"-9" Cake
Time: 1 hour plus time for cooling
For the Cake
200g or 7oz SUGAR
200g or 7oz or almost 2 sticks BUTTER softened
125g AP FLOUR (yes, you could do this will all AP, but the Almond makes it moist and delish. In an all AP cake, use 200g AP.)
80g ALMOND FLOUR*
1 tbsp BAKING POWDER
1/2 tsp SALT
2 tbsp MILK
For the Filling
100g or almost 1 stick BUTTER
140g POWDERED SUGAR
1/4 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
200g LEMON CURD (or any jam or curd that's not overly sweet)
1- Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a pair of 8"-9" cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment. If you are using the bigger cake pans, cooking time will be a little shorter, and the cakes won't be quite as tall, but just as tasty.
2- In the bowl of your mixer, cream the BUTTER and SUGAR until light and fluffy. Add the EGGS one at a time. Add the MILK. Add the FLOUR, SALT, and BAKING POWDER and mix until you have a smooth textured batter.
3- Divide the batter between the two pans (about 400g each), and smooth out with the back of a spoon or get fancy and do it with an offset spatula.
4- Bake for 16-20 minutes. Removing when the cakes reach an internal temp of 195F. The cake will be light golden, not full golden brown.
5- Remove from pans (carefully, the cake is served naked around the edges so you want them in tact) and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
6- In the bowl of your mixer, beat the BUTTER for the filling until light and fluffy. Add the POWDERED SUGAR, SALT, and VANILLA and continue to beat until combined and very fluffy. If it's not getting to a spreadable texture, add a couple teaspoons of milk to loosen it up.
7- Build the cake by spreading the butter cream on the top of the completely cooled first layer, followed by the LEMON CURD. Top with the second cooled layer of cake. Dust with additional powdered sugar, the cool stencil is optional. (BTW Cochin is a great font for stencils, 256 point)
A note on tradition: You will get plenty of folks who would argue the curd or jam should go on first and then the butter cream. You could do that, but then you'd need some kind of piping bag to get the butter cream even and attractive on top of the curd or jam. That sounds like a lot of work to me. Another thought if you aren't into butter cream - stabilized whipped cream would make a fantastic substitute.
*If you are saying to yourself, "I thought this was the AP Bakery. What's all this about Almond Flour?"
Please see my powerfully written explanation in the notes of the fruit cake recipe. Or, just make it with all AP flour, if that will make you happy.