August 30, 2013 6:21 pm

The Paris baker: Victoria sponge and granola brownie

Traditional recipes for Victoria sponge and brownies, with a few elegant twists

Victoria sponge
Granola brownie

 

I imagine that we all have our own Victoria sponge cake recipes, and no doubt they are all delicious. The traditional ones are really simple butter cakes split in half and filled with jam, cream and fruit, a perfect spring or summer treat. However, I have changed this traditional recipe to a much lighter one, using a real Génoise sponge cake recipe instead of the butter version. I think, even with the welcome layer of red fruits, that the cake needs to be much lighter so you really only taste the fruits and cream, with the sponge cake giving a light, sweet support. You will need an electric mixer as there is a lot of beating to do.

Brownies are usually combined with nuts or served plain on their own. They are sometimes flavoured with orange or mixed with cream cheese or white chocolate. I’ve taken the nut version a little further and made this brownie using granola, thinking that perhaps it could be a slightly healthier version.

Rose Carrarini is co-owner of Rose Bakery in Paris and author of ‘How to Boil an Egg’ (Phaidon, £19.95)

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My Victoria sponge

For about 6 people

Butter and line a 23cm round cake tin

Preheat oven to 180C

4 eggs

125g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

125g sifted plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

30g melted butter

● Put the eggs and sugar in a clean metal bowl and start beating on medium speed. Continue beating for about 8-10 minutes until the mixture is very thick and light.

● Add the vanilla. Turn the machine off and gently fold in the flour, salt and melted butter with a metal spoon, by hand. Be very careful not to deflate the light mix and when the flour is well folded in, pour into the tin and bake for about 25-35 minutes until a knife comes out clean.

● Take the cake out immediately and cool on a rack until needed.

Filling

Rose Carrarini's Victoria sponge©Roberto Frankenberg

500ml whipped double cream mixed with a little icing sugar

250g red fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc)

About 3 tbs red fruit jam

Icing sugar for dusting on top

● When the cake is completely cold cut in half horizontally.

● On the bottom half, spread the jam. On top of this spread the whipped cream thickly. (For the cake pictured, I divided the cream in two. In one half I added some crushed raspberries to make the cream pink. I left the other half white with lots of strawberries.)

● Place the top of the cake on the fruit and cream, and press down gently. Dust the top with icing sugar.

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Granola brownie

Granola brownies©Roberto Frankenberg

For about 15 squares

Butter and line a 20cm by 28cm tin

Preheat oven to 180C

2 cups granola (more if you want)

250g butter

250g chopped dark chocolate

7 eggs

350g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

150g (1 cup) sifted flour

1/2 tsp salt

● If you are using your favourite granola, you can put this directly into the tin and spread evenly over the base, using extra if needed. It should cover the base completely (at least 1cm thick).

● Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof tin over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Meanwhile, start beating the eggs and sugar in a metal bowl. After about 5 minutes the eggs should be beginning to get lighter. Add the vanilla and the warm chocolate mix. On a very slow speed fold in the flour and salt and stir until just mixed. Do not overbeat. Pour this over the granola and bake for about 25 minutes. The centre of the brownie should not be completely set. It will continue cooking after you take it out.

Cool completely in the tin. Cut into squares when needed.

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