Baking / Free from / vegetarian

Duck egg Victoria sponge with raspberry & coconut buttercream filling

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It is my best friend’s birthday soon so this one’s for her. I remember a few years ago when we shared a one bed flat in Camden I baked a batch of coconut and raspberry cupcakes and they didn’t last very long…so I’m going to use this winning flavour combination again – only this time, I’m going to make miniature Victoria sponges instead! I think mini ones will look super cute and they’re also a good idea if there are only a few of you as once you’ve filled the sponge, it doesn’t keep very well. I’ll freeze a few of the sponges for a rainy day…

And for an added twist, I’ve got my hands on some duck eggs, all beautiful and pale and porcelain. People say they produce a fluffier yet richer result in baking and may be the secret to many a prize sponge at the village fête – I want in on the action. I’ve never cooked with duck eggs before so it feels very decadent!

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I was a little sceptical at first but oh my – duck eggs really do get your sponges reaching for the skies! I have based the cake recipe on Delia’s trusty all-in-one sponge in Delia’s Complete Cookery Course. These mini sponges are heavenly – rich and yet bouncy and light from the duck eggs and bursting with tart, succulent raspberries and buttercream flecked with coconut.

Oh, and while the cake’s in the oven, take a peek at this clip of Delia back in the day making her all-in-one sponge cake. She also very earnestly explains why it is naughty to open the oven and peek at your cake too early (I am guilty of this and feel duly reprimanded):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-jJxA53SFI

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You can of course use hens’ eggs – just substitute one large hens’ egg for each duck egg.

Duck egg Victoria sponge with raspberry and coconut buttercream filling

Makes 4 10cm sandwiches or one 18cm sandwich

Ingredients:

For the sponges:

– 175g self-raising flour
– 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
– 175g butter, at room temperature (extra for greasing)
– 175g caster sugar
– 3 duck eggs
– 1/3 teaspoon (ish) vanilla extract

For the filling and topping:

– 2 tablespoons good quality raspberry jam
– generous handful of fresh raspberries
– 80g butter, at room temperature
– 160g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
– 60g dessicated coconut

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Method:

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease the tins and line the bases with baking paper.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the other ingredients and beat until thoroughly blended (I used the paddle attachment on my mixer, starting on the minimum setting, gradually increasing to the maximum).

Divide between the tins, level the top and bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes (35-40 minutes if making one large cake), until springy and golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then turn onto a wire rack.

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To make the coconut buttercream, beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth, then stir in the dessicated coconut.

Once the cakes are completely cooled, you can assemble your sandwiches! On one cake, spread raspberry jam and top with fresh raspberries, on the other, spread coconut buttercream. Carefully squidge them together, dust with icing sugar and get the Queen round!

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As easy as 1…

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…2…

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…3!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY B! x x x

Source: Sponge recipe adapted from Delia’s Complete Cookery Course; filling recipe and photos by pip & little blue.

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