Blackberry Victoria Sponge with Sloe Gin Jam

When it comes to cake, sometimes you just can’t beat the classics. And by ‘the classics’ I’m referring to two  things specifically – the first is not a thing, its a person – the one and only Mary Berry. The second is the Victoria sponge. A cake that suits any occasion and mood.

It’s been ages since I made a cake and as the lovely people at Sophie Conran just sent me this gorgeous cake stand, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Sunday morning! When it came to choosing what to make, that was simple. It had to be a classic Victoria sponge for such an elegant and classic cake stand.

I absolutely love the homeware and wallpaper range from cookery writer and designer Sophie Conran and adore this ceramic cake stand from the Sophie Conran for Portmeirion range. It retails for £47 and is part of a set of three which can either be stacked or used separately. There is also a whole range of tableware available – from plates, bowls, cups to casserole dishes and measuring spoons. I’m thinking about my birthday and Christmas lists and I am seriously in LOVE!

I used a Mary Berry recipe which I’ve found on the BBC Good Food website for you here, although I took it from her Baking Bible – a book which is very well used in my house. This cake is pretty much fool proof and very simple to make because you mix all of the sponge ingredients in one go. The only change I make is to add a layer of whipped double cream to combat the sweetness of the jam.

Instead of a more traditional strawberry or raspberry jam filling, I used a fabulous blackberry and sloe gin jam made by Queens Park Preserves.  These guys specialise in jam, chutney and marmalade and are based literally just down the road from me in Hinckley (South West Leicestershire). You can buy their products online and in some local delis. Also look out for them at farmers markets and food fairs around the Midlands! This jam is sweet but not tooth-achingly so and it’s full of pips which gives it a real rustic feel. It worked perfectly for this cake too!

What jam do you prefer in a Victoria Sponge? Has it got to be a traditional strawberry or do you prefer something a bit more exotic? 

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