Victoria Sponge formula is a recipe for life, living, and soul, never mind cake. Think: 4-4-4-2 or 6-6-6-3 or 8-8-8-4. Think: Everything in Moderation. A balance of everything catalysed by a small amount of potent extra to create a concoction of dreamy delight.
In the case of Victoria sponge which is arguably the easiest cake formula to remember, the 4s are butter, sugar (creamed together), and flour. The 2 is eggs. The eggs bind the mulch together and cause the chemical process (with a little help from heat) to fulfill itself.
It’s simple: if you mix these quantities in the given order, using the given methods (creaming, beating and folding), and then add heat (at 180 deg C), you WILL get cake.
How light it is, how buoyant and delectable is down to practise and error.
To complete the analogy: take equal quantities of love and good times (cream together). Beat in a half quantity of ambition or desire and fold into the mix a measure of hard work (equal to love or good times).
Too laboured? The recipe isn’t.
4oz caster sugar
Cream the above together until pale and fluffy.
Beat in 2 eggs one at a time, so that the mixture is smooth, not curdled (although it doesn’t really matter if it is).
Sieve 4oz self-raising flour into the mix and fold in with a metal spoon, turning it over and over until the powder is incorporated. DO NOT BEAT. Resist the urge. You want air, not biscuit.
Add a couple of heaped tsps mixed spice and a handful of sultanas.
Pour into a lined single cake tin about 8-10″ in diameter.
Stone two peaches/nectarines, slice into eighths and arrange artistically around the top. Put a few dabs of butter on the top (not much).
Bake in the middle of a preheated oven at 180 deg C.
To be eaten with lightly whipped chantilly cream (because this is my favourite, but I’m sure plain yoghurt, single cream or nothing at all would be adequate).