This was one of Queen Victoria's favourite cakes at her afternoon teas that became very popular at court.
Everyone would dress formally but the tea would not be served in the fomal dining room but in comfortable chairs in the sitting rooms, orangery or out in the gardens.
The secret to a light and fluffy sponge every time is to weigh your eggs - it also makes it much easier to scale up or down for larger or smaller quantities.
To fill two 6" round cake tins (or approx 8 muffin tins) Preheat oven to 180C/170C Fan/Gas 4
- Brush chosen baking tins with melted butter and line with baking parchment
- Weigh 3 eggs (in their shells)
- Put same weight of caster sugar and softened butter in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy (with a wooden spoon if feeling strong or an electric mixer if feeling lazy!)
- Weigh out same amount of self raising flour.
- Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time with about 1 tablespoon of sieved flour, beating until fully incorporated. If mixture starts to 'curdle' add a bit more flour.
- Fold the flour into the mixture with a metal spoon
- Divide evenly between the baking tins and smooth the top of the mixture
- Bake for: 6" tins 20 mins Muffin tins: 10 mins
- Once in oven leave the door closed and don't open again until done. You can test by gently pressing the middle of the cake with your finger amd the sponge should spring back if done.
- Turn out onto wire cooling rack
- When cold, split the small muffin tin cakes.
- Sandwich together with raspberry jam (very traditional) and whipped double cream
- Top with sieved icing sugar and serve