With all the Olympic rehearsals (just to clarify I'm rehearsing for the Opening and Closing ceremonies, not for a starring role in the Great British Freestyle Wrestling Team) and all the engagement excitement, Euro 2012 has slightly passed me by.
The build-up has admittedly been a little muted, with new managers, an unfancied side if there ever was and Panorama exposes. But following a not-too-shabby-at-all opening draw against France, interest in the England side has definitely risen.
And as I type England have just kicked off against Sweden. Cue 90 minutes of agony, anguish and the occasional mild-mannered abuse ('But a three year could have scored from there!!').
While I never need an excuse to switch on the oven, I do always love a good themed bake. And this England Team themed Strawberry and Vanilla Victoria Sponge will do nicely to soothe the nerves and reduce the number of nails bitten to shreds this evening.
England Strawberry and Vanilla Victoria Sponge
For the Sponge:
225g softened unsalted butter
225g self-raising flour, sifted
200g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 vanilla pod
A little milk if needed
For the filling and decoration:
A punnet of Strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced in half
150g strawberry jam
juice of half a lemon
Icing sugar to dust
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/170C fan/Gas Mark 5. Butter and line two 20cm/7 inch sandwich tins
2. Cream together the sugar and butter for at least five minutes until light and fluffy
3. Slowly add the egg, beating until well combined. Add the seeds from the vanilla pod
4. Fold in the sifted flour. Add a little milk if needed to achieve a dropping consistency
5. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown in colour and springy to touch
6. Allow to cool in the tins for five-ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely
7. To make the filling: warm the jam over a gentle heat in a pan, stirring gently throughout. Once warmed, take off the heat and add a third of the strawberries and the lemon juice. Use to sandwich the two sponge cakes together.
8. Decorate the top of the cake with strawberries in the cross of St George and dust with icing sugar to finish
- For extra glory, add 100ml whipped cream to the filling
- A, very understandably, has now requested a Welsh Rugby Team Summer Test Down Under Cake- a wallaby and a dragon in a boxing ring perhaps?
- Brilliantly, for the very first in their new, very exciting, blogging challenge, Calender Cakes, Laura from Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly from Dolly Bakes have chosen Euro 2012 as their theme and this bake is currently winging its way (ohh, a bit like Milner and Young tonight!) over to them
- And as this cake features Vanilla, I'm also entering it into the very fun AlphaBakes blogging challenge hosted by Baking Addict