Violet Bakery originated as a market stall on Broadway Market and is now a small bakery-cafe based in East London. Founder Claire Ptak is a food writer, prop stylist and recipe developer, specialising in cakes baked with organic ingredients. She recently ran a food styling and photography workshop with photographer friend Kristin Perers called Violet + The Vicarage. TOAST loaned them some Eve tableware for the occasion. As seen in these beautiful shots of a Fig & Earl Grey Victoria Sponge...
FIG & EARL GREY VICTORIA SPONGE RECIPE
Victoria sponge can feel like a cake for summer, but it's wonderful with autumnal figs. We use fig and Earl Grey jam by London Borough of Jam, and steep our cream with Earl grey tea for a subtle smokiness.
125g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing tin
200g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
300g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
160g whole milk
700g double cream
2 tsp loose leaf earl grey tea
Fig and earl grey jam
Icing sugar, for dusting
The night before you plan to bake the cake, pour the cream into a bowl and add the earl grey. Leave it to cold steep overnight.
Preheat the oven to 150C/130C (fan)/gas 2. Butter a deep 20x7.5cm cake tin and line with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the very soft butter with the sugar until almost white and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, vanilla and salt and mix until fully incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then add half of it to the butter mixture until just combined. Add the milk and mix until combined.
Now mix in the remaining flour. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and mix once more. Pour the batter into your prepared tin and smooth the top with a palette knife or spatula.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back to the touch. Allow the cake to cool for 15-20 minutes, then remove it from the tin and set on a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, strain your cream, then whip to soft peaks and bring your jam to room temperature if it is kept in the fridge.
Once the cake has cooled, use a long serrated knife to slice horizontally through the centre of the cake. Use the loose bottom of a cake or tart tin to slide in between the layers and lift off the top layer. Slide the bottom layer off the cooling rack and on to a serving plate or cake stand. Spread the bottom layer with a generous amount of jam and then dollop large spoonfuls of whipped cream on top. Smooth the cream a little, then add the top layer of sponge.
Add a small dollop of cream to the top of the cake, then add slices of fresh fig.
Dust with icing sugar and serve.
For more information on the next Violet + The Vicarage styling workshop please enquire here
Shop TOAST tableware here
Photography by Kristin Perers