Once more in English: Very berry … Queen Victoria Small Tarts

As promised … I tried to brush up my English … So: here goes nothing! My first translated recipe: Queen Victoria Small Tarts:

Spring has finally arrived … and with it the first sweet berries. What better reason could there possibly be to try out some new recipes: for example a small version of the beloved Queen Victoria Cake.

For I am already on a secret baking-mission this year, I will try and share my accomplishments with you. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you, what my secret mission is, because a special person might be watchin’. But sooner or later you will all find out.

The ingredients I listed here are good for 8 to 10 small tarts, according to how many baked pastry cases you’ll pile up.

For the sponge:

  • 300g flour (you can use self-raising flour or add baking powder)

  • 150g caster sugar

  • 150g unsalted butter (melted or at least at room temperature)

  • 3 large eggs (please use free-range or organic eggs)

  • 1 orange zest (you can buy that in small packets)

  • 100ml double cream to make your sponge more moist and smoothly

  • 1 packet of baking powder if you do not use self-raising flour

  • 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground vanilla bean (you can buy that as well in small mills or glasses)

For the filling:

  • 300g whipping cream

  • 500g mascarpone

  • vanilla pulp from the inside of the vanilla bean (scrape it out carefully with the dull side of a kitchen knife)

  • 1-2 tablespoon(s) of caster sugar

For the fruity filling and the decoration on top:

  • strawberry jam

  • icing sugar

  • liquid honey … preferably in a bottle you can squeeze

  • caster suger to roll some fruit in

  • strawberrys and blueberries … or any other berries you like. Raspberries for example

Now let’s get started:

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Melt your butter or take it out of the fridge before you start baking to make it soft and easier to handle. If you have a microwave, try to heat your butter in it for 2-3 minutes. Mix flour, (baking powder), caster sugar, the coarsely ground vanilla bean and the orange zest. Add eggs, butter and finally the double cream to it. You can use a wooden spoon or a hand mixer. Beat all the ingredients until your dough is even and creamy. Make sure it is not too dry and not too runny.

Take a rectangular baking dish. Grease the bottom and sides with butter. Sprinkle a little flour over the greased parts and shake it. This will prevent the sponge from sticking  to your baking dish later.

Spread out the dough evenly … best use a spatula. This way you can make sure, that your sponge will be evenly baked and has the same height. Bake in the hot oven for around 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and risen. Turn the backing dish after half the time. This way it will be evenly baked.

You can check to see if the cake is cooked by sticking a chopstick right into the middle of the sponge. If no liquid dough sticks to it, your sponge is ready.

In the meantime …

… Hull and slice most of your strawberries. Leave some strawberries aside for your decoration. Just simply cut them in half.

Carefully score the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Beat the whipping cream until you have nice soft peaks. Ad some sugar and the vanilla seeds. Gently fold the mascarpone in afterwards.

Let’s pile it up…

As soon as your sponge cooled down a little, use a glas or a cup to cut out small round sponges. Gently spread jam on all sponges. If you want to pile up three sponges, ad some of your filling to two of them. Leave out the top sponge. To make sure, that your filling does not bristle when you pile up your small cakes, use a pastry tube and place the filling at a distance 1cm from the edge of the sponge. Add some sliced strawberries or other berries. Pile up all the sponges and gently press them down until you see the filling reach the edges.

As one of the final steps, dust the top sponge with icing sugar. Then, take the berries you did not slice and spread honey all over them. Roll them in caster sugar until they have a nice sugary crust. Now, place a small drop of honey on top of your top sponge. Place the sugared berrie on top of the honey. This way, the berrie will stick to your small cake.

Before serving the cakes, put them in the fridge … for at least ½ hour.

…. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand you’re done.

Tip: If you want a lighter sponge or a low-callorie filling, you can either bake a sponge mixture or use yoghurt with fresh fruits and fix it with a little Agar-Agar. Of course you can use gelatine as well … but where’s the fun in that 😉

Macht Lärm!

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