A surprise centre in a Victoria sandwich
A surprise centre in a Victoria sandwich

I love Lakeland.   Our nearest store is in Aberdeen and one day we drove all the way there, me filled with excitement and Himself with trepidation, only to find it was closed for refurbishment.  I know I can shop online but sometimes you just need to see and feel the things in real life.

My experimental flan case
My experimental flan case

I was browsing a little while ago and I came across the Silverwood Victoria Surprise Cake Tin.  I desperately wanted it but with a cupboard full of cake tins, I couldn’t really justify the cost.  The fact that you could also bake sponge flan cases as well as cakes, made me want it all the more.  However, after examining the pictures carefully I rummaged around and pulled out a couple of stainless steel bowls, the kind you use to feed dogs (I would just like to point out that I haven’t used these bowls for dog feeding).  I put the smaller one upside down inside the other, made a fatless sponge and managed to turn out a flan case of my own.  It was a bit on the deep side but I filled it with orange roasted rhubarb, poured over a fruit jelly and left it to set.   It was quite pleasant served up with some goat’s milk ice cream.

I mentioned my experimental baking to my mother and within a few days, a parcel from Lakeland turned up on my doorstep.  Inside was the Silverwood Cake Tin.  I was thrilled and wanted to get started on my cake immediately but unusually for me, I had no sugar.

Insert baked into the cake
Insert baked into the cake

A few days later, with bags of sugar at the ready, I milked Lily and ran it through the separator hoping for a big jug of cream.  For some reason the milk only produced a few ml so I had to think of something else for the filling.

I had studied all the reviews on the website and I knew I had to grease and line the inserts to prevent sticking so I didn’t stint on my prep.  I made the batter according to the recipe on the leaflet that came with the tins – see recipe below.

In the oven the cakes had to sit on different shelves but both rose beautifully, although rather unevenly but that is the fault of my Rayburn.

When both were done I left them to cool for 10 minutes on a rack before turning them out.  I was delighted when they slid out easily until I discovered that the inserts had been baked into the sponge.  For some reason the cake mix had managed to get in between them and the base.  I had to cut them out.  It rather ruined the look of the sponges which was a great shame.

Sponge halves or flan cases
Sponge halves or flan cases

With the minuscule amount of goat cream, I made a vanilla buttercream filling for one half and in the other half I put leftover lemon and ginger that I saved and preserved in sugar syrup, from my recent ginger beer brewing.  Getting the two halves together was a bit tricky and I did think the top sponge was going to break up as I plonked it on top of the bottom, but it survived.

It sealed up quite well, hid the uneven bake and the filling and with a quick sprinkle of icing sugar, actually looked quite spectacular.

Cake done, hiding the filling
Cake done, hiding the surprise filling

I left it overnight in the cool utility room and the following day served it up after lunch.  As we excitedly cut into the cake, I warned Himself that since it was stuffed full of the rich buttercream, he may only want a small slice but that didn’t stop him.  Despite it’s unevenness, it still looked pretty impressive, but the sponge did look a bit stodgy.

Overall when you got the mix of sharp lemon and tangy ginger plus the sweet vanilla cream and sponge it tasted superb. The only thing that let it down was that when it came to eating the edge, you got more sponge than filling and it was a bit bland. If I can overcome the problem of the inserts, it should be capable of producing a superb cake.

A surprising cake

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Filling
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 280g icing sugar
  • 50ml double cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ jar jam
  1. Heat oven to 180C. Beat all the ingredients together into a smooth batter then spoon into the prepared tins and spread evenly
  2. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch
  3. Remove from the oven but leave in the tins for 10 minutes to cool
  4. Turn out onto a cooling rack and remove inserts and greaseproof paper
  5. Leave to cool completely
  6. Make buttercream filling by beating the softened butter with icing sugar, double cream and vanilla essence until well mixed and fluffy
  7. Spoon the buttercream into the well in one half of the sponge and spread out evenly
  8. In the other half spread the jam
  9. Carefully place the half with buttercream on top of the half with the jam
  10. Decorate with sifted icing sugar