Recipe – Victoria Sandwiches

Eccoci qua con un altro goloso classico della cucina inglese, Victoria Sandwiches.
La ricetta è quella originale di Mrs Avis Crocombe, la cuoca al servizio di Lord e Lady Braybrooke a Audley End House nella seconda metà del 1800. Il video, che adoro, è dell’organizzazione English Heritage.
Sebbene porti il nome della Regina Vittoria, che, si dice, ne andasse matta, in realtà questa ricetta risale addirittura agli inizi del 1600. E non lasciatevi ingannare dal nome: non si tratta di panini, ma di deliziosi tranci di pan di Spagna.

Vediamo cosa ci occorre per realizzarli:

675g sugar = 675g zucchero
6 eggs = 6 uova
450g flour = 450g farina
2tsb orange flower water= 2 cucchiaini acqua di fiori d’arancio
1tsb baking powder = 1 cucchiaino lievito in polvere
90g almonds = 90g mandorle

Per il procedimento, cediamo la parola a Mrs Crocombe.

“Lord and Lady Braybrooke have guests for afternoon tea and so I’m in the garden looking for flowers to help with the decoration. I’m going to make Victoria sandwiches. Everybody loves Victoria sandwiches!
For these you will need:
675 g sugar
6 eggs
450g flour
2tsb orange flower water
1tsb baking powder
90g almonds
The first step is to whisk the eggs. You will need to whisk them for a long time, to make them nice and frothy and this will help with the rise of the cake. I’m using a copper bowl, but you might need to add a few drops of lemon juice to help.
Now that they’re nice and fluffy, we’re going to add sugar and mix them well together.
Now you add the flour. Make sure that you sift it, especially if you’re unsure of the quality of your flour. And it’ll also help keep your cake mix nice and light.
You can, if you like, add almonds. I would recommend it.
Add a little raising agent to help with the rise.
And to add a little flavour, I’m going to add some orange flower water. I suppose you could add vanilla or almond flavouring, it depends on who you’re cooking for.
And now you need to make sure that you mix all of it thoroughly together.
As we’re making Victoria sandwiches, the sponge cake needs to be baked in a rectangular tin. The first thing you need to do is to line it, so I’m going to cover the whole thing with butter, over every single bit of the tin.
Now that you’ve lined your tin, to get a nice edge to your cake, just sprinkle some sugar all the way over it. And now, pour in your mix.
We want the cake to have a flat top, so give it a couple of taps and then, to insulate it whilst it’s in the oven, so it can cook more smoothly all the way over, I’m going to wrap some wet cheesecloth, or bands, and pin it around the outside.
Obviously, all ovens are different, so you’ll want to keep an eye on it and maybe turn it while it’s in there. And it wants to cook in a moderate oven.
Now that it is out of the oven and cool, you can cut it into manageable pieces, then halve these and spread it with jam.
Now we need to present it, so cut it into bite-sized pieces and put it on a presentation dish.
And there we are, the last sandwich, with some of Lady Braybrooke’s favourite flowers from the gardens here at Audley End.
Victoria sandwiches, perfect for a summer afternoon”.

Questo video, oltre a svelarci i segreti di cucina di Avis Crocombe e a offrirci qualche scorcio della splendida Audley End, ci dà l’opportunità di vedere insieme alcuni utilissimi termini culinari:

verbi:
(to) whisk = (uova) sbattere
(to) sift = setacciare
(to) bake = cuocere in forno
(to) line = rivestire
(to) sprinkle= spolverizzare
(to) pin = fissure, appuntare
(to) halve = dividere a metà
(to) spread = cospargere

sostantivi:
rise = lievitazione
copper = rame
raising agent = agente lievitante
sponge cake = pan di Spagna
tin = teglia
cheesecloth = garza per avvolgere i formaggi

aggettivi:
frothy = spumose
fluffy = a neve
flat = piatto
bite-sized = della misura di un bocconcino

avverbi:
thoroughly = accuratamente

e, per finire, anche un idiom:
(to) keep an eye on = tenere d’occhio

A questo punto, non resta che mettere il bollitore sul fuoco e tirare fuori le tazze da tè!
A proposito di tè, se ve lo siete perso, andatevi a vedere il post su come si prepara una vera tazza di tè all’inglese – The Perfect Cup of Tea, mi raccomando! j


Janet L. Dubbini

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