I might as well face it, I'm addicted to...

The worst kind of magazines to be addicted to: Food magazines.

Other kinds of magazines come into my house and quickly leave. I'll flip through them, maybe ripping out a page or two as I go to file away for later reference if there's something I really want to remember (ahem, like a recipe, perhaps), and then off they go into the recycling bin.

But looking through a food magazine is an entirely different story. There are recipes!! Loads and loads of recipes!! Yummy sounding recipes. And neat gadgets! Must have gadgets! And beautiful kitchen things I most certainly cannot afford right now, but perhaps could afford... someday! And books...cookbooks and books about food! There is a veritable plethora of food information and food stuff! It's a big weakness for me.

Sure, I will only get around to cooking a few recipes. If it's a good month, I'll get around to cooking a few recipes from each one. I usually read them the day they come in the mail from cover to cover, picking out a few I absolutely have to make right away, storing the rest in the recesses of my brain for "later." Only sometimes, "later" doesn't come for a long time. Or, ever. But still! I have to keep them. Just in case.

Most of the recipes in Saveur seem beyond my capabilities as a cook, whether it's the ingredients, the special equipment needed, the health issues I would have if I did make it, or just the time and effort it would take to cook one of them. However, this does not stop me from trying a few of them out almost every month anyway (they always sound so good!)...nor continuing to subscribe to the magazine. This recipe for Victoria Sponge Cake was featured in the magazine last year sometime, and I wasn't able to find it on the website, so I had to dig through my boxes of "old magazines" to find the one I wanted.

LB hates these boxes - he knows of my magazine addiction (I've recently acquired two new ones, and yes, all but one of them are food-related) and he just does not understand why I have to have 200+ magazines around the house since I rarely pick them up after looking through them once, unless it's for that one recipe that is impossible to find because I cannot remember just WHICH magazine it's in... This occurred recently with a rose buttercream cupcake recipe - I was just waiting for the rosebushes to bloom and now for the life of me, I cannot remember where in the heck I saw it!

Furthermore, LB has officially banned me from bringing any magazines along with us to Hawaii unless they are the one or two that will fit into my carry-on luggage when we actually make the move. I'm desparately trying to figure out how to weasle my way around this new "rule." Any ideas from you readers would be helpful...

I've tried cutting and pasting out a few...but then I end up cutting and pasting the entire magazine into some other form, say white paper...this cuts down on a few pages, but not many. I've tried limiting myself to a single dessert, appetizer, main dish, etc...but more than one recipe for each one makes it out...and eventually most of the magazine ends up saved anyhow. Some of the recipes are available online, but then there's that one that isn't... or it doesn't have a picture and I'm not nearly as inspired...or I can't find a seasonal recipe... (and if I had the magazine, I could just pick up that month!)

Basically, I have a problem. I know. But once you taste this cake, you may be wishing you could have found it online too :) So my addiction and I are here to help you out. No need to go searching online or through old magazines, we're going to provide it for you right here. It's fabulous, and perfect right now because the strawberries are amazing this time of year. Once you dig your fork into the double Devonshire cream and layers of homemade strawberry jam sandwiched between two caramelized-edged sponge cakes, at least you, dear reader, will be happy I gave LB a loving "hmmph" and kept this particular magazine despite his disgruntled murmurings.

So without further adieu: Victoria Sponge Cake, from Saveur

3/4 lb. salted European-style high-fat butter, softened (plus extra for pan)
3 cups self-rising cake flour (plus extra for pan)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups double Devonshire cream (I get mine from Cost Plus World Market)
3/4 cup strawberry jam (preferably homemade)
confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 360F. Grease two 2" deep 8" round cake pans with butter and dust with flour; set aside.

Beat remaining butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 5 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Combine eggs with 6 tbsp. water in another bowl and whisk together. Add half the egg misture and half the flour to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat well for 1-2 minutes, then add remaining flour and egg mixture. Beat for an additional 5 minutes.

Divide the batter between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Invert cakes onto a rack, remove pans and let cool completely.

Beat cream in a medium bowl until stiff. Put 1 cake layer on a cake plate, spread the top with jam, then cover the jam with the cream. Spread top of remaining cake layer with remaining jam and place it, jam side down, on top of cream. Dust cake with confectioner's sugar.

Notes: Don't make this in a single 4" (or about that?) high pan - I did this time (I've made this once before) so that I could just cut it in half with a cake leveler, and I had to bake it so long to get the middle cooked through that the edges got overly browned. This wasn't a total loss, because it gave the cake a yummy caramelized flavor, but it's much more attractive with golden, not brown, edges. I served it with strawberries marinated in marsala and mint, and it was a delicious accompaniment. It's not healthy, but it's a great cake for entertaining. I can also post the homemade jam recipe if anyone wants it...let me know!

12 comments from you:

Nerissa said...

The cake looks so decadent. As for your magazine habit, it's becoming a problem of mine too but I don't have many around here nor are they regular. I've not become such an addict that I subscribe but it's always a future possibility.
My idea for your new rule (LOL and it reminds me of something that Ben would tell me): Mail them to yourself. Expensive, I know, but at least they aren't in your luggage. If there are barges from Eugene to Hawaii, it might be even cheaper. Make friends with a boat going to Hawaii and offer to make a 5 course meal for them or something to cut down on the price. Some ideas. yea or nay them at will

ilva said...

Do I need to say that I have the same problem? BUT I am breaking the habit! Yes, there IS light in the end of the tunnel Michelle! After a horrifying experience (cleaning out my old parents house a whole summer) I have began to throw away my beloved magazines! I now keep them for 5-6 months, then I cut out the recipes that interest me and off they go. I feel such a freedom. I had boxes and stashes of old magazines that I threw away without even looking through them...So break the habit!

Kitchen Queen said...

Here's an idea that's cheaper than mailing the magazines to yourself: scan them and store them in your computer. I've lost a lot of great magazines and cookbooks from moving around a lot, and I'm just not going to do that any more. One old paper book is so cherished that I'm typing it in by hand (most pages are too stained to scan well).

Melissa CookingDiva said...

This is an amazing looking cake!!! I used to have lots of magazine subscriptions once, not any more. Now I am just addicted to cookbooks :-)

clare eats said...

oh girl
I know your pain.... I am always dreaming about when I can have the coffee maker and electric mixer....pan... baking mat *sigh*

you could make a datatbase and slowly enter all the recipes in..... lol

But that is a beautiful looking cake!
Strawberries are soooo soooo sooo very expensive at the moment :(

When caseys mum makes a cake she crushes the strawberries and then folds this through whipped cream mmmmmm

cookiecrumb said...

I don't think LB is being very L if he's dictating to you. :(
Your argument to him (apart from the very simple fact that there are two of you moving to Hawaii, and each of you gets to bring your own stuff) might be that all the great meals you've been making for him come from sources/inspirations like your beloved magazines.
I've got every Saveur (minus the first year) in the garage! Cranky's cool with that. (Hell, he's got three bikes out there.)
Anyway. I agree with Nerissa. You might think about shipping them (not mail, though... $$$).

michelle said...

Nerissa, he he he - a way around the rule! The only problem is that we've already agreed that we'll spend the $2500 for 2000 lbs. of goodies (I put my foot down with bringing the kitchenaid and the brand new (only nice) furniture we own...)so the rule comes from the fact that the mags are heavy and i'm already bringing a lot :) but I still love my magazines!! maybe I could store them with my mom...and have her bring them... :) I just want my cake recipes and be able to eat them too!

KQ, now that's some dedication! That would solve my magazine weight problem...only I have to give my computer back when I leave here (it belongs to the lab, thus why I don't have access to one on the weekends unless I come into work!) Bummer...

Thanks Melissa! I know, I have a cookbook addiction too, but now I can't buy anymore because I don't want to have to leave any behind...now I just use the library for my cookbook fix!

Clare, HI! I'm sad for you that strawberries are pricey right now - they're getting very cheap here, and oh so good. I'm going to try Casey's mom's trick - sounds awesome!

Cookiecrumb, I think I mis-represented LB a bit - he's not dictating to me, I promise, he just doesn't have that much stuff and I have TONS!! The magazines are heavy, and since I want to bring the couch, the kitchenaid, and some of the other nice things I've slowly acquired over the years for killer prices ;) that I know I won't be able to afford again for a very very long time, especially there, I have to pick and choose what I leave behind...I think it will be kind of refreshing to leave a lot of it behind, but now with all these great ideas from everyone, I think I might store my magazines with mom and have her bring them out to me over the years!!! (That's awesome that you've got all the Saveurs!)

Kitchen Queen said...

Does LB have his own computer? If he does, then you can buy a hard drive just for your recipes, and do the scanning thing. Or if that won't work, maybe you could give them away to your friends? We would treat them very well, and then send them to you when you're settled in.....or maybe let you visit the recipes when we post them to our food blogs! LOL! Just kidding about holding your magazines hostage.....I'd store them for you and mail them whenever you wanted them back. Maybe even with a cast iron skillet housewarming gift, if I can afford the shipping!

Anna said...

I definately empathize with the magazine struggle. I have done the cut and paste thing in the past and just had to be brutally honest with myself about what I would actually cook, and save only those recipes. Now I have four photo albums with the clippings in specific sections, but that's better than 100+ magazines in the closet. At least now I can flip through them to see what sounds interesting. Moreover, doing all that sorting convinced me to start paring down my subscriptions so I wouldn't have to do it again in six months - I'm actually starting to go back and it was totally worth it! Lissa

Natalia said...

Oh, I am EXACTLY the same way. I spend so much money on food magazines, but I never suscribe. I guess it's that larger summ all at once, even though I know it would be worth it. But standing in line at the store, I can't stop myself! I have that very same Saveur and bought it just for their strawberry recipes, although I'm yet to make any yet. So I'm really not the one to be giving any advice :) Maybe you just give an ultimatum: you with your magazines or no you and no magazines. (J/k :P)

Paz said...



michelle said...

Hi KQ - LOL - you're funny! I'd certainly come and visit "my" recipes if you were hosting them! And I wouldn't torture anyone with the cost of shipping to Hawaii! It's ridiculous! Just perhaps request a visit and a magazine in tow when you did! Mmm...cast iron pan... ;)

Hi Lissa - smart girl, I'm going to have to start doing some paring soon...it's the "brutally honest" part that's hard to piece out, when you're a foodie like us, it's so hard to pass any recipe by!

Hi my fellow Colorado-an, he he I used to have the impulse magazine buying in the stand problem too - I had no option but to subscribe so that I could save some money!! Now I see it, drool, and have to force myself to wait until it comes in the mail...but there are still a few out there that I don't have but still snatch in the checkout stands. I love the ultimatum! He'd say: "Okay, I'll leave you here, and I get the new couch!"

Hi Paz!