Hey, remember when I used to make cake? Me too. And then I got all huge and spent my weekends hunting down pushchairs in the wilds of North London and then I had a baby, so the cake took a back seat. Well, it turns out that my little boy is really good at sleeping through electric mixers, so I’m sure I can juggle baking AND changing nappies (though not at the same time, because that stuff is nasty).

Anyway, my foray back into flours and sugars yesterday took the form of a fatless Victoria sponge. Fatless, you say? Yes: there’s no butter. The cake rises using the air you’ve whisked into egg whites. I would like to think that this turns the cake into health food. If you ignore the amount of whipped cream you put in it later.

You start with sieving plain flour, cornflour and baking powder together, then, in a separate bowl, separating four eggs and whisking the whites until stiff. Every recipe I’ve ever come across brings out this old chestnut about egg whites being ‘stiff’, and no one has ever specified exactly what they mean. So I take a guess: generally I keep going until the egg is clinging to the whisk like this:

You add caster sugar to the egg whites, then pour in the whisked egg yolks, then whisk a bit more, then fold in the flour mixture. I wasn’t sure how long you were supposed to keep whisking at this point, either, so left it when the mixture dripped smoothly off the whisk like this:

Mostly because my arm was hurting.

That’s about it, as far as the preparation goes: the whole thing is divided between two 8-inch cake tins (I had to use 7-inch tins, because that’s what I’ve got) and they go into the oven for 20 minutes.

Once out, the sponges are a strange, delicate, bubbly texture. They don’t have the same elasticity as a regular sponge, which unfortunately meant they came out in a cone shape, to match the slightly sloping edges of my tins. Use tins with straight edges, if you’ve got them. But lightness is to be encouraged when my previous sponge efforts have been dense enough to use as a Grade-A weapon.

Strawberries, cream and jam are all things that make me exceedingly happy, especially in combination, so I took the construction of the Victoria sponge very seriously. First, cake no. 1 went face-down onto the plate. Then I spread the jam carefully on the top. The sponges are so light that a little ham-fisted spreading could ruin everything, so I stirred the jam vigorously first to make it more movable.

Then I whisked the cream. I always, always accidentally over-whisk cream, and yesterday was no exception. I had to blob it on top of the jam with a spatula, and then spread it out as delicately as possible.

Then came the strawberries. You need about five or six.

And finally, because you can never have too much jam in a given situation, I drizzled some more on top (having heated it up a bit in the microwave).

You almost don’t need another cake on top of this, especially when it’s an odd, lopsided shape and doesn’t fit properly, but since I’d made one, and all, I decided to use it. A bit of icing sugar on the top completed the task.

And there we have it. Clearly, this cake will not be winning any Best in Show prizes. It looks like a wonky spinning top. But – and this is the important part – YUM. The sponge is light and feathery, and the filling is enough to make one weep with joy.

Deliciousness: Lovely, lovely, loveliness. Never mind that it’s not summer anymore. You can never go wrong with a bit of cream and jam.

Complexity: I need to work on appearances (or possibly just buy some different cake tins). But if you can make this with a sleeping four-week-old in the background, you can make it anywhere. It’s not hard.

Washing-up pile: Ten items. I’ll do them tomorrow, honest.

Casualties: Arm-ache from propping up the electric mixer. Wimp.

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