Sunday, 15 June 2014

Vanilla Victoria Sponge and a giveaway

I love baking with vanilla. It's such a versatile flavour and absolutely delicious on it's own. Since I discovered how easy it is to make your own vanilla extract, I've not bought any but I do regularly buy vanilla pods and vanilla bean paste for baking. Taylor & Colledge have a great range of vanilla bean products including organic vanilla bean pods, vanilla bean dusting sugar, vanilla bean extract, vanilla bean paste and vanilla bean grinder. I was particularly intrigued by the vanilla bean grinder as I've never seen one before. I shortlisted a few recipes to showcase the vanilla flavour and in end decided on a classic Victoria Sponge. 

I filled it with vanilla cream and fresh strawberries and added vanilla to the sponge mix as well. The vanilla flavour was delicious and you can definitely smell the vanilla in the cake as there was quite a lot of it! The vanilla bean grinder was really easy to use - similar to a salt/pepper grinder. I loved the flecks of vanilla on the cream and it added to the vanilla flavour too. 

I have 3 sets of their full range of vanilla bean products to giveaway to 3 lucky readers. Entry is via the rafflecopter widget below. 

The prize consists of one of each of the following for 3 readers.
  • Taylor & Colledge Organic vanilla bean pods 
  • Taylor & Colledge Vanilla bean dusting sugar 
  • Taylor & Colledge Vanilla bean extract 
  • Taylor & Colledge Vanilla bean paste
  • Taylor & Colledge Vanilla bean grinder

Terms and Conditions
  • This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 with a postal address in the UK.
  • Closing date is 7th July 2014 at 12 midnight GMT.
  • The winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter and will be contacted by email. 
  • I am running this competition on behalf of Taylor & Colledge who will be sending out the prize directly. By entering you are giving me permission to pass your email address on to Taylor & Colledge so they can contact you for delivery of the prize. 
  • All entries will be checked and verified. 

 My selection of vanilla bean products for review - organic vanilla bean pods, vanilla bean dusting sugar, vanilla bean extract, vanilla bean grinder and vanilla bean paste 

 adding vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract to the cake batter 

 I used the vanilla bean grinder to grind some vanilla beans into the whipped cream 

 I also added more ground vanilla on top of the cream before adding the strawberries 


 finally a dusting of vanilla bean icing sugar to finish 

For the cake
Weigh 4 eggs in their shells and then measure out the same weight in butter, sugar and self raising flour.
My eggs weighed 265g so I used:

4 eggs (weight 265g in their shells)
265g butter
265g caster sugar
265g self raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

For the filling
300mls double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few twists of the vanilla bean grinder
Fresh strawberries - washed, hulled and sliced

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  • Mix in the flour.
  • Stir in the vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between 2 sandwich tins.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and springy to touch. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Whip the cream until it's set and add in the vanilla extract. 
  • Using the vanilla bean grinder, sprinkle some ground vanilla over the cream. 
  • Sandwich the cakes with the vanilla cream and a layer of strawberries. 
  • Dust the top of the cake with vanilla bean icing sugar.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was sent a selection of products from Taylor & Colledge for review purposes. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own. 


  1. ooh, the bean paste - think that it would be great to make some really tasty home made vanilla ice cream

  2. The vanilla bean grinder because I've not used one before, the make something classic like a Victoria sponge o really show off the flavour!

  3. This is always how I make victoria sponges now - the weighed egg method. So reliable. Great looking cake

  4. I'd like to try the vanilla dusting powder, i inagine it would give a great flavour to white buttercream icing. I would try it on my favourite coconut cake, coconut and vanilla flavours go so well together.

  5. Oh my answer vanished! The grinder is what I'd try for sure :-)

  6. The Vanilla Coco Dusting Sugar to put onto op my cup cakes

  7. I'd like to try the dusting powder - I'd use it to add a light vanilla note to a lemon tart.

  8. I'd love to try the grinder, have never used one before and it looks quite handy. I think I would make vanilla cupcakes because I love them so much, especially when they're still slightly warm from the oven :)

  9. It is such a versatile ingredient, perfect for so many delicious cakes and bakes!

  10. what beautiful cake!! I love sponge cake.
    I know I can,'t participate but usually I use vanilla extract but I love vanilla paste too!

  11. oh some yummy home made vanilla ice cream

  12. The vanilla bean dusting sugar as it is the only T&C product I have not tried. I would sprinkle it on everything! I love vanilla!!!!

  13. The bean grinder as I've never used one before, and then I would make a victoria sponge.

  14. The vanilla bean grinder sounds great

  15. I'd use the vanilla bean grinder! As for a recipe I think I'd go for a rhubarb and vanilla scones - yummy!

  16. The Vanilla Coco Dusting Sugar sprinkle on my cakes

  17. vanilla bean extract..I would make homemade vanilla ice cream!

  18. The pods, I'd try and make some ice cream x

  19. My boyfriend's making a PC game at the moment called Baking Simulator... and having watched the trailer a billion times, it's really giving me the itch to make a nice sponge cake, and after seeing your picture I think I'd have to make a sponge first, with the vanilla extract :) My Dad's a huge homemade ice cream fan as well, so I'm sure he'd make that pretty quickly if I won :)

  20. I'd try the extract first and make some zucchini muffins.

  21. I'd use the vanilla bean pods first to make some simple but delicious strawberry and vanilla jam.

  22. Taylor & Colledge Vanilla bean extract in a sponge cake.


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