In my earlier entry, I mentioned that I was practicing making a cake to WI (Women’s Institute) standards, which seems to have some people a bit confused because almost instantly someone asked me; “what is the Women’s Institute and what are their cake standards?
What is the WI?
The Women’s Institute is a British, community-based organisation for women. It was formed in 1915 with two clear aims: to revitalise rural communities and to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Since then the organisation’s aims have broadened and it is now the largest women’s voluntary organisation in the UK. The organisation celebrated its 95th anniversary in 2010 and currently has approximately 205,000 members in 6,500 WIs.
The WI plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.
What the Women’s Institute look for in a cake:
- The cake must be made using the creaming method (when you beat the sugar and butter together). I am not sure how they know if this was done separately, but if any of you do then let the world know.
- The Victoria sponge should be filled with raspberry jam and sprinkled with caster sugar on top.
- It can be baked in either one or two round tins. If one tin is used then the two should be perfectly equal when cut; if two tins are used they should be the same size.
- No cooling rack marks allowed!
- The top of the cake should be flat or slightly domed in the centre, and it should be an even golden colour.
- The sponge texture should be even and fine with no big air bubbles.
- The flavour should be delicate.
- There should be a good balance between jam and sponge. (I think this means don’t over do it with the jam because ladies hate wearing their food!!!
- Victoria Sponge… Made to WI standard! (slightlydomesticateddad.wordpress.com)
- Tips for a winning cake from the WI (telegraph.co.uk)