I have long had trouble making a decent Victoria sponge, but having lashed out some Nectar points and a couple of quid, I bought the new Great British bake-off book which accompanies the second series, and hey presto - I can make a good Victoria sponge! People actually say how good they are, and I am very happy! (Sad what simple things can make me happy, really!)
It is a fairly simple recipe involving 8oz each of butter, sugar, and flour; 4 eggs, a tsp of vanilla extract and a tbsp of milk.
So, what's the secret? Well, the recipe in the book actually explains about beating the ingredients to get the air into the mixture. You are told to beat the butter, then beat the butter and sugar together for quite some time, and then add the eggs whilst beating even more - and then the folding in of the sifted flour with a big metal spoon. All that I used to think of as faffing about, but it Really Makes A Difference....so now I do it - have made several plain sponges with raspberry jam and a sprinkling of icing sugar, and have also tried a coffee and walnut version, and even a chocolate version - and they all work.
Now I am confident with the sponges, I am going to try some of the other recipes in the book. And I have ordered Mary Berry's Baking Bible from the library, so I can't wait for that to come in, and who knows what I might learn?!