A taste of history: Victoria sponge

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By Christine Jenkinseducation writer

Follow these instructions to make a cake that is perfect for the kind of afternoon tea that Queen Victoria enjoyed.

A great way to get children to actively engage with history is through food – not just learning about food from different periods but actually using recipes based on those from the past.

The recipes in this series can all be made in school. Each dish has a background ‘story’, providing opportunities to discuss aspects of its origins, the availability of certain foods and the connection to historical figures and events of the time.

Allow children to explore differences with the past and point out which cooking items would not have been available at the time. For example, how will we weigh the ingredients? Would a Roman/Tudor/Victorian/1940s cook have done it in the same way? This ensures that the lesson involves not only cooking skills, but some hands-on history, too.

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