Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Flavours Column: Whisked Sponge

Sponge cake is my ultimate cake. That's all I have to say aside from a big thank you to Quinn & Katie Photography for giving me an excuse to make such a pretty cake and for taking these beautiful photos. I hope Skye Florence loved it. x

Image: Quinn & Katie Photography

Whisked Sponge
Published in the Bay of Plenty Times, Wednesday 24th April, 2013

For such a light and elegant creation, sponge cake has the strange ability to impart fear into even the most experienced home-baker. 

If you saw the MasterChef episode where the contestants were asked to bake a sponge using a recipe from Dulcie May Kitchen, you’ll understand just how these fairy-light, classic cakes can create such a stir. Their simplicity is what makes them so daunting – flaws are hard to hide.

This recipe has, so far, been fail-safe for me. Sponge cake is one of my all time favourites and first pick for a birthday cake, stuffed full with fresh whipped cream and raspberries.

The pretty cake pictured is my take on the popular trend of ‘rainbow’ cakes; individually coloured cake layers stacked to create a rainbow effect. They look incredibly fun but use a lot of artificial colouring. For something less intense, but still playful and impressive, I layered this whisked sponge with soft pastel coloured frosting.

Image: Quinn & Katie Photography

5 eggs
230g caster sugar
180g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder                 
80g melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease and line two 23cm cake tins. Preheat oven to 180°C. Sift flour and baking powder together, set aside. Melt butter, add vanilla and set aside to cool. In a large bowl or stand mixer whisk eggs and sugar until VERY thick and pale. This may take around 5 minutes or more. This is what makes the sponge airy and light – it’s crucial, so don’t skip it! You’ve whisked enough when the mixture leaves a trail over itself. A little at a time, sift the flour and baking powder over the mix and gently fold until just combined. Scoop out a big spoon of the cake batter and combine with the melted butter. Add buttery mix gently back into the cake mix and fold again briefly. Pour evenly into cake tins and bake for 25-30mins. Sponges are ready when they shrink away from the sides of the tin and spring back when pressed gently with a fingertip. When cool, split cakes and layer with your favourite filling.

Weekly Tip: I know it’s tempting but don’t open the oven door until at least 20 minutes is up! Otherwise your sponges may lose air and sink. 

No comments:

Post a Comment