This New year, I've been trying to perfect the 'new' basic sponge cake. I've made it quite a few times now, so I know the coffee cream filling doesn't work but the family loves the fruit cream version! One might think - 'what's so special about the sponge cake? Or for that matter new??' Well, I had the sponge confused with the regular (Genoese) until recently. That's when I discovered that the sponge has absolutely NO butter in it, and that the fluffiness of the cake depends on the beating/whisking it gets (OK, I knew that already...somewhat. Its been reaffirmed).
I knew the cake was a success for sure, when DH requested the fruit cream version for his birthday! Wow!! Here's how I made it:
3 large Eggs
100 gms castor sugar
75 gms plain flour (maida)
A Fruit preserve of choice ( I used Wild blueberries)
A working oven ;-)
Baking tin (7/8 inch or of choice)
Fine thread (?? ...Yes)
- Set the oven to pre-heat at 180 degrees C
- Grease an 8 inch tin or any other that you plan to try with just enough melted butter/refined oil. It should be deep enough to let the cake rise
- Measure out the sugar into the mixing bowl.
- Measure out the flour and sieve it twice/thrice to air the flour nicely. Keep it ready to use in the sieve itself.
- Break the eggs into the mixing bowl over the sugar, and set to blend. for 15-20 minutes if using an electric whisk, longer manually. The batter would be done when it leaves a trail behind on lifting the whisk and doesn't drop in a glop.
- Sieve half the flour over the batter, mixing in gently using a large metal spoon. Vigorous mixing at this stage will spoil the earlier effort and release all the air incorporated into the egg-sugar mix.
- Sieve and mix the remaining flour the same way.
- Once done, pour in to the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake is golden brown, and light and springy to touch. Another sign of 'doneness' is when the cake leaves the sides of the tin.
- Take out from the oven and let cool for about 2 minutes before turning the cake out onto the wire rack. Set it right side up and let cool further.
Once the cake's cool, set it on a flat surface preferably a serving plate big enough not to crowd it and one without raised edges. The idea is to 'handle' the prepared cake as little as possible.
- Take as many toothpicks as the no. of sides of the cake (4 for a square/rectangle, 6 for a hexagon etc. )
- Poke these into the cake on each side, to aid in slicing the cake in half.
- Now double the thread and holding the 2 ends in each hand, pull it slowly and firmly through the cake just over the inserted toothpicks.
- Separate the 2 halves like an open book. Spread the Cream on the top half and the preserve on the bottom half. Let the cream soak in for a while and then place the top over the bottom.
Clean up the edges and its ready to serve. Ideal for tea-time.
This sponge doesn't have a long shelf life. In fact its too yummy to last long!