Friday, 31 January 2014

The American Sponge Cake

Some recipes tend to surprise you and this is one of it. I had never made a Sponge cake but always loved to have one. Recently, I had this strong urge to take up the task and so quickly looked up a recipe from Joy of Baking. However, I had just finished a big batch of muffins and cookies that I had made for my daughter's birthday and there weren't many interested people (read husband) to eat more cakes at home. But opportunity did come in the shape of a sudden dinner plan at my place with some friends. I immediately got together the main ingredients (eggs!) and was happily making it. What made me more happy was the discovery that the recipe did not require any butter/oil and just a little flour than what a regular cake recipe calls for. So get ready for a slightly guilt-free indulgence!

1 cup all purpose flour
6 large eggs separated
1 cup fine granulated sugar divided
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla essence
Zest of 1 orange/lemon (outer covering)
1 tsp almond essence (optional)
2 tbsp water

In two separate bowls, take out the egg yolks and the egg whites. Beat the egg yolks and 2/3 cup sugar until light in color and creamy. Now add the essences, zest, and water and beat to a smooth creamy texture. When you hold the batter up with a spoon, it should fall back like a smooth ribbon. 
Now, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat further. This ensures the moistness of the cake. Now add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat until soft white peaks are formed. 
Sift the flour with the baking powder and add it to the yolk mixture, 1/3 cup at a time. Gently fold with the help of a spatula. Now add a little of the egg white and fold in without mixing too much. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in gently just until incorporated. Over mixing will deflate the batter. 
Pre-heat the oven at 175 degree celsius and grease a spring form pan or any regular cake tin. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smoothen the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Monitor the temperature in between to ensure no over browning on the top. Cool on a wire rack. You can garnish the cake by sprinkling some icing sugar through a sieve or with the favorite icing and fruit topping of your choice.

1. Tastes best if refrigerated overnight.
2. The secret to a soft and fluffy sponge cake lies in how best you beat the egg whites.
3. Initially it may taste a little dry and have a strong eggy smell. Refrigerate overnight and the smell would be no more.
4. You can add an extra teaspoon of vanilla essence.

No comments:

Post a Comment