o Grandpa is having a birthday? And chewing is quite an adventure for him? Do not despair – there is a solution and it’s called – a sponge cake! And if you enrich your Grandpa’s sponge cake with a tasty filling that melts in one’s mouth, he will have a Happy 99th indeed!
What is Sponge Cake?
Sponge cake is basically made of flour, sugar and eggs. In most cases it is made by foaming eggs with sugar, and adding flour carefully in order to preserve the air bubbles made by foaming. The air bubbles are important because when you put the cake batter in the oven the air expands inside of the mixture and leavens the cake, making it airy and spongelike. Some sorts of sponge cakes call for baking powder. Baking powder in contact with moisture and heat produces carbon dioxide gas, which expands when heated just like air does. If you want to learn all about baking powder and other forms of leavening check my post about .
How to Make Sponge Cake from Scratch?
Here is the procedure for making sponge cake step by step:
- Weigh the ingredients and sift the flour into a clean bowl.
- Separate egg whites from egg yolks and leave them at room temperature. By doing that, egg whites will rise more in volume when whipped.
- Put approximately half of sugar into egg yolks and whisk them together until thick and pale. This is called blanching.
- Put egg whites into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, and make French : whisk them to soft peaks, and then gradually add sugar, and continue whisking until firm peaks form.
- At this point you should have 3 bowls in front of you: blanched egg yolks, French meringue and sifted flour.
- Add one third of the meringue to the yolk mixture and gently fold with rubber spatula.
- Incorporate half of the flour, followed by second third of meringue.
- Add rest of the flour, and finish with meringue. You should mix as little as possible, just enough to get uniform mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a mold.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes at 180°C (350°F), or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake. Don’t open the oven door for the first 20 minutes of cooking!
What to Do With Sponge Cake?
You have learned the theory, mastered the technique, and there you are, you have just baked the best sponge cake ever! Now what? Well, you could always grab a glass of milk and just eat it as is, it will be fine while it’s fresh. However, Sponge cake tastes particularly good when eaten with cream and fruits. You can fill your sponge cake with Chantilly cream if you want your dessert to be light and airy, however, if you would like to add more substance to you dessert, make , or and enrich your sponge cake!
Most Popular Sponge Cakes
Génoise [ʒenwaz] is an Italian sponge cake made by whisking whole eggs with sugar over bain-marie until sugar crystals dissolve. The mixture is then removed from heat and it has to be whipped until cold, very light in color, and thick (this is called “ribbon stage”). Flour is carefully folded into this mixture. Some Génoise recipes call for small quantity of butter, which has to be melted and cooled when incorporated into the mixture. Genoise is baked until golden in color and springy, and until cake tester comes out dry.
[da kwäz′] is French-style sponge cake made of egg whites, sugar, flour, and almond or hazelnut flour. The method calls for making French meringue, and folding sifted flour, powdered sugar and nut flour into the meringue.
Joconde [ʒɔkɔ̃d] is another French sponge cake. This one is made by mixing whole eggs, almond flour and sugar into a paste. Into that paste is carefully added melted butter and French meringue. Joconde is usually spread onto a silicone mat and baked in a form of a thin sheet. When cooled, it is cut and filled with various creams and made into a layered cake.
Lady fingers Sponge Cake
or Savoiardi biscuits in Italian, are sweet sponge biscuits shaped in a form of a large finger. They have a French name, too – Pâte à Cuillère [pat a kɥijεr], when translated from French – spoon biscuits, as they were formed using two spoons. Lady fingers can be eaten like a snack, but lady finger sponge is also an important ingredient in several desserts such as Tiramisu, Trifle and Charlottes. Lady fingers are made by making French meringue, adding egg yolks to the meringue, and folding the flour at the end. This sponge contains more flour than other sponge cakes. They are piped with a piping bag and cooked in the oven.
Angel Food Cake
Angel Food cake originated in the US, and earned its name because of its light texture. Angel Food cake is made of egg whites, sugar and flour. Egg whites are whipped with sugar into stiff French meringue, and flour is folded into that. It is baked in a special pan, which is not greased so the cake can cling to the sides of the pan. When done, Angel Food cake is left upside down in the mold to cool down which prevents it from deflating. It is usually served without filling, with a fruit. Fruit sauce can be drizzled over Angel Food cake or served in a separate dish.
is another light sponge cake. Unlike other sponges, this one contains vegetable oil, which makes it extra soft and moist. Chiffon cake is leavened by two agents: baking powder and air – liquid and dry ingredients are combined first, and at the end French meringue is folded into the mixture.
Well, now you know everything about sponge cake, so – it’s time to make Granpappy happy! Go now, get baking, it ain’t gonna bake itself! Happy birthday Grandpa!
Well, what do you think about this post?
I read and really appreciate all the comments, even though I do not always have the time to respond to each one. So – keep me in the loop and try to create some sweetness every day because – Sweetness is happiness!!