It occurred to me recently that I had never really mastered the sponge cake. Of course this was not the first time I had thought about it but due to the fact that my mum was a first rate sponge maker I suppose I had avoided it for fear of failing.
Silly and past time for me to conquer. Some years back I had actually successfully followed recipes for sponge rolls, driven simply by the price of them in the bakery and my children's desire to eat them.
So, back to those sponges which take pride of place at 'Ladies Afternoon Tea', church or indeed any sort of fete, and that grace the magazines when they have a segment on high tea's.
The eggs in traditional sponges are beaten for 10-15 minutes and the air that is incorporated during this process is what causes the sponges to rise to the desired heights. The sugar is added slowly beating until all the grains aere dissolved requiring frequent scraping down of the sides of the bowl and beaters. This mix is then transferred to a wide topped bowl
Flour, usually plain due to the air/egg/rising process, is triple sifted, the last time into the egg/sugar mix, and from a height in order to incorporate yet more air.
Folding this mix together correctly is crucial, best done with a metal spoon in a gentle yet sweeping move, making sure that there are no lumps of flour left. Alternately, use your hand, opening your fingers wide so as to catch all the mixture, drag through and wipe your hands on the side of the bowl.
Any liquid is added last. According to the WW team, if liquid with melted butter is too hot when added it will toughen the sponge.
It always helps to have these little tips!!!!!!
* 3 eggs
*1/2 cup caster sugar
*1/4 cup cornflour
*1/4 cup plain flour
*1/4 cup self raising flour
*300mls thickened cream whipped
*ganach of your choice or jam
*coffee flavoured ganache
* chocolate icing
it is really up to you and depends on your filling
*preheat oven to 180 deg or 160 for fan forced
*grease and line a deep 22 cm round cake pan
*beat eggs in a small high sided bowl until thick and creamy
*slowly add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time beating well after each until sugar is dissovled
*transfer to a wide lipped bowl and gently sift in the flour that has already been sifted twice and then fold in with your preferred method
*spread mix into pan, placing any last scrapings around the edges of the pan as these tend to be heavier and could affect the rising if placed in the middle
*bake for 25 minutes - keep an eye on it as all ovens are different
*turn sponge onto a rack lined with baking paper to cool
*split in half, spread with filling of your choice, sandwich and ice
* I used walnuts on mine as they complement the coffee ganache but the sky is the limit really
* I also spread some coffe ganache on the bottom layer before spreading the whipped cream which also had a small amount of mascapone folded through.