Jenny La Fleur
sponge cake - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
jennylafleur
jennylafleur
sponge cake
For mlsdesigns:

I love sponge cakes but hadn’t quite found the perfect recipe... until this weekend! I picked up the first local strawberries to hit my famer's market and despite the fact that they were wonderful on their own I decided to make a sponge to go with them.

I love the internet, I especially love recipe searches. Even more I love researching dishes and comparing recipes. I don't want to just recreate one cook's interpretation but to understand the history and principles behind a dish/ingredient, so I can better experiment and tweak to my own taste.

So I researched. I soon discovered that American sponge recipes are very different from English sponge cake recipes, (hence my problems in the past replicating what I'd eaten in England and Australia with Joy of Cooking!). I learned that sponge cake was one of the first non-yeast cakes, making it one of the first "cakes" as we think of them today. As usual I found Wikipedia to be the most concise but there were lots of interesting recipes and blog entries out there on the subject.

Armed with my new found knowledge this is what I came up with. It was heavily based on a Food.com recipe. Below is my version.

It was super simple and quick to make up and was even better the second day. I used it as a shortcake, serving it with sliced strawberries (I marinated them in a spash of Grand Marnier) and real whipped cream. The next day I tried it minus the Grand Marnier and with a layer of Nutella spread on the cake - even better! I used rosewater in my cake but next time I'll try vanilla... For sure I'll never buy another sponge again!


Classic Sponge Cake

3 large eggs
butter, room temperature
caster or extra-fine sugar
self-rising flour, sieved
½-1 tsp vanilla extract, rosewater or lemon juice + some lemon rind

The measurements for this recipe are equal amounts of sugar, flour and fat to the weight of the eggs (weighed in their shells) -so if eggs weigh 8oz, use 8oz sugar, 8oz butter, 8oz flour. If eggs weigh 6oz, all ingredients will be 6oz.

Preheat oven to 350F (Gas 4, 160C (fan oven), 180C).
Grease and line the bottom of two 8” cake tins.

Cream together butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
In a small bowl beat eggs until combined.
Gradually add eggs to the butter/sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.
Fold flour into mixture.

Divide batter equally between prepared tins.
Bake for 25 minutes in the middle of the oven. (Do not open oven unnecessarily!)
Cakes are done when golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes in the tins.
Remove from the tins and cool completely on rack.
Serve as desired.

Yield: One 8” cake


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Comments
countess_rosina From: countess_rosina Date: May 25th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC) (link)
Doesn't that picture look scrumptious!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: May 26th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC) (link)
It does, doesn't it? I didn't take pics of mine (to busy eating it!) so this is from the web. Next time I'll make a proper Victoria Sponge like this...
mlsdesigns From: mlsdesigns Date: May 25th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC) (link)
Thank you for posting this! Victoria Sponge, (named after Her Maj ;) was the first cake I learnt to make! My mother always preferes a whisked sponge, it has no fat and is much harder to make (the eggs are whisked with the sugar until a thick foamy mass, then flour folded in, if I remember right) it's a VERY light and delicious cake, but because it has no fat, it doesn't keep at all, unlike a Vicky sponge. Is the photo your cake? it looks so yummy :)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: May 26th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC) (link)
I totally stole the pic from the web. Hee. I didn't take pics of mine - I was too busy eating it! Next time I'll make a Victoria Sponge with jam and cream like this and take pics I promise.

The whipped sponge sounds like an Angel Food Cake, I wonder if it's the same thing different name. Does she use a tube pan or regular cake tins? I'm not really an Angel Food Cake fan but then again I've only ever had a store bought version. I'm discovering there are lots of things I thought I didn’t like but love when it's homemade (especially with farm fresh butter and eggs).

I want to try some more sponge variations but I'm thinking this will still be my go-to sponge cake!
mlsdesigns From: mlsdesigns Date: May 26th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC) (link)
I've never made an angel food cake, but I know it's only egg whites isn't it? A whisked sponge is 1oz of sugar and flour per egg, is that the same proportions as angel food cake? And she usually bakes it in a sheet pan, very thin and flat, to be turned into a jam filled swiss roll :)
girliegirl32786 From: girliegirl32786 Date: May 28th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC) (link)
Mmmmm...cake....
chloeandrudy From: chloeandrudy Date: May 28th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC) (link)
Thank you so much for doing all the research and coming up with this recipe. I had a Victoria sponge made by a British lady, and even the smell of it baking almost drove me wild. And you're right, our American version is nothing like those.
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