Last Monday was another night of great dessert. Please understand, the meal was wonderful, too. Butternut squash soup (a little bit spicy), risotto (creamy and delicious), homemade bread, and chai. But for dessert, we had a sponge cake. The great thing about sponge is that you can make it when you have almost no ingredients on hand. All you really need is eggs, flour, and sugar.
You will use equal amounts of each ingredient. Ideally, you should weigh the ingredients, but if you don’t have a scale, you can still figure it out. A large egg is about 2 ounces. A cup of flour is about 4-5 ounces, and a cup of sugar is about 6-7 ounces. For the eight people we had for dinner, Chef used three eggs, so he and Kayla did some math to get approximately 6 ounces of flour and 6 ounces of sugar.
Chef wanted to have two thin layers of cake, so he and Kayla used two eight-inch round pans. Chef brushed melted butter on the inside of both pans.
Then he cut two circles of paper (he used paper grocery bags) to line the pans. Ordinarily, he would have used parchment paper, but we are out of that right now.
Kayla put the sugar in a bowl with the eggs.
Although the photos don’t show it, Chef also added some almond flavoring. You could add vanilla or rum extract if desired, as well. Or you could forgo any extra flavoring at all. It’s up to you!
Then she put the whip (whisk) attachment on the Kitchenaid mixer and creamed the eggs and sugar until it was stiff and doubled in size.
Meanwhile, Chef showed Kayla how to sift the flour. We have a flour sifter which I like better than using a mesh colander, but Chef likes using the strainer better.
After the eggs and sugar were stiff and the flour was sifted, Chef and Kayla worked together to carefully fold the flour into the eggs and sugar. Chef says it’s easier if you have two people to do it, but you can manage on your own if you have to. Just be careful to add the flour a little bit at a time, and be very gentle as you fold it in.
When it is finished, it will look something like this:
Chef poured the batter gently into the buttered and lined cake pans.
And Kayla tasted the batter. She approved!
Chef put the pans in the oven, which was set about about 400 F. He said that if you have a thicker cake, you should use a lower temperature and bake it for a longer time. But since he had two thin cakes, he used a higher temperature for a shorter time (about 15-20 minutes.)
With Chef, cooking seems to be more of an art than a science.
You know it’s done when you press your palm gently into the cake and it sounds like crunching leaves.
Again, art here.
Chef removed the cake from the pans and added delicious toppings of fruit sauce and cream. Because a sponge can tend to be dry (especially if over-baked), many people choose to serve the cake with a sauce that will soak into the cake nicely.
It was a perfect way to end the meal.