|I renamed this recipe 'three-bowl sponge cake'––the author is not kidding, it takes three bowls!|
This week Temple asked me to make him a sponge cake, oh, pretty please with sugar on top, and I happily obliged––even though I'm trying not to bake as much in the New Year. Besides, a good wallop in the head deserves a good sponge cake (and he is a bit cracked in the head, but just fine now––thank you for your thoughts!).
|Pillowy, beaten egg whites are the key to a good sponge cake. Of course I think of William Wordsworth:|
'I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er vales and hills...'
Still in boxes are my many cookbooks, minus about one hundred that I have on shelves. Normally I would consult several sources for different takes on recipes. Of course, you can do this on-line, too, but then you are really asking for it. Googling on 'sponge cake recipes' is about as ubiquitous a task as Googling on 'John Smith.' Then again, try to explain to my husband, or anyone, why I still have hundreds of cookbooks (and counting), plus, um, boxes of magazine recipe clippings, when the internet guarantees just about any recipe in the world––most in multiple versions. If you are a crazy foodie, like me, you will understand this very modern muddle.
|Properly made sponge cake is light, has heft, and looks like a clean yellow sponge with its many pores––perfect for soaking up whatever you put on top. Not too sweet, not dry, but not overly moist, either.|
The Blue Ribbon Country Cookbook, written by Diane Roupe and published by Clarkson Potter (1998). I was impressed by its offerings and immense size (a whopping four pounds!) and yeah, I was lured by its cover featuring a perfect cherry pie. (I'm a sucker for cherry pie.)
|Egg whites and a thick frothy yolk mixture await folding together. It's also great to use your own eggs––and my hens are laying more frequently now with the increasing daylight.|
I was not disappointed by Roupe's sponge cake recipe. It follows, below, borrowed directly from the controversial Google Books out of shear and utter laziness (hey, even The Pantry is on Google books now, so I figure they owe me one). [So, yes, it is a scan of the actual page, via a nifty cut and paste thing I learned from my friend Edie––I can include the method in comments if you are interested.] I made no changes to this recipe at all, unless you count that I used regular sugar instead of superfine. Just make sure to use three bowls, beat everything according to the required minutes, fold gently to combine the two egg mixtures, and, above all, use an angel food pan! [Mine was in storage––but I just found it this weekend––and I managed with a bundt pan and a small cake pan: you need a large angel food cake pan as this recipe makes a lot of batter.]
|Ribbon the egg yolk mixture over the beaten egg whites into your third bowl. The bright yellow color comes from the quality of the yolks from our free-range chickens.|
|Fold gently, being careful not to overstir.|
|Two pans in lieu of one big one!|
|We like our sponge cake heaped with fresh or thawed berries, that we freeze in summer, and whipped cream (Stonyfield's Oikos 'caramel' yogurt works in a pinch, too!)––the best version of 'shortcake'!|
You come back when you're ready!