I celebrated my birthday last week and decided to make a yummy cake to mourn the passing of another year. As the years go flying by, I’ve found the only real solace of ageing is to eat cake, and lots of it! I want to share with you the best sponge cake recipe I’ve come across (and I’ve tried a few). I’ve posted this sponge recipe recently in my Lamington post, but I think that this sponge is so good it deserves to have the limelight in its own blog post. If you want to make a plain sponge cake instead of a chocolate one; simply skip the cocoa.
- 4 eggs
- 430g caster sugar
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- 300g plain flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup cocoa, sifted
- 1 tblsp baking powder
- 250ml (1 cup) full cream milk
- 125g unsalted butter
- 300ml whipping cream
- 1/4 cup strawberry jam
- Fresh strawberries and/or raspberries to decorate
- Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 170C. Prepare two 20 cm/8 in round cake tins by lining them with baking paper.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar until it is fluffy and mousse like. It will take around five minutes using a stand or hand held mixer. In a separate bowl sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Gently fold in one-third of the sifted flour into the egg mousse with a spatula. Fold in the other two-thirds until it is mixed through.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter in the milk. When the milk starts to bubble and froth, remove it from the heat and add it to the cake mix. As per the flour, gently stir through one-third of the hot milk with a spatula and then fold through the rest of the milk.
Divide the cake mix evenly between the two cake tins and bake for 45 minutes. Check the cake regularly using a skewer once it has been baking for 35 minutes as you don’t want to over cook the sponge. If you have a small oven and can only bake one cake tin at a time, it will take only 25-30 minutes for each tin. Let the cake layers cool completely.
Whip the cream with a stand or hand help mixer until it is quite firm. I think I over whisked mine slightly. If your cake layers are slightly domed in the middle, slice off the tops with a knife before decorating.
On the bottom cake layer, spread the strawberry jam evenly and then spread on half of the whipped cream. Place the second layer on top and press it down slightly. Spread on the remaining whipped cream on top and decorate with fresh berries. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
The cake will serve twelve. Store any leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge. Remove the cake from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to eating.