Saturday, 14 March 2015

A Basic Sponge Cake 海绵蛋糕

This is not my first attempt at a sponge cake. However, this is my maiden attempt in making a birthday sponge cake. And I tried not once, not twice, but thrice! My previous encounters with sponges were softer and finer. I tried using the same recipe but somehow, it was not strong enough to hold its shape. Therefore, I had to reduce the amount of moisture in the cake and whisk the egg whites more. It turned out very good in my first experiment but falter in my second bake. I attributed it to faulty techniques. My guess was underbaking and too much moisture.

For my third attempt, I reduced the yogurt, increased the baking time and did not line the tray. It turned out fine but it was still a bit dense. I will remember to work on my mixing skills to incorporate more air if there is any fourth attempt!

First Attempt: Good try, nice texture. The skewers are a guide so that I could cut the cake evenly into half.

Second attempt: Just removed from oven. 

This cake is to be made a birthday cake. It is to be layered with jam and cream and coated later. I did take a good picture of the texture. A bit dense I'll admit but I have no complaints as it held well and the taste was fabulous. Definitely not my forte but I promise this rookie will do better in the fourth attempt.

Basic Sponge cake


4 egg whites, room temperature
120 g castor sugar
4 egg yolks, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
50 ml yogurt, room temperature
40 g butter, melted
130 g cake flour/superfine flour

Cooking Instruction

1. Preparation: Line a 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 170C. Sift flour.

2. Whip egg white. Put egg white in a clean grease-free bowl and whisk with mixer until egg white becomes thick, white in colour and triple in volume. Gradually add in sugar and continue to whisk until egg turns smooth and glossy. If stiff peak forms when you lift your mixer, it is done.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks until pale and thick. When mixture is thick enough to form lines when dropped, add vanilla essence. Mix. Then add yogurt gradually.

4. Add 1/3 of the whipped egg white into the yolk mixture. Mix well. Slowly pour yolk mixture into whipped egg whites. Whisk until the two are well combined.

5. Next add 1/2 of the sifted flour. Using a spatula or spoon, fold the batter from bottom to top. Add in the other half and mix well. Do not overmix as this will cause gluten to form and air to be released from whipped eggs.

6. Lastly, drizzle butter a little at a time. Mix well before adding more. Butter will sink to the bottom if mix all at once.

7. When batter is smooth, pour batter into baking pan (not non-stick and not lined). Drop the pan a couple of times to release trapped air bubbles and to level batter. Bake at 170C for 25-30 minutes. Test with a skewer. There should not be any residue stuck to the skewer. Once done, remove from oven and turn the cake over to the cooling rack. Leave to cool.

Some Tips I have learned:
1. To avoid having lines on your sponge, lay a clean tea towel on the cooling rack before putting cake.
2. Make sure all equipment are grease-free when whipping the whites.
3. Do not open the oven door often when cake is baking. This is to ensure there is no cool draft going into the oven making the cake collapse.

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