Baking sponge cake is my nemesis. More often than not, I would get a cracked top or a shrunken middle. I always marveled at those who could get that perfect crease-free puffed up top. No matter how hard I tried, somehow the recipe would fail me. Oh well, maybe I failed the recipe. After rounds of trying, I have finally found something that worked for me. To cut the story short, I managed to come out with a decent chocolate sponge this time and I am utterly ecstatic about it.
This cake is intended as a base for frosted cake. You see, my boy's birthday is coming. This is the time of the year you would see me desperately honing my baking skills. He has specifically asked for a chocolate cake. And being an obliging mom, I have to give it a try. The goal was to have a moist and soft cake that is so fine that it easily melts in the mouth. Yet, it have to have enough structure so as to not lose its shape when the weight of the filling and frosting is piled upon it. This cake fits it all. It is really not that much of a deal to many bakers but from an apprentice (yes, that's me!) point of view, I have achieved another milestone. Loving every bit of the cake!
Basic Chocolate Sponge 巧克力海绵蛋糕
4 egg yolks
55 g corn oil
20 g cocoa powder
60 g whole milk
70 g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp salt
4 egg white
1/4 cream of tartar
80 g castor sugar
1. Preparation. Add vanilla essence into egg yolks. Sift baking powder, salt and flour together. Measure out all other ingredients. Preheat oven to 170C.
2. Heat oil until bubbling. Remove from fire and add cocoa powder. Stir until powder is dissolved. (Alternatively, microwave oil for 2 minutes and add in cocoa powder). Set aside for mixture to cool.
3. Meanwhile, beat egg whites until foamy on medium speed. Add in cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites. Add in sugar in three intervals and continue to beat in medium speed until sugar is well integrated. Increase to high and beat until you get stiff peak (the meringue should have a pointed tip when lifted up). Set aside.
4. Check on the chocolate mixture. It should be slightly warm to the touch (if it is not, microwave for 5 sec). Gradually add in milk and stir until it thickens. It is essential that the chocolate mixture is not too warm or it will turn grainy. Add in egg yolks, one at a time. Whisk until combine. Lastly, fold in flour in two installment. The batter should be very thick.
5. Add 1/3 of meringue into the chocolate mixture. Gently mix the meringue in until there are no lumps left. Repeat process until all meringue are added. Do not overmix the meringue or the air in the meringue would be released making your cake dense. Using a spatula, fold the mixture from bottom to top until there are no more uneven colour.
6. Pour batter into a 7 inch (mine 7 1/2 inch) round baking tray. Do not line tray and do not use non-stick pan. Lightly drop the pan a few times to release trapped bubbles.
7. Bake at 170C for about 35 minutes or skewer comes out cleans when tested. Remove and gently invert pan. Set aside to cool. To remove cake, use a spatula to lightly loosen the sides.
If you find your cake starting to crack, reduce heat by 10C.
Check out my Basic Sponge Cake using tang mian method here: