Showing posts with label spongecake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spongecake. Show all posts

Monday, August 27, 2012

Easy Old-Fashioned Spongecake

My mother's favorite summer cakes were all based on spongecake and summer fruit with whipped cream. They were light and not overly sweet, but always indulgent.

So when I spotted this strange spongecake recipe, I had to give it a try. It's a Better Homes and Gardens Recipe from the fifties that's supposed to be quick and easy.

However, I have to say this is one of the stranger recipes I have ever made. Not only is there no separation of eggs or gentle folding so they won't collapse, but logic would seem to dictate that the hot milk really ought to deflate the whole thing! 

Interestingly, they recommend baking it in a square pan. How very chic and modern for the fifties. I cut it in half to create two layers, added whipped cream and strawberries and had a fabulous dessert in no time.

The only major things to notice are that the eggs have to be room temperature and the sugar must be added slowly so the eggs won't deflate.

Hot Milk Spongecake
(from Better Homes & Gardens)

2 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter + extra for greasing pan

Take the eggs out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before using.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x9 pan well with butter. Combine flour with baking powder and set aside.

Beat the eggs until thick, about 4 minutes. Slowly add the sugar. Beat for another 4-5 minutes. Add the flour mixture and beat just enough to combine. 

Heat the milk and the butter enough for the butter to melt. Pour into egg mixture and beat to combine. Pour into prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes.

Choose your own fruit. This would work equally well with blueberries or sliced peaches. I used about one pound of strawberries.

To make the cream:

1 - 2 cups of heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar per cup of cream
splash of vanilla

Beat the cream until it begins to take shape. Add the sugar and continue to beat, adding the vanilla. Beat until it holds a shape.

Use a serrated knife to slice the cake in half horizontally. Spread cream over the cut side of the bottom half. Lay strawberry slices on top of the cream. Cover with the top half of the cake. Spread cream over the top. Arrange strawberries on the top in a pleasing pattern.

If there is leftover cream, pass it in a bowl when serving.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mini Cherry Sponge Cakes

At my house, special days like Mother's Day call for cake. When I asked my mom what she would like for her Mother's Day dinner, I thought she would want a cake. Wrong! She asked for her favorite potatoes -- hash browns!

I was happy to oblige. But I still needed a dessert. The problem is that sometimes there just aren't enough people around to eat a whole cake.

So this time, I made a little twist on a Strawberry Shortcake -- Cherry Sponge Cake! Instead of baking an entire sponge cake, I piped little rounds of sponge cake batter and baked them. Then I topped them off with a cherry reduction and whipped cream. Mom was thrilled.

If you're in a terrible rush (who isn't?), you could probably get away with slices of a ready made frozen pound cake topped with thawed cherries and whipped cream. However, I have to say that the cherry reduction packed a punch of flavor. If you have never tried a reduction, don't be afraid. It's just a matter of cooking down the liquid so that the flavor intensifies. It's really easy!

You'll notice that there is no sugar in the whipped cream and very little sugar in the sponge cakes. The cherries were wonderfully sweet and more sugar wasn't necessary. However, if you try this without making the cherry reduction, you might want to sweeten the whipped cream.

Mini Sponge Cakes

2 eggs
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons sugar
5 tablespoons flour
3 heaped tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 400. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon sugar.

Beat the egg whites until they hold a soft peak, adding 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of sugar when they begin to take shape.

Pour the egg whites on top of the egg yolks.

Mix the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a small bowl. Using a sieve or a flour sifter, sprinkle the mixture on top of the egg whites. Fold everything together gently. (Do not use a machine for this! Do not beat or stir.)

Pipe the batter onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper in 2 to 3 inch rounds. (You can skip this step and spoon the batter onto the parchment paper, smoothing it with the back of the spoon. It's not as pretty or uniform -- see below -- but once everything is assembled, no one will know the difference.)

Bake at 350 (note that you're lowering the temperature!) for 6-8 minutes or until they have baked through and are golden. If they're sticky to the touch, they need to bake a minute or two longer.

Cherry Reduction

1 bag frozen cherries
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water

Pour all ingredients into a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat immediately and let simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. (Note, brandy or a liquor could be substituted for part of the water.)


Place one sponge cake round on a plate upside down. Spoon cherries and liquid on top of it. Spoon whipped cream over top of the cherries. Top each with one cherry.