Sunday, January 9, 2011

Glorious Sponge Cake

It really is a gorgeous cake! Light and airy yet moist and tender. I baked this cake for AJ and I frosted it with my favorite crème fraîche topping. It's better than ice cream! This cake recipe comes from . For best results use a high speed mixer and a large (minimum 6 quart) aluminum mixing bowl.

6 eggs, cold, separated
1 cup superfine or caster sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lime juice (lemon juice in original recipe but I like lime)
1 teaspoon lime zest (lemon zest in original recipe)
1 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Prepare to bake. Preheat oven 350˚F. Use a two-piece tube cake pan, ungreased and unfloured.

Mix the yolks. Separate the eggs. It's best to separate them cold. In a large bowl, whip egg yolks on high speed until the yolks thicken and turn lemon yellow. It took forever with my 280 watt hand held mixer. Gradually add the sugar. Add the water, lime juice, lime zest, and cake flour. Combine until dry ingredients are just moistened. Set aside.
Whipping the egg yolks until smooth and lemony
Whip the egg whites. In another large bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt. Whip until stiff peaks form. Add egg whites to the egg yolk mixture. Using a spatula, combine egg whites and yolk mixture with a cut and fold motion. Turn the bowl one quarter turn after each folding. Do not overmix the batter.
This is perfectly mixed and ready to pour into the pan
Get ready to bake. Scrape the batter into the tube pan. Cut the batter with a thin blade spatula to eliminate air pockets. Bake 1 hour or until done. The cracks should be dry, or the surface of the cake, when it is lightly pressed, springs back. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately invert onto a metal funnel or bottle.

The bottle with the thinnest neck in my kitchen happened to be a bottle of Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce
Perfect sponge cake
Frost the cooled cake. Cool in the pan one hour. Using a thin blade spatula, separate the sides and tube. Push down the tube onto a wire cooling rack and remove the sides. Using the thin blade, separate the cake bottom from the pan bottom. If desired, frost the cake by whipping up a batch of crème fraîche. Frost the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Crème Fraîche (from The Cake Bible)
1 carton heavy cream (about 8 ounces)
1/2 carton sour cream (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons sugar

Whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes. Whip until stiff peaks form. Frost the cake. Reserve any remaining crème fraîche for serving with the cake.

Sponge cake with crème fraîche frosting
To slice the cake, use a knife with a serrated edge, sometimes called a bread knife. Cut with a sawing motion. Don't press down. Refrigerate any uneaten portions. Tip:  cover the exposed cut cake with a piece of waxed paper to prevent it drying out in the refrigerator.
The finished height of this cake is approximately 5 inches. There are about 124 calories in each slice of cake and 110 calories per two tablespoons of crème fraîche.

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