This is an all time favourite. It’s simple (Lakshmi: !!!!!!!, its not simple until you know how to get it right), quick and low on calories and it is a cake! Does it get better than this?
- Eggs – 4
- All Purpose Flour – 100 gms
- Sugar – 100 gms
- Baking Powder – ½ tsp
- A few drops of vanilla essence
- Grease and line an 8″ cake tin. (Note that one needs to use a cake tin, not glassware. Glassware in this recipe does not work too well because glass is slippery)
- Sieve the flour and the baking powder together, three times.
- Break the eggs in a bowl. Add sugar and whisk over a pan of warm water till the mixture becomes thick and frothy and a definite trail is left when the whisk is removed.
- Fold the sieved flour a little at a time till all the flour is used us. Tip: Sieve flour and fold with a flat ladle to avoid lumps.
- Add the essence and mix well. Tip: This cake is very eggy, add essence enough to remove the eggy smell.
- Pour the mixture into the greased tin and bake at 170 Deg C for around 20 minutes till the cake is well done and golden brown on top. Tip: Oven timings may vary. Do not peep in before the first 20 minutes, or until the top starts to turn brown unless you want a sunken center.
- Keep till the cake is golden brown on top and well set. To test, press the cake lightly. If it springs back, the cake is done. Do not do a toothpick or tester in the center test!!
- Remove from oven immediately and allow to cool. Use a knife to loosen the sides and take cake out of the pan.
Source: This recipe was learnt by Mandira during one of her summer vacation hobby classes. This is the basic recipe but since sponge cake lends itself it may variations, you can make whatever you choose to make out of the basic cake!
I got this right only the third time, I did not make any modifications to the recipe – just used my brains to follow instructions more carefully and paid more attention to the consistency of batter.
This particular recipe has just about half the flour-sugar content for 4 eggs as compared to other recipes. How you whisk the eggs, how much and consistency is of great great great importance. Well whisked eggs+sugar will seem thick but also increased in volume and frothy.
Fold the flour in – DO NOT WHISK in any direction what so ever. Fold using a spatula kind of flat ladle. Fold ever so lightly so you don’t break the air or hurt the volume.
When a recipe says whisk over warm water it means a water bath and not a double boiler. Do not keep water over flame. I did this and I am assuming there are few people out there who’d be as dumb as I was when I made this the first time. I got a naan like “something” with depressions and humps all over.
While whisking eggs, start at a slow speed, then move to high. Whisk for 5 whole minutes. You need to get that trail or you will end up with a sunken center like I did the second time.
This recipe is to be followed exactly – do not adapt or modify or reduce or increase anything. Follow as is unless you enjoy disasters in the kitchen. I din’t use a precise measuring scoop the second time. The third time I did – voila, cake rose even in center.
I’ve inserted my other tips thanks to my 2 disastrous attempts in the recipe.
Overall a delicious cake that has a beautiful crust and texture. As an added bonus, I think its like a toy – it springs back when pressed!!! It really does – 😀 – and its quite entertaining.
Mandira’s notes: The sponge cake can be converted into a pudding. There are loads of combinations that can be worked out with the cake. I made a crisp base using a packet of Glucose biscuits,a table spoon or two of butter, 2-4 tbsp of sugar and cold milk. Crush the biscuits. Soften the butter and using sufficient amounts of cold milk, make the crushed biscuits and sugar into a dough. Place this dough in a thin layer in a bowl and set in the fridge for 10 minutes. Using this as the base, cut and place pieces of the sponge cake. Pour over sufficient quantities of custard to cover all the cake pieces.
This cake was a major ego booster for me. It gave me the opportunity to teach Lakshmi a thing or two about baking- a rare occurance. Great stuff to gloat about! 😛 😛 😛