I have just entered a competition at work to celebrate the International Baking Day and I have to bake a cake which is representative of my country, Italy. Now I will not yet provide any information about the actual cake but I am going to post the recipe to make the perfect sponge.
The sponge is a great base for many recipes and you need to know how to do it! There are different ways of making sponge but here I will focus on the one which I consider the quickest (not the easiest). Before starting I would like to point out one important aspect about the sponge: there are so many recipes in the web which use butter, baking powder and other ingredients. Now the typical sponge recipe does not include any fat or any baking powder: the air incorporated while beating the eggs will work as baking powder. You can trust me that if you follow the steps below your cake will be perfect!
What you need:
- 150g sugar;
- 150g flour (or 75g flour and 75g potato starch);
- pinch of salt;
- 5 eggs;
How to make it:
Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC and line a baking tray: a 24 cm baking tray is ok.
Using an electric whisk beat the eggs & sugar together till you obtain a nice and smooth mixture. Incorporate the salt. Be careful not to over beat the eggs otherwise your sponge will be crumbly and this is not what you want.
Sift the flour in the mixture. Little by little and starting from the centre of the bowl incorporate all the flour to the mixture. You need to incorporate the flour with delicate movements so the air bubbles remain in the mixture. As pointed out earlier on there is no baking powder in your sponge; the secret for a well risen sponge is to make sure the mixture incorporates enough air when beating the eggs.
Transfer the mixture to the baking tray and bake for 40 mins. Let the mixture cool down and then slice it in two layers. Before filling the cake remember to soak the internal part of the sponge with some liquid: it can be any type of spirit (I love with Amaretto or rum) or simply lemon juice or milk, depending on the topping. This type of cake is normally dryer than other cakes so you need to fix this aspect.