Summer party season is in full swing. Before us is not only the solemn communion and the wedding ceremony, but also an intimate meeting with friends. All of them can be decorated with a homemade cake. It’s really not difficult – just bake the perfect sponge cake.
We often wonder what to serve for sweetening to make it tasty, light, homely and elegant. Cakes dominate classic, proven desserts. Of course, it is easiest to buy our dream cake from the best pastry shop in the area. This, however, is not art. We can successfully prepare the perfect cake in our kitchen – just the way we want it, with your favorite toppings, delicious cream and decorations according to your own ideas.
What does it take to bake the perfect sponge cake?
In books, culinary magazines or on the Internet we can find many recipes for sponge cake – only with wheat flour, potato flour, with or without baking powder, lemon juice, and even with butter or milk … Why are the recipes for this simple dough so different and how to choose Better?
The key to the answer will not be determining the best recipe. To pick one, we have to answer one simple question: What impact do we want to have? Then we choose the perfect cake for our needs.
In fact, to bake a sponge cake, we need three basic ingredients: eggs, sugar and flour. The rest are additives – they are not necessary, although the structure of the dough is slightly changed. Therefore, it is a good idea to be aware of how the individual ingredients affect the structure of the dough so that you can adjust it to needs.
Basic sponge cake ingredients: eggs, sugar and flour
The basic recipe for a sponge cake is as follows: give each egg 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour.
egg – We select fresh eggs, medium size, one yolk. Remember to take it out of the refrigerator in advance, because we prepare the sponge cake from the ingredients at room temperature.
sugar – We choose caster sugar for baking (but not powdered sugar), which will combine well and quickly when whisking with other ingredients. If we want to make a cake less sweet, we can slightly reduce the amount of sugar, although it is impossible to completely eliminate it. In the food versions, we can replace sugar with xylitol for example.
flour – For biscuits, we use ordinary wheat flour with potato flour. We can use a 1:1 ratio (ie 1 tablespoon of wheat flour and 1 tablespoon of potato flour) or slightly increase the advantage of wheat flour, for example, if we use 6 eggs and 12 tablespoons of flour, we can take 8 tablespoons of wheat flour and 4 tablespoons of potato flour.
what gives us potato flour? Potato starch has hygroscopic properties, thanks to it the dough will be more moist, but at the same time more fragile, so if we want the dough to be more elastic (for example when we want to prepare a roll), we must reduce the amount of potato flour in favor of wheat.
Do we add baking powder to the sponge cake?
Many recipes contain baking powder and lemon juice (or less vinegar). Are these add-ons necessary? Well whipped sponge cake should be able to handle on its own, but if you want to make sure it rises and fluffy properly, you can add a little baking powder (eg for 6 eggs – 1 teaspoon of the powder) and lemon juice.
Baking powder It loosens the dough and prevents it from falling easily Lemon juiceBy interacting with it, it causes more gases to form in the dough, and, accordingly, more air bubbles – so the dough will acquire a lighter structure, it will be more puffy, but more difficult to cut. This version will be good to prepare, for example, a roulade or a cake that will be decorated with cream or only fruit on top.
What can be added to biscuit dough?
A common supplement is cacao We use it when we want to bake a dark sponge cake. When adding cocoa, remember to reduce the amount of flour a little (eg 6 eggs, 8 tablespoons of wheat flour, 3 tablespoons of potato flour, 2 tablespoons of cocoa).
For English cakes, of various shapes, decorated with sugar paste, we use a special sponge cake Victoria Sponge Bake with melted butter, baking powder, and sometimes milk – thanks to these additives, the dough is more moist, but certainly heavier and less tender, and is well suited for cutting and trimming into desired shapes (such as books, dolls, cars, etc. .) – you can “build” any shapes from it.
Sponge cake – preparation step by step
Where does the skin begin? Proteins first with sugar or egg yolks first with sugar? Relax, there are two schools. Contrary to appearances, the choice of method affects not so much the final shape of the dough as the degree of pressure of the foam and whether all the ingredients are at room temperature.
The most common method involves whisking egg whites at the beginning, to which sugar is added in small portions at the end of mixing. First add the yolk to the prepared mass, then the flour and powder are sifted through a sieve, if you use it.
The less common reverse version assumes that the yolk is first rubbed with sugar, to which we first add flour (mix), then gently, in two parts – beaten egg white (just mix gently).
In any case, care must be taken to keep the egg white foam firm, but not perforated. The second important moment is the mixing of the ingredients: the foam and flour are gently mixed with a spoon or stick, but certainly not with a mixer, even at low speed. The goal is to keep as many air bubbles as possible and not to break this structure.
How do we bake a sponge cake?
Bake the sponge cake in a medium heated oven – up to 160-170 ° C – for 35-40 minutes, on a dry stick. Put the dough in a preheated oven and do not open it at first, so as not to cause temperature fluctuations when the dough rises. At the end of baking, when the dough has reached its height, you can of course open the door to insert the stick and check if it is done.
Some time ago, the Internet conquered the advice that a freshly hot sponge cake should be dropped on the floor from a height of 30-40 cm immediately after taking it out of the oven, in order to prevent the dough from cooling unevenly. We checked it out – it works! The so-called sponge cake came out perfectly flat every time, although of course we don’t know what it would have been if we hadn’t.
Allow the sponge cake to cool completely, then use a knife to separate the edges of the cake from the sides of the springform pan.
Perfect sponge cake recipe
Here is a recipe for a relatively simple and universal sponge cake – good for different applications.
Ingredients for a springform cake tin, approximately 24-25 cm in diameter
12 tablespoons of sugar
8 tablespoons of cake flour
4 tablespoons of potato flour
Optional pinch of baking powder
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add sugar with a spoon and mix. Add 2 yolks to each – mix with a spoon. Then add the flour and mix it gently with a spoon as well. Place in a springform pan lined with baking paper on the bottom (sides don’t need to be lined). Bake at 160-170 ° C for 35-40 minutes, until dry. Take it out and drop it from a height of 30-40 cm to the ground. Leave in the springform pan until completely cooled.
Sponge cake – a recipe for success
We already know the technique and the recipe, it’s time to summarize what needs to be done so that our sponge cake turns out to be perfect, fluffy and does not fall off:
- choose the recipe according to your needs – if you want, for example, the dough to be fluffy, with more air bubbles, add baking powder and lemon juice; If the dough is wet and pressed – increase the proportion of potato flour.
- All ingredients should be at room temperature.
- The egg white foam should be whipped well, but not punctured.
- Gently mix the protein foam with the remaining ingredients – using a spoon, do not mix.
- Bake on medium heat until sticks dry.
- After baking, we can drop the sponge cake on the floor.