I have been baking since I started this hobby some 8 years ago and can be considered an intermediate level home baker but even till now, I still have a fear for making sponge cakes. This is what would usually happen, the cakes would look beautifully puffed and tall in the oven but once cooled they'd collapse or shrink forming deep crater.... shrinking my confidence at the same time. Even when some do come out successfully tall and beautiful, the texture inside would be either coarse or dry. Due to these factors, I am quite disheartened of ever making the perfect sponge cake, the holy grail of all sponge cakes, one that is made without the artificial aid of stabilisers and chemicals, has a texture which is fine, soft, tender, light, fluffy, airy and spongy, hold its shape well and most importantly moist.
Recently while scouting for a new sponge cake recipe from the net, I found an interesting video on sponge cake making through a link from this blog "Happy Flour". At first I thought it would just be another run-of-the-mill cake demo, and boy was I in for a surprise. In the video, after having beaten the eggs with sugar till thick and fluffy and doubled in volume, the lady instructor dumped the whole batch of flour onto the whipped eggs and she proceeded with mixing using the hand held beaters. Yup, HAND HELD BEATERS! It defied the age old mantra where light handedness is of utmost importance when it comes to folding in flour in order not to break up the air bubbles. I was shock to see such man-handling. Then the shock turned into intrigue and I just had to try out this recipe no matter what.
I did exactly the same as the lady instructor in the video and man-handled the batter. And here's my result. It's the most successful and best looking sponge cake I've ever made on first try and it didn't collapse or shrink at all! The sponge cake was very airy, spongy and springy. I am very satisfied with the outcome except for one teeny tiny thing... it was just a teeny tiny tad dry, which also made it just a teeny tiny tad shy from being THE perfect sponge.
However much I wish, alas this sponge cake is still not the elusive perfect sponge I'm looking for as I like my cake moist and this sponge is lacking it. Nevertheless, this problem can be somewhat remedied by layering the sponge with cream or by sprinkling with some syrup. But still, not perfect.
I split the sponge cake into two layers and sandwiched them with buttercream icing (recipe also taken from Happy Flour here).
Vanilla Sponge Cake
Recipe adapted from Happy Flour here. The recipe has been scaled down from the original from the video.
125g caster sugar
100g cake flour
22g vegetable oil
1/4tsp vanilla essence (original recipe from video uses vanilla powder which is to be sifted together with the flour)
1. Preheat oven to 180 Degree Centigrade.
2. Sift the flour and vanilla powder together and set aside. (I didn't have vanilla powder)
3. Use a mixer to whisk the eggs, salt and sugar until very thick and fluffy.(Very important!)
4. Take the sifted flour and dump the whole lot onto the whisked eggs. Mix well quickly using the mixer. (Dare u to do this, if not, fold in the flour in batches. LOL!)
5. In another bowl, mix milk and oil together (I added the vanilla essence at this point). Then, scoop some batter from the egg mixture and combine together. Pour back into the egg batter, mix well using a spatula.
6. Pour the well combined batter into the cake tin (I used a 7 inch round tin and there's no need to grease or line with paper) and bake in preheated oven for 25-30mins.
7. Remove cake tin from oven and invert the tin (with the cake still intact) on a wire rack and let cool. Once cooled, remove cake from tin.
|The ALMOST perfect sponge cake.|