Thursday, December 31, 2009
Strawberry and Cream Sponge Cake
Strawberries and Cream are the quintessential pair that can never go wrong. So when I decided to cover a sponge cake with the two I dint go through any nervous birth pangs- I knew it will be good.
The question for many is- will the sponge cake in question will be spongy enough? I want to share how I make sponge cakes. I have followed recipes that have gone wrong but with this method you have a good chance of ending up with a light, airy, very spongy cake.
Heat oven at 250 degrees for 10 minutes. Grease and dust an 8 inch cake tin.
Separate yolks of 3 eggs. Cream together all 3 egg yolks, 1 cup of castor sugar, 1/3 cup butter or malai (the layer of cream that settles on boiled milk as it cools down). Using malai here sounds odd but you have got to trust me when I say it results in the moistest and softest of cakes. Continue beating egg yolks, sugar and butter or malai, whatever you are using, till sugar somewhat dissolves and mixture looks creamy.
Now seive 1 cup self raising flour (maida), 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda together. As you seive this dry mixture, keep the seive few inches above the pan in which the mixture seives and falls. This will capture more air into it.
Mix the dry ingredients into the egg yolk, butter/malai and sugar mixture. Mix well but avoid overmixing.
Now beat the 3 egg whites you had. Beat swiftly in one direction till it becomes frothy and light and soft peaks start to form. You must always beat the egg white just before using them because it doesnt stand well. After just a few minutes it will loose all that froth you worked so hard for.
Fold in the egg white mixture gently into the batter. Mix into a homogenous mixture. Again, dont over mix.
Your batter is ready. Pour over the lined cake tin from a distance of a few inches or a foot. As the batter falls in sheets in the tin, it will capture more air.
Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
You can use smaller cake moulds and bake two of these instead of one big one. With two cakes, though smaller, you can have more layers.
Cool the cake completely. Slice horizontally into layers using a long sharp knife or a wet thread. Heat 3/4 cup of water with 1 tbsp of sugar till sugar dissolves. Cool and pour over the layers and let the layers soak in the syrup.
Whip 250 ml cream with 1/2 cup icing sugar till soft peaks form. Apply on bottom most layer. Place the next layer on top. Continue till you run out of layers. Cover the sides with the whipped cream icing.
Slice strawberries and arrange around the iced cake and on top in any pattern you like.