Sponge cake

Sponge cake

Sponge cake is a cake based on flour (usually wheat flour), sugar, and eggs, sometimes leavened with baking powder,"Be-Ro flour Home recipes 40th edition" ] "Delia Smith's Book of Cakes" Sixth Impression 1981. ] that derives its structure from an egg foam into which the other ingredients are folded. The sponge cake is thought to be one of the first of the non-yeasted cakes, and though it does not appear in Hannah Glasse's "The Art of Cookery" in the late 18th century, it is found in Lydia Maria Child's "The American Frugal Housewife" [Child, Lydia Maria, "The American Frugal Housewife", 12th ed., Boston: Carter, Hendee &co, 1832 [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/13493 (Project Gutenberg edition)] ] , indicating that sponge cakes had been established in at least some Anglophone countries by the early 19th century.

Variations on the theme of a cake lifted, partially or wholly, by trapped air in the batter exist in most places where European patisserie has spread, including the French Génoise, the Anglo-Jewish "plava" [Roden, Claudia, "The Book of Jewish Food", New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, ISBN 0394532589, p 187-8.] and the possibly-ancestral Italian/Sephardic Jewish "pan di Spagna" ("Spanish bread" , from the Ladino "pan d'Espanya") ["The Silver Spoon", US ed., New York: Phaidon Press, 2005, ISBN 0714845310, p. 1013.] [Roden, 1996, p. 595.] . Derivatives of the basic sponge cake idea include the American chiffon cake and the Latin American Tres leches cake. [King Arthur Flour Co, "King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion", Woodstock, VT: Countryman Press, 2003, ISBN 0881505811.]

Making a sponge cake

A typical sponge cake is made by beating the eggs with sugar until they are light and creamy"Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book" 1995 printing.] , then carefully sieving and folding in the flour (depending on the recipe, the flour may be mixed with a small amount of baking powder, though some recipes use only the air incorporated into the egg mixture, relying on the denaturing of the egg proteins and the thermal expansion of the air to provide leavening). Sometimes, the yolks are beaten with the sugar first while the whites are beaten separately to a meringue-like foam, to be gently folded in later. The mixture is then poured into the chosen cake tin and baked. As can be seen, both methods take great care to incorporate air in the beating, whisking and sieving stages. This makes a very light product, but it is easy to lose the air by removing the cake before it has finished in the oven.

Before the mixture has cooled, after cooking, it is still flexible. This allows the creation of rolled cakes such as the Swiss roll, or the Bûche de Noël. This basic recipe is also used for many treats and puddings, such as madeleines, ladyfingers and trifles, as well as some versions of strawberry shortcake. In addition, the sponge cake technique is used in angel food cake (where only egg whites are used) and some recipes for Belgian waffles (where the egg whites are separated from the yolk and folded into the batter at the end of preparation).

Victoria sponge

The Victoria sponge cake was named after Queen Victoria, who favoured a slice of the sponge cake with her afternoon tea. It is often referred to simply as "sponge cake", though it contains additional fat. A traditional Victoria sponge consists of jam and whipped cream sandwiched between two sponge cakes; the top of the cake is not iced or decorated. But there is also a lemon filling option.

A Victoria sponge is made in two main ways. The traditional method involves creaming caster sugar with fat (usually butter, although margarine can also be used), mixing thoroughly with beaten egg, then folding flour and raising agent into the mixture. The modern method, using an electric mixer or food processor, involves simply whisking all the ingredients together until creamy. In the latter case, a little extra raising agent is normally used, and some recipes call for an extra-soft butter or margarine.Fact|date=February 2007 Both are relatively quick and simple, producing consistent results, making this type of mixture one of the most popular for children and people in a hurry. This basic 'cake' mixture has been made into an endless variety of treats and puddings, including fairy cakes, butterfly cakes, chocolate cake, Eve's pudding and many others.

Sponge cakes can also be made that are suitable for vegan, lacto-ovo intolerant and low cholesterol diets. Most often this is done by using plant based milk instead of dairy (such as rice or soya) and vegetable oil instead of eggs (although many alternatives to eggs are used such as flax seeds, bananas and powdered egg replacers).

Other names for the Victoria Sponge are Victoria Sandwich and, less commonly, Victorian Cake.

ponge cakes during Passover

Since Sponge cakes are not leavened with yeast, they are popular dessert choices for the Passover feast. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE6DA1F3CF93BA15750C0A965958260&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/P/Passover FOOD; Healthful Tips for Passover Favorites] by Florence Fabricant, "New York Times", March 28, 1993. Accessed October 20 2007] Typically, Passover sponges are made with matzo meal or matzo flour since raw wheat products may not be used. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE6DA1F3FF93BA35757C0A966958260 FOOD; Meeting the Challenge of a Dessert for the Passover Meal] by Florence Fabricant, "New York Times", April 8, 1990. Accessed October 20 2007] So popular is the sponge cake at Passover that most families have at least one recipe they pass down through generations which is referred to as the "Passover Sponge Cake", and companies such as Manischewitz even make matzo meal-based cake mixes. Typical passover sponge flavorings include almonds, lemon, poppyseeds, apples, and chocolate.

ee also

*Génoise cake

External links

* [http://www.deliaonline.com/articles/food/all-about-sponge-cakes,1360,AR.html Delia Smith discusses sponge cakes in British cuisine]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/get_cooking/recipes/010.shtml Illustrated BBC.co.uk recipe for Victoria Sponge by Lesley Waters]
* [http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Passover-Sponge-Cake-Plava/Detail.aspx Passover plava at allrecipes.com]
* [http://www.babbonyc.com/dolci-pandispagna.html Pan di Spagna recipe and discussion from Babbo Restaurant]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sponge cake — Sponge Sponge (sp[u^]nj), n. [OF. esponge, F. [ e]ponge, L. spongia, Gr. spoggia , spo ggos. Cf. {Fungus}, {Spunk}.] [Formerly written also {spunge}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species of Spongi[ae], or Porifera. See Illust. and Note… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sponge|cake — sponge cake, or sponge|cake «SPUHNJ KAYK», noun. a light, spongy cake made with eggs, sugar, and flour, but no shortening …   Useful english dictionary

  • sponge cake — sponge cakes N VAR A sponge cake is a very light cake made from flour, eggs, and sometimes fat …   English dictionary

  • sponge cake — n [U and C] a light cake made from flour, sugar, butter and eggs …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sponge cake — sponge ,cake noun count or uncount a very light type of cake made with flour, eggs, and sugar …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sponge cake — sponge′ cake n. coo a light, sweet cake containing eggs but no shortening • Etymology: 1795–1805 …   From formal English to slang

  • sponge cake — noun a light porous cake made with eggs and flour and sugar without shortening • Hypernyms: ↑cake • Hyponyms: ↑angel cake, ↑angel food cake, ↑jellyroll, ↑Swiss roll, ↑Madeira cake, ↑Madeira spon …   Useful english dictionary

  • sponge cake — UK / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms sponge cake : singular sponge cake plural sponge cakes a very light type of cake made with flour, eggs, and sugar …   English dictionary

  • sponge cake — noun A light, soft, baked dessert (commonly layered with cream and jam) that is typically made with flour, sugar, baking powder and eggs. I made a sponge cake the other day. It was a disaster: I forgot the baking powder! It didnt rise! …   Wiktionary

  • sponge cake — light and spongy cake without shortening, tort, stirred or mixed cake …   English contemporary dictionary

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