Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Perfect Foam Sponge

The Perfect Foam Sponge 

The perfect sponge on the left has risen well and is fluffy
while the one on the right with the same ingredients is dense due to the incorrect technique used

I have always been fascinated by the unexplored and so when I started reading about cakes I was wonder struck. So many of them are out there for us to try and especially with the internet the range is far and wide. So once I started baking foam cakes I decided this was what I would bake when using frosting. The point is my first ever foam cake was a dacquoise a meringue based almond cake and till the day before yesterday I hadn't baked a proper foam sponge cake with all purpose flour. So begun my hunt for a nice recipe. 

I am no expert but to my understanding a foam cake usually has no baking powder and even if sometimes it might have butter I wouldn't bake one with butter. So this cake contains 3 ingredients.

The point is I usually try and understand how a cake works before making it and these days I usually bake two to make sure that if one goofs up I can correct the second. Here is what I learnt from my experience. Its not always about the ingredients but sometimes it is definitely about the technique as well.

I adapted the recipe from 'My Orange Blossom'

So here goes the recipe for the fluffiest sponge foam cake

6 medium to large sized eggs separated
1 and 1/4th cup of all purpose flour (cups hold 250ml liquid)
1 cup icing sugar (cup holds 250ml liquid)
Few drops of lemon juice

Start by lining your cake pan with butter paper. This step is extremely important else it becomes a problem to neatly take out the cake post baking.

Separate the eggs and add the lemon juice (lemon juice prevents the eggs from collapsing once they have been whisked) whisk them to firm peaks. Now whisk the egg yolks with the sugar to make a custard like consistency . Sieve the flour. Preheat oven to 160 C. The next step is extremely important which decides the fluffiness of your cake. Do not whisk in the flour but slowly fold it in with the yolk sugar mixture bit by bit . This folding helps in the cake being rendered fluffy. Once the flour is folded in the egg yolk mixture slowly mix 1/3rd of the egg whites and fold gently but firmly and quickly to loosen it and create a foam like batter and then quickly add the rest of the whisked egg white and with firm but quick movements fold it in with the batter. Pour this in the prepared pans and bake at 160 C for 40 minutes to 50 minutes. Once done insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean you are done

Very very important tip

Once its baked let the cake cool down in the pan for 30 minutes. You must not try and take it out else it will break. After 30 minutes cool it further tills it completely cool. It takes about 1 hour or so and only then proceed to cut it in rings to layer it with frosting.

Here is a sneak peak from the cake I made

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