I tried making sponge cakes for a while before I got them right. I was following recipes by big-name cooks, but they all failed so much that I feared if I dropped one of the cakes on the floor it would leave a big hole in the timber.
Turns out that, just like contestants on national cooking shows don't always know how to cook the old-fashioned things, famous cooks don't always get a recipe perfect either.
The secret ingredient to a sponge cake is cornflour. Without that, mine are always hard as a rock. But this one, which I just grabbed from a quick internet search and have made perfectly without fail ever since, is lovely.
1/3 cup cornflour
1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon salt
4 x 60g eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Grease 2 x deep, 20cm round cake tins and line bases with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed for 6 minutes, or until mixture is thick, pale and tripled in volume.
- Sift flours and salt together three times to aerate.
- Gradually sift flour mixture over egg mixture while simultaneously folding in with a large metal spoon until just combined.
- Divide mixture between prepared tins. To level batter, gently spin tins on kitchen counter.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until cakes have shrunk away from the sides slightly and spring back when gently touched.
- Turn out on to baking paper-lined wire racks. Carefully peel away baking paper, then leave to cool.
- Spread jam (preferably homemade!) and whipped cream on the bottom of one cake, place the other on top - and serve!