Wednesday, February 2

One cake short of a sponge.

I got asked to make a sponge cake the other day. I had to do it for work, which meant I made it at 10pm... baking late is almost always a recipe for disaster.
The main problem I had though was that despite having 5 peoples recipe books under one roof (ahh the perks of share housing) not one of them had a sponge cake recipe in. Not one. Jamie, Nigella, Stephanie. They all let me down. Even my trusty op shop find baking book let me down. So rather than turning to my usual internet sources (here) I googled sponge cake, and went with the first recipe. I know! What was I thinking?!
Sponge cake's are notouriously difficult to get perfect, and when it comes to baking, I'm a perfectionist... this all leading up to disaster - can you tell?!
Anyway, So it's 10pm and I'm whipping up a self titled "basic" sponge. It involves room tempreture eggs and sugar being machine beaten on high for six minutes and three types of flour being sifted three times. Eggs at room tempreture? Six minutes? Three times? Phoooey says I! I don't have that sort of time on my hands, hells no. I shall beat it until it is mixed and I shall sift it once. Three sifts sounds like more washing up and mess to me. I know, I know. My gran is shaking her head - Nanna's of the world are shaking their heads. "Oh the young, the time poor, the foolish!" they say.
The cake was flat. Flat as a flat heavy flat thing. It was a cake tasting biscuit. I took it into work anyway and covered it in strawberry jam, brandy butter (an inspired and redeeming touch on my part I must say) and cream. Cream that I whisked with a coat hanger and power drill. Because that's the kind of girl I am. I forget the whisk, I used what I had. Sponge cake aint sponge cake when its flat and heavy but it definitely aint sponge cake without cream. And to be honest it was entirely edible and my sweet collegues even said it was nicer than the shop bought chocolate cake, and not being a huge chocolate cake fan I'm inclined to agree - but it was mainly the thick jam, brandy butter and cream combo that redeemed it.
Do you have an amazing real sponge cake recipe? Please tell me your secrets - because now I must conquer the sponge. I shall not be beaten. I will be a sponge queen, and I will put brandy butter inside it, every time. Because really, if I ruled the world, it's all I would eat.

Brandy butter:
* 125g butter
* 2 tblsp brandy
* 1 cup icing sugar

Beat room temp butter and icing sugar and brandy until combined. Adjust to taste.
Attempt to not spread that stuff on toast. It's bad for you, but oh so good. You're welcome.


  1. crikey soph! i love your no-whisk-cream-whippin-ingenuity.
    i don't have a sponge cake recipe, though i definitely recommend the australian women's weekly website for future internet-neverfail-grandma-classic recipes.
    and i love your new house! so excited for you and tim being "country-folk-to-be".
    (there a lot of hyphenated ramblings in this comment)
    enjoy the rest of your day soph :-)

  2. Right. Sponge cake is defo all about the air and the sifting and the cream and the joy.

    I present: Mary Berry, queen of cakes and her all-in-one sponge:

    225g / 8oz butter or margarine, softened
    225g / 8oz caster sugar
    4 eggs
    225 / 8 oz self-raising flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder

    1. grease and line baking tins. preheat oven to 180/350/4
    2. measure butter or marg, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and beat for about 2 mins; until just blended. (I'd probably sift the flour in here, just to be persnickity!)
    3. bake for about 25 mins until well risen and golden.
    4. apply copious amounts of brandy butter (Mary goes for the tradition jam filling, as the British are wont to do..)
    5. send some to caz.

  3. my mum has an awesome sponge cake recipe- i used to make it all the time in high school- egads! i'll find it and pass it on- you can have a recipe selection :)



  4. I hate having to make cakes for work late at night ... my poor brain just doesn't focus, and I end up cutting way too many corners.

    That brandy butter recipe sounds divine ... I'm definitely adding that to my must try list! :)

    PS. I tagged you on my blog, but absolutely no pressure to take part! :)

  5. Brandy Butter love! to put it in a cake, genius idea!! i will be trying that one!


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  7. I'm hopeless with sponge cakes. I can make all sorts of things but my sponge cake is always too spongy or too dry. Can't make it right :(
    I'll try Caz's recipe next time with your brandy butter yum!!


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