I’ve been meaning to try making a fatless sponge for a while, partly because we have no electric whisk but my friend does have a contraption referred to on the box as a hand blender. It gets called a juzzer in my house (where the j and the zz are both pronounced like the middle sound in ‘leisure’) – because that’s the sound it makes! – and a stomper in my friend’s – because one of the attachments makes it look like a bit like an elephant’s foot, I guess… Anyhow, as I’d almost finished my work for the term and some of my friends were just starting exams, I gave this type of sponge a go. It’s a bit of a faff as it involves separating and whisking the eggs, and (as the pictures demonstrate) it didn’t exactly work quite right: it barely rose! I’m not entirely sure why, but it could have been frankly anything from the dodgy uni oven, to me not folding the egg whites in delicately enough. It didn’t seem to matter too much – I filled it with loads of jam and whipped cream and we ate it all in one sitting! I might try again at home and see if I can make it work better… Anyhow I am putting the method I used (from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookert Course) here, so if anyone can spot where I went wrong please comment!
This is what the cakes looked like when they came out of the oven… Always such a disappointment when you open the door and find…well…
75g (3oz) caster sugar (I only had granulated, which may have been the problem)
75g (3oz) plain flour, sifted
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
150ml double cream
3-4 tablespoons jam
– Heat the oven to 180c and grease two 7-inch cake tins with melted fat, with the bases lined with greaseproof paper.
– Separate the eggs – whites in one bowl, yolks in another – and add the sugar to the yolks.
– Whisk the yolks and sugar until it has thickened and gone pale, which takes about 5 minutes with an electric whisk.
– With a clean, dry whisk, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff but not too dry.
– Fold the egg whites into the yolks-and-sugar with a metal spoon, alternating with the flour and baking powder but starting and finishing with the egg whites.
– Divide the mixture between the cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.
– Turn out onto greaseproof paper sprinkled with a little caster sugar, then transfer to cooling racks.
– When cool, whip the cream until thick. Spread this onto one half of the cake and the jam onto the other, then sandwich them together.
This is the finished cake – as you can see, mostly whipped cream (mmm)!