By Andrew Lewis Summer is the ideal time of year to sit and enjoy a slice of light, fluffy sponge cake and a cup of Earl Grey tea. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when the ample curves of my masculine figure are most visible. Thankfully, this sponge cake recipe has been used in our family since the days of rationing, when luxuries like butter were hard to come by. It doesn’t help with my waistline, but it does make me feel less guilty as I sit back in the garden with a second slice.
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4 eggs 4 oz self-rising flour 4 oz sugar or 2oz of sugar and 1/5 oz of Canderel sweetener or Splenda 1 cup heavy cream, or 1 package lowfat Cool Whip Raspberry or strawberry jam; low calorie if you prefer A few raspberries or strawberries for decoration (optional) Confectioners sugar (optional) Spring of mint (optional) Lemon zest (optional)
Step 1: Begin by beating the eggs and sugar with an electric beater until they form soft peaks and take on a glossy sheen. This can take as long as 10 minutes and will probably feel like much longer, but keep whisking, and soft peaks will happen.
Step 2: Sift the flour and gradually fold it into the eggs. Be as gentle as possible, but make sure there are no lumps of flour left in the mixture.
Step 3: Divide the mixture into two nonstick 8″ cake pans. Lightly greasing the pans with butter or oil is advisable, even if they are nonstick. You may be able to manage without greasing if you are using silicone cake molds.
Step 4: Bake the mixture in a pre-heated oven at 350˚F for about 20 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown on top.
Step 5: Turn out the cakes onto a cooling rack and leave them to cool.
Step 6: Whip the cream and spread it on one layer of the cake. Leave about 1 tablespoon of cream to decorate the top of the cake.
Step 7: Spread jam onto the other layer of the cake.
Step 8: Now, slide one half of the cake onto the serving plate (topping side up), and then flip the other half onto the top, so that the jam and cream are sandwiched together in the middle.
Step 9: Decorate the top of the cake to suit your own tastes. I like to dust the top with confectioners sugar and then add a little fruit and whipped cream to the center. A sprig of mint or lemon zest is a nice touch, too.
This sponge cake is very light, but doesn’t last as long as a regular sponge cake. After 24 hours, the cake will probably start to go soggy. Unfortunately, you’ll just have to make sure it’s eaten before that happens, which is an excellent excuse to have an extra slice at tea time.
About the Author: Andrew Lewis is a journalist, a maker, victophile, and founder of the www.upcraft.it blog.