Monday, April 16, 2012
I bought a whole flat of strawberries because I just could not resist their beauty and fragrance and knew they would be delicious. I shared some with our daughter's families and kept some for us to enjoy. I wanted to make a fresh cake to "decorate" with all those lovely berries, so I decided on a sponge cake -which is better than angel food in my book. In other words, sponge cake is just perfect for serving with berries. It's light and airy and has a slight hint of lemon flavor and soaks up all that wonderful strawberry juice. Yum! Are you drooling yet?
The recipe I used is called American Sponge Cake from the Joy of Baking.com. It is a really good cake. And don't worry, as our grandson said, it doesn't taste like sponge at all.
Here is what you need:
6 large eggs separated
1 cup granulated sugar divided
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP water
zest of 1 medium lemon
1 cup sifted cake flour (I use Swans Down)
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
Separate the eggs while they are cold. Cover with plastic wrap to keep a film from forming. Bring to room temperature by letting them sit out about 30 minutes.
Sift the cake flour to which 1/4 cup of sugar has been added. Measure another 1/4 cup sugar and set aside for beating with the egg whites.
Place final 1/2 cup of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and use paddle attachment. (This is where a stand mixer like a Kitchen Aid comes in really handy). Add the egg yolks and beat on high for about 5 minutes or until thick and fluffy. Batter will fall back in like a slow ribbon. Add vanilla, water, and lemon zest. Mix. Sift the flour/sugar mixture over batter but do not fold in!
In another clean bowl, using whisk attachment for your mixer, whip the eggs until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup of reserved sugar and beat until shiny stiff peaks form. Gently fold in some of the egg whites just to lighten up the batter, then fold in all the rest just until incorporated. Do not over mix. (To fold, use a spatula and lift batter and egg whites from bottom of bowl over top of batter. Do this until all egg whites are incorporated). Pour the batter into an UNGREASED tube pan. (This allows more air into the batter so cake will be light and fluffy). Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Test center of cake with toothpick to make sure it is done. Remove immediately from oven and invert cake pan onto little feet and let cool at least one hour.
I hope it's not long before fresh berries start to come in where you are so you can try this fabulous cake recipe and have your own strawberry shortcake. This cake will also be great with peaches, or blueberries. Wow, it's going to be a great summer!
Things to Remember: