Friday, October 25, 2013

Super Fluffy Sponge Cake Base

For the longest time, Mr. Meow had been half complaining that my sponge cake bases are not as fluffy as his mothers (or according to his imagination).  I have the recipe in hand, however, in previous attempts, I have not been able to produce the light fluffy texture that Mr. Meow claims it has.  After this one odd time that I had rediscovered how fluffy egg yolks and sugar can get when beaten thoroughly, as well as with butter and sugar...basically fats and sugar, I decided to give this recipe another try believing that I have grasped the key to making this fluffy cake.

4" cake pan by 3" deep, batter poured half full,
cake essentially doubled in height

Super Fluffy Sponge Cake Base

3 egg yolks, room temperature
3 egg whites, room temperature
3 tablespoon of warm water
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sugar
125g of sifted cake flour
1 tsp of baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350F

2. Grease and flour a 10 inch springform pan or deep cake pan.  If you don't have pans with high enough sides, line the side with parchment paper collar

3. In a mixer bowl, beat egg yolks with warm water until foamy

4. Add in vanilla and sugar, and beat until thick and pale

It will actually look fluffy

5. In a separate bowl, combine cake flour and baking powder, and sift into the egg yolk mixture

6. In another clean, grease-free bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks

7. Fold egg whites into the batter.  Taking a 1/4 of the whites to fold first to loosen the batter, then carefully fold in the rest

8. Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth top

9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean

10. Carefully remove from pan and let cool, about 10 minutes

Three keys in making this cake the fluffiest as possible:
1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until very pale and fluffy
2. Sift in the cake flour mixture
3. Take about 1/4 of the egg whites and fold with the batter to loosen the batter, then fold the rest of the whites in

The key to this cake is to incorporate and preserve as much air bubbles in the batter as possible.  The most important point is #3, by sacrificing only a small portion of your biggest source of air, the rest of the air bubbles in the remaining egg whites will not have to experience as much abuse when combining, allowing the bubbles to stay intact and expand during the baking process.  This point can be applied to almost any other recipe that involves incorporating air mass to a batter mass if the end product is to be light and fluffy.  Of course, key #1 is also important as you need to maximize every opportunity to incorporate air since baking powder can only do so much.  Sifting flour ensures an even distribution so that there is no one place in the batter that is heavy with flour hindering its ability to rise.

This was also the first time I tried greasing and then dusting the cake pans to create a non-stick surface.  It worked wonderfully.  Normally, a plain greased pan would cause the outside of the cake to be damp and sometimes even squishy.  Not greasing or dusting even a non-stick pan would cause the cake to stick to the sides.  A greased and dusted pan creates and perfect non-stick and dry product.

Meow used this cake base for another Mont Blanc.  Meow Mother liked it but prefers the Victorian Sponge base over this as it gave more texture.  Mr. Meow likes this base as well and has no particular preference, but says it works well with the Mont Blanc as a light cake.

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