When it comes to sponge cake making, there are a lot of methods which we can use; some are good, some not so good.
But nowadays many bakeries and cake shops are using the familiar premix,
which is very handy indeed and just a little faster, but not so much.
In my opinion I still think that when quality is our main concern, the traditional method is still the best. So please find below one very good traditional way to make plain sponge cake.
Here are the ingredients needed for around 2 to 3 pieces (6" to 8" diameter):
Egg whole: 510g (around 10 pieces)
Castor sugar: 305g
Plain cake flour: 215g
Corn flour: 65g
Unsalted butter: 15g
As usual we turn the oven on first, with the temperature dial set to 180C (356F).
After that, we can sieve the flour and corn flour together.
Then we melt the butter and keep it aside near the oven, so it does not set.
Now is the time to place the eggs and castor sugar together in a bowl which can be attached later on to the electric mixer.
Then we start whisking them with a hand whisk on a hot water bath.
We keep whisking all the way through to stop burning occurring on the bottom of the bowl.
When the egg mix starts to become a little hot, say around 45C to 50C (113F to 122F) we take the bowl off the heat, and we attach it to the mixer and turn the mixer on at top speed.
When the egg mix starts to become very light and fluffy, it could take 7 to 10 minutes, we turn down the mixer to the 2nd gear, and keep it mixing to let the sponge cake mix cool down nicely.
This is when we have plenty of time to prepare the sponge cake rings or tins. If we are using bottom less rings, we wrap a piece of grease proof paper on the bottom without greasing the rings.
If we are using full bottomed cake tins, we just place a round piece of grease proof paper on the bottom of each of them, without greasing them as well.
The reason we do not use grease is because this way the sponge cake mix will stick to the side of the container, keeping a very nice shape, otherwise it will shrink toward the middle. This is just a little trick.
By now the egg mixture should have cooled down enough, so we take the bowl off the mixer and fold in the dry flour mixture slowly, mixing with a long spatula. We keep mixing slowly until smooth,and last we add the melted butter and combine well.
Then, we fill all sponge cake tins or rings up to 2/3 of their height, and insert them into the hot oven straight away.
If the oven has a ventilation duct, we keep it shut during the 1st half of the baking, and then we keep it open for the 2nd half.
The normal baking time should be 30 minutes; this is the standard baking time for plain sponge cakes.
If the sponge cake is not properly baked after 30 minutes, it is because the oven is not hot enough, exception made for super sized rings, of course.
If you are not sure about the baking state, please insert a small knife blade into the sponge cake, and if the blade comes out clean, then it is baked.
So now, we take the sponge cake rings out of the oven and let them cool down at room temperature.
When cold, we unmold each cake with the help of a small kitchen knife blade that we pass around slowly between the cake and the ring.
I will now let your imagination run for garnish and decoration.