Guest post by Tania Cusack from My Kitchen Stories
Sponge is a fresh light cake for all seasons.
There aren’t many people that won’t tuck into a sponge, but there are a lot of people that might be a bit scared to make one. Don’t be scared!
Let me help you make a simple gorgeous sponge you can make again and again. It’s a Victoria Sponge because it has butter in it. If you are on this page then you’re already a flour convert.
Flour is one of the most important elements to making good sponge and pastry.
It’s not only important for flour to be organic, pesticide free and Australian grown it is also important to use the right flour for the job. Did you know that “cake” flour is light and perfect for cakes because it has a lower protein or gluten content? This makes it less elastic and gives you lighter, amazing sponges and cakes.
Conversely pasta flour needs to be elastic and it is milled from wheat with lots more protein or gluten. Pizza flour has both more protein and bran so that when the dough is finished it has a texture and flavour just like the incredible pizzas you get at a woodfire pizza joint- the one that has a line outside.
Here are some cake tips first:
1. Make sure ingredients are at room temperature including butter and eggs.
2. Pre heat the oven and prepare the tins first
3. Weigh everything well
4. Sift the flour and baking powder
5. Don’t open the oven in the first 15-20 minutes
The Easiest Sponge
Pre-heat the oven to 170 c / 375 F.
Spray and line 2 x 6 inch (15 cm ) or 1 x 9 in or 24 cm tin
225 gm (8oz) soft butter
225 gm (8oz)) caster sugar
225 gm (8oz) Kialla Cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
600 ml whipping cream
1- 2 punnets strawberries (or any other berries you like)
¼ cup icing sugar sifted
1. Put all of the ingredients into the bowl of your mixer.
2. Put the mixer on medium and mix till just combined.
3. Pour into your cake tin, or divide into two.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Test by inserting a skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean remove and cool. if the centre is still a little soft bake for a further 5 minutes.
5. Decorate once cold.
6. I used 600 ml thickened cream whipped with icing sugar to taste.
7. Spread ½ the cream inside the cake and use the remainder on top. Cut the strawberries into slices or ½’s and use ½ inside and the remainder on the top. Sprinkle with icing sugar if desired.
8. You can also spread your sponge base with Strawberry or Raspberrry Jam and top with cream. Lemon Curd is also a winner and goes with cream and fruit beautifully.
All photos by Tania Cusack
About Tania & My Kitchen Stories:
Tania became a professional chef just so she could travel and find the adventures her mother so wanted to protect her from. She found them, (not that she could tell her mother about them), cooking her way from country to country.
She loves to cook almost anything at all; from everyday fresh and quick food to recipes with more exotic ingredients. She calls herself ” a semi proficient photographer, parent and wine drinker… not even in that order”.
Visit My Kitchen Stories to see more recipes from her.
[* Ed’s note: As Tania mentions, our Organic Cake Flour is the way to make the best cakes. Kialla’s Organic Plain Flour is perfect for breads, although it will work in cakes if our Organic Cake Flour isn’t available].