What have you done to my sponge cake?
Fortunately, Mum’s still alive and well and she’s well and truly used to people hacking into her not-so-precious sponge cake with whatever knife they can get their thieving hands on and sawing off a chunk before it’s even had a chance to cool down.
As you might suspect from this hack-sawed photo, our family eats this sponge cake in sawn off chunks straight out of the tin, although for more formal occasions, it gets smothered in passion fruit icing and filling with whipped cream. Another options is topping the sponge with strawberries and cream.
However, don’t let its hack-sawed, shark-eaten appearance deter you from trying this sponge cake, which take it from me, is the very best sponge cake you will ever find and it’s like no other sponge I’ve ever found.
That’s because like most family recipes, there’s those secret ingredients. That special way of putting those same old ingredients together which produces something incredible. The “thing” which the family talks about for generations, lamenting how no one else can get it right.
This sponge cake has very auspicious origins. It is based on the recipe which used to appear on the box of Fielder’s Cornflour.I’m sure this recipe was originally referred to as Val’s Sponge Cake on the box and we had a family friend Val who used to make sponge cakes for the Royal Brisbane Show. They had a dairy out at Marburg West of Brisbane and I remember visiting their place as a kid. The table also sank under the weight of the cakes! I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
Somewhere along the way, however, I think Mum adapted Val’s sponge cake and added a little bit of warmed milk and melted butter and this little addition makes a huge difference to the cake. It is incredible and really don’t need any toppings at all.
So, without any further ado, here’s Mum’s Sponge Cake Recipe:
8 oz Castor Sugar (1 cup + 2 tablespoons)
2 Tblsp Plain Flour
1 cup cornflour + 1 tablespoon
2 Teas Aunty Mary’s Baking Powder
4 Tablespoons Milk
3 Teas Butter
1. Heat oven to 380 degrees Fahrenheit or 170 degrees Celsius fan-forced oven and grease lamington cake tin or two standard 20cm round cake tins.
2. Separate eggs and beat egg whites until thick and then add castor sugar.
3. When sugar is dissolved, beat in egg yolks. Continue beating until thick and frothy.
4. Add triple sifted flour, cornflour and baking powder. Fold into mixture with a large spoon.
5. Heat milk and butter in the microwave for 1 minute. Gently add to mix. Do not add all at once as mixture must not be too “runny”.
6. Pour into greased lamington cake tin and cook for approximately 20 minutes and carefully remove from cake tin immediately.
Serve with passionfruit icing or strawberries and whipped cream. Add a tablespoon of sifted icing sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla for an authentic “country” cream.
Tastes Great Mate (That’s Australian for Bon Appetit!)
PS: I should point out that when I tipped the sponge out of the tin, it stuck to the wire rack. It might have needed just that extra minute longer but the cake was beautifully moist and tasted superb!
PPS: If you read back to my post about making Mum’s Creme Caramel, you can understand why I was concerned about things getting stuck! Here’s The Queen Caramel Queen: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/the-creme-caramel-queen/