Tag Archives: Sponge Cake

The Sponge Cake Queen…Friday Fictioneers.

This year the judging of the Best Sponge Cake at the Royal Sydney Easter Show was breaking with tradition. In addition to the regular judging panel from the Country Women’s Association, Melissa Leong from Masterchef was guest judge. She couldn’t wait to slice into Madge Gerbera’s sponge. She’d won Best in Show for 25 years, and was “the Sponge cake Queen”. However, the knife couldn’t cut through. There was something odd in the middle of the cake. Meanwhile, back home Grandma couldn’t find her teeth. Last seen when she helped herself to the mix. Humph! This was a truly unforgettable sponge.


100 words

Ever since I was a small child, I’ve had an acute phobia of false teeth. So, while for some finding a rodent of any description in their cake would give them the horrors, for me, it would be a set of false teeth.

I had actually planned to write about my mother and her sponge cakes. She was the sponge cake Queen of our family and friends and she added a bit of melted butter and warm milk to her sponge cake. She icing them with passionfruit icing, filled them with cream, but also kept a piece plain for my Dad who doesn’t like icing.

The recipe came from a family friend, Val Gerber, who I believe had won at the Brisbane Show and the recipe was printed on the back of the Fielder’s Cornflour as “Val’s Sponge”. I remember meeting Val when I was a little girl out on the farm. We were treated to a very special country afternoon tea where the table almost sank under the weight of all the cakes and treats. Yum!

I hope this story hasn’t made you too hungry!

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields. PHOTO PROMPT © Todd Foltz.

Best wishes,



Weekend Coffee Share…2nd September, 2019.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

Since this is all about virtual sharing, I can offer you a slice of passion fruit sponge cake with a generous dollop of cream without having to fend you off with my fork. You see, in reality this cake is mine, ALL mine. However, I can be very generous with all of you. Almost all of you are too faraway to collect.


Passion Fruit Sponge Cake (butter needed to be mixed in better…oops)

Yesterday, it was Father’s Day here in Australia. A day which promises so much, but frequently under delivers. Or, completely contrary to one’s hopes and aspirations is catastrophic. I know we all try to hold back the tide for special occasions, but it isn’t always possible. It is what it is. I explored realities versus expectations in yesterday’s post Not Quite A Perfect Father’s Day

Yesterday, was not only Father’s Day. It was also the first day of Spring…yippee! Sunshine here we come. I have to admit I’m looking forward to warmer weather, especially the in between months of Spring before the place turns into a furnace in Summer. The beach is only down the road as well…heaven on earth.

The last week was rather uninspiring. We had a few days of ferocious rain and wind, which while nothing like the force of Cyclone Dorian which is hitting the US, it was still quite intimidating and made its presence felt. By day, I bunkered down in bed underneath the doona reading Oliver Twist.

Indeed, speaking of Oliver Twist, I finally finished it over the weekend. Have you ever read it? I absolutely loved it. While I read A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities at school, Oliver Twist is the first of Dickens’ novels, I’ve read by choice. I also prefer to read shorter works. So, for me to actually make it through to the end of a 500 page novel, was also a personal triumph. I found myself completely absorbed in the story. Although I know the musical and we actually put it on when I was about 12 at school, I found the novel was in a league of its own. The characters were much richer and complex and the novel is deeply philosophical as Dickens explores the aftermath of the Poor Laws of 1832 and the horrors of the workhouse, child labour and the world of crime. London comes across as a veritable cesspit, a place to escape at all costs. Knowing that Geoff’s family was living through these times in London, further brings Dickens’ stories to life for me.  These weren’t just characters in a novel. These characters represented real people… thousands and thousands of people grappling with extreme poverty and crime as the only way out. I’m certainly glad I wasn’t living through these times.


“Please, Sir. Could I have some more?”

Have you read Oliver Twist or any of Dickens other works? Are you a fan? Do you feel Dickens has a place in the modern era or belongs in the past?

The main reason I’ve been reading Dickens is that I’m working on writing a book of short biographical stories about our ancestors and the stories at the beginning are from this era, or even a bit earlier. To really tell a story well, there are so many details to absorb and yet these need to become the wallpaper and not the story itself or you’ll bore your reader to death. To be honest, I thought I’d have got there by now but I still feel like I’m having to process more before I’m quite ready to tell the story right. I’m not sure if this is the perfectionist in me or whether I’m not there yet. However, I’m trying to hang in there.

Meanwhile, my reading has gone off onto a different tangent. I was trying very, very hard to keep walking past our local bookshop Book Bazaar and  yet like a kid being lured into a candy shop, I ducked my head in through the door and spotted John Marsden’s: The Art of Growing Up. John Marsden is a distinguished Australian author of Young Adult fiction and was the founder and principal of two schools. As a writer myself, this had to be my kind of parenting book, although he’s quite hard-hitting and certainly not into free-range parenting by feel. Probably a good thing really. Anyway, thought I’d share a quote with you…

When I hear parents say ‘I want my children to enjoy their childhood; there’ll be time when they’re older to learn about those things’, I hear the voices of those who are scared of the vastness of the universe. These adults have a view of childhood as some kind of discrete interval, rather than just a few years from the continuum of life. How fortunate that the spirit, courage and curiosity of many young people remain largely undefeated by such adults.

-John Marsden, The Art of Growing Up

So, you could say that last week was book week.

In terms of blogging, I’ve done the following posts:

On The Run…Friday Fictioneers

A Festival of Red Doors…Friday Fictioneers

Hey, just when I thought I hadn’t done anything very exciting, I forgot that I revisited Heidelberg, Germany where I lived for six months back in 1992 when I was 22 years old. I had the time of my life there and made some life-long friends. We recently got a few crate loads of photos out of the shed, which included a second photo album of overseas photos. There was Heidelberg again. How beautiful. I showed the photos to my daughter and she asked why I came back. I must admit, I was wondering myself for quite a few years. Anyway, I ended up revisiting Heidelberg via Youtube. It was amazing. Here’s the link: Heidelberg Tour

So last week wasn’t quite so uneventful after all. How was your week? I look forward to hearing from you.

This has been another contribution to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by  Eclectic Ali. We’d love you to pop round and join us.

Best wishes,


Shark-Eaten Sponge Cake.

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.

Baking with Mister back in 2007, aged 3.

Baking with Mister back in 2007, aged 3.

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.

Yum! A sawn-off slab of sponge.

Yum! A sawn-off slab of sponge.

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.

Too good to waste.

Too good to waste.

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.

Judging Sponge Cakes 1948.

Judging Sponge Cakes 1948.

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:

6 eggs
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!)

xx Rowena

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/