Sponge Cake, ah yes….
Better known as
ANGEL FOOD CAKE,
is the perfect dessert for the person counting fat calories
in their diet, since it is mostly devoid of such naughty nuisances. Made
up of mostly egg whites, air and sugar; it still has calories (from the
sugar content), but not oil or high fat.
The usual sponge cakes information calls for: flour, cream of tartar, egg whites (well beaten), salt, sugar, and perhaps a bit of flavored extract to add a change of flavor now and again.
WARNING: Never pre-grease any baking dish with sponge cake ingredients poured amply into it. Nor let any egg-yolk escape into the batter or the sponge cake will fall flat.
Sponge Cake is easy and fun to make. Plus, it bakes quickly. You can even get the kids involved by baking in a 9 X 13 cake pan; when sufficiently cooled, they can use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Add their favorite filling between two cut outs and you have a wonderful dessert sandwich!
My mother and several grandmothers (including greats) before me, preferred baking sponge cake in a regulation Angel Food pan. They are tall-sided with a circular funnel-spout in the middle connected to a pop out bottom.
All my baking-kin taught me to whip egg whites separately into a foaming froth, add other ingredients, and then whip generously on high with an electric mixer for two full minutes, (this adds the much needed air). Then pour into a baking pan, and, using a table knife, slice through the batter in several different directions in order to break up any large air bubbles.
After baking, turn the whole pan (cake an’ all) upside down and balance it on the neck of a pop bottle until cool. That way, it doesn't have a chance to sink down and let all that hot air collapse. (Wish we could do this to some folks, but in reverse.)
When the cooling process is over, take a table knife and run it around the edges of the cake, both the outside edges and around the circular center spout, to loosen the cake from the pan. Then, all you have to do is push on the bottom and out pops the cake (upside down still, and hopefully onto a waiting cake platter). At this point, run the table knife under and around the bottom to release it, funnel and all, in one piece. Now flip the cake right side up, (they’re easy to handle without falling apart). Wasn't that easy?
When serving, most generally my relatives add fruit compote with a dollop of fresh whipped cream atop each slice (made from cream that’s been brought to the kitchen directly from the milk separator). No wonder I have a weight problem after being raised on a farm with all these wonderful goodies such as: tons of fresh eggs, fruit and real whipped cream. We didn't raise sugar beets, but it’s a wonder!
I also like Sponge Cake frosted with lemon extract, confectioner’s sugar, and a little canned milk (mixed just thin enough to drizzle over the top and down the sides of a cooled sponge cake).
If you want to tackle a Sponge Cake from scratch, this is a good one to start with but there are a few absolutes you have to adhere to in order to make it a real success. I repeat: No grease, no yolks, plenty of whipping batter to get loads of air beat in, and use of proper utensils.
Angel Food box cakes, in my opinion, are just as good and a whole lot easier…
by Granny Tam
Did you say you're on a diet?
No desserts for 20 years?
Do you pass the cake and candy sections
With some heartfelt sighs and tears?
Go ahead !! Bake those gooey
Sticky sweet forbidden things.
But first put on your jogging outfit.
Your tennis shoes and exercise fling.
Run in place while stirring;
Time your cakes with jumping jacks.
Ten deep knee bends between ingredients.
Use that kitchen for a workout track.
And when you're out of breath and panting.
Pot holders around your prize.
Jog to the nearest 90 pound neighbor
And leave her your 1000 calorie surprise!