Sponge Cake Queen finalist Heather's recipe

Sponge Cake Queen finalist Heather's recipe


4 eggs
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup cornflour
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 teaspoon cream tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat moderate over (180°C) and grease two 20cm cake tins.

2. Run up to chook pen and catch a chook. Squeeze or shake chicken gently until it pops out an egg. If this method fails, then look in the laying box. (Fresh eggs are best)

3. Separate eggs, place whites in mixing bowl and yolks into a small bowl.

4. Go and bench press 100kg weights to prepare arms for whipping. Alternatively: Beat egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff but not dry.

5. Add sugar 1 teaspoon at a time, beating well after each addition.

6. Turn mixer up to high. Go and feed the chooks, dogs or hang out a load of washing. It takes a little time for the magic to happen. Beat until stiff and shiny. This takes a good 15 mins. When the mix starts to “ball” up around the whisk then it is done.

7. Sift Flours, bicarb and tartar 3 times.

8. Add egg yolks one at a time and beat well then gently fold flour into egg mixture in 3 batches.

9. Fold in vanilla. Take a big whiff because it smells so nice.

10. Place even amounts in each of the tins and bake in a moderate oven for about 20-25 mins. I look for the mixture to leave the sides of the pan.

11. Turn out of pans to cool.


I follow the 3 P’s Principle:

PATIENCE: Sponges take time. Beat the sugar well after each addition. Beating the sugar and egg mix takes time; don’t be tempted to cut it short.

PERSERVERANCE: If it flops, don’t give up. Keep trying and one day you will get it right. It took me many years to make a good sponge. Failed sponge makes great desserts.

PRAYER: Whenever I start a sponge I pray that it will be “presentable and edible”. This I find especially important in the tropics where the weather can play havoc with the flour (that’s my excuse and I am sticking by it).

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