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As its name implies, this American Sponge Cake has a spongy texture that is wonderfully light and moist. It has a sweet citrus flavor and since it does not contain solid fat, it is the ideal cake for those watching their fat intake. This cake can be eaten plain, with just a dusting of powdered sugar. But my favorite way is to use it to make Strawberry Shortcake. Just cut the cake in half and fill it with lightly sweetened strawberries and lots of whipped cream.
As with a lot of sponge cakes, this American Sponge Cake gets most of its rise from the air whipped into the eggs. The eggs are first separated and this is easier to do when the eggs are still cold. Then the egg yolks and granulated white sugar are beaten until thick, light, and fluffy. This takes several minutes and this long beating time is necessary for it not only gives the baked cake its full volume, it also gives the cake its nice open grain. Next the flour, mixed with a little baking powder and salt, is sifted over the yolks and folded in. Finally, the egg whites are beaten with a little sugar just until they are glossy and stiff. Care must be taken when folding the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture to ensure that the batter does not deflate too much. The cake is baked in a moderate oven until springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
This recipe uses an ungreased tube pan with a removable bottom which gives the cake support as well as making it easier to remove. The pan is left ungreased so the batter can cling to the sides of the pan as it bakes and allows the cake to reach its full volume. The hole in the middle of the pan allows the hot air to circulate and reach the center of the cake. Once the cake is baked it is immediately inverted so the baked cake will maintain its volume and keep it from shrinking as it cools.
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Article and Demonstration by Stephanie Jaworski
Photo and Videography by Rick Jaworski
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