Tag Archives: sponge

My Favourite Recipe for the Perfect Chocolate Sponge Cake

The 50th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is my ‘go-to’ recipe for the perfect, luscious chocolate sponge.

Over the years I have made many, many chocolate cakes and for me, this is absolutely the perfect recipe for a chocolate sponge that is light and fluffy as well as super chocolatey and moist – it’s fiendishly good and I have made it in many guises, with different butter creams and glazes, all sorts of decorations and fillings but always, the chocolate sponge recipe remains the same – utterly fabulous!

Serves 16+

 

What you need…

2 x 20cm / 8” cake tins (spring form or loose-bottomed ideally), liberally buttered and lined on the bottom with parchment paper

340g unsalted butter, room temperature

340g caster sugar

6 happy eggs

1 dessertspoon vanilla extract

140g milk

225g self-raising flour

85g cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

for the chocolate butter cream

(This is enough to sandwich the two cake tiers and to slather over the top. Make double if you want to cover the sides as well).

 50g dark chocolate (ideally 70% cocoa) broken into pieces

100g unsalted butter, room temperature

200g icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 180°c  / 350° / gas 4.

Using a food processor, beat together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Whilst it’s still beating, add in the eggs, one at a time, ensuring that each is thoroughly mixed in before adding the next. Add the vanilla extract and milk and mix in.

In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Then, add in the ingredients from the food processor and, using a balloon whisk, fold together all the ingredients until they are thoroughly blended.  Divide the chocolate sponge mixture between the two cake tins.

Bake the sponges in the oven for 45 minutes until the cake is firm and an inserted skewer comes out dry.

Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the tins and then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the butter cream, made especially gorgeous by the use of the melted chocolate.

Put your chocolate into a heatproof bowl and then into a steamer over a saucepan of simmering water. Gently melt the chocolate and then set aside until it is cool enough to touch.

In a separate bowl, sieve in the icing sugar and then beat together with the butter. Add the vanilla essence and then tip in the warm chocolate. Mix together using a small balloon whisk to ensure it is evenly and thoroughly blended. Set aside until you are ready to assemble the cake.

Pop your bottom cake tier onto a pretty serving plate and spread the butter cream evenly across. Pop on the top sponge and slather butter cream across the top, using the tip of the spatula to create a swirly design, if you like. (You could also pipe it, if you wanted the cake to look terribly grown up!

Inspired by…

It’s a good mish mash of different recipes!

How easy…

Very easy the smell of chocolate as the sponge is cooking is to die for!

 

Orange Marmalade Sponge

The 17th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is a wonderful, indulgent winter sponge that will warm the cockles of your heart!

Simply stunning and stunningly simple, this sponge is oh-so light but has a fabulously indulgent tangy zestiness flavour. It entices you with it’s aroma and when you’ve dug your spoon in once, there is no option but to just keep on going – absolutely delicious – give this one a go – you definitely won’t be disappointed!

Serves 6

What you need…

1 x 1.2 litre pudding basin

1 x deep baking dish

200g butter, softened plus extra to grease your basin.

4 tablespoons orange marmalade

200g caster sugar

Zest of 3 large oranges

4 eggs, lightly whisked

200g self-raising flour

4 tablespoons milk

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 140°c / 275°f / gas 3.

Liberally butter your basin and pop in the fridge to cool slightly. Then tip in the marmalade and brush so the whole of the inside of the bowl is covered.

In your food processor, cream together the butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy. Tip in the orange zest and whizz again until evenly incorporated. Gradually add in the whisked egg, whizzing the whole time. Then tip in the flour and milk and whizz again to mix in.

Half fill your baking dish with boiling water from the kettle. Set aside.

Re-brush your marmalade, that has probably slithered to the bottom of the bowl, so that it covers the sides again and tip in the sponge mixture.  Pop the bowl into the baking dish of boiling water and stick the whole thing into the oven, uncovered.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Insert a skewer in to make sure it’s cooked through – it should come out dry.

Remove from the oven and loosen the sponge from the bowl gently using a palette knife. Now the breath-holding bit: invert your sponge out of the bowl onto a pretty serving plate – it will gently slither out – I promise.

Remove bowl and admire your handiwork – it’s a pretty fine-looking sponge. Serve on it’s own or with a little double cream. Either way, for something so simple, it is simply stunning.

Inspired by…

Tom Kerridge

How easy…

Stunningly so!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Lemon Curd Syrup Sponges with Brandy Custard

Perfect for this time of year: hot, delightfully sticky yet light individual little sponges with a gorgeous gooey middle and all topped up with brandy-infused custard – almost a winter essential, I’d say! We had ours to round off a Sunday Roast – bang on!

What you need…

6 x dariole moulds, liberally buttered and lined with a disk of non-stick baking paper

1 x baking tray

115g butter, softened

115g light muscovado sugar

2 large, happy eggs

115g self-raising flour

1 handful of panko breadcrumbs (or ordinary breadcrumbs will work just as well)

Grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½

Grated zest of 1 orange and juice of ½

6 tablespoons golden syrup

1 tablespoon brandy, plus 1½ tablespoons for the custard

6 rounded teaspoons lemon curd

500ml fresh custard

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180˚c / 350˚f / gas 4.

Into your food processor tip the butter, sugar, eggs and flour and whizz until combined. Chuck in the breadcrumbs and half the zest and pulse to incorporate.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining zest, juice, golden syrup and 1 tablespoon brandy. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each dariole mould, reserving the rest.

Divide the sponge mixture evenly between the moulds and then plop 1 teaspoon lemon curd into the middle of each (it will merge with the sponge).

Put the moulds onto a baking tray and pop into your oven to bake for 30 minutes until risen and golden.

Meanwhile, use a saucepan to gently warm the custard, stirring through it 1½ tablespoons brandy.

To serve, invert each dariole mould onto a plate, tapping the bottom with the handle of metal knife if the sponges need a little encouragement to plop out. Drizzle over the remaining syrup and serve with a big smile and the boozy custard. Cold winter evenings definitely have some benefits!

Inspired by…

Delicious magazine

How easy…

Remarkably easy and I love that fact that you can do most of the prep before you sit down to dinner.

Torta alle Arance e Grand Marnier

 

Roughly translated from Italian, this Orange and Grand Marnier Upside Down Cake comprises a lovely light, moist sponge topped with juicy, sweet oranges, a delectable caramel and then a splosh of Grand Marnier – simply wonderful!

Serves 8

What you need…

1 x 20cm flan dish or similar, liberally buttered

210g granulated sugar

4 oranges, peeled and cut into 5mm slices

3 large happy eggs

120g caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons orange zest, finely grated

125g plain flour, sifted

3 tablespoons Grand Marnier

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Over a moderate heat, make the caramel by tipping the granulated sugar into a non-stick saucepan and adding 3 teaspoons of water. Stir occasionally until the sugar first dissolves and boils gently and starts to darken. (This takes about 10 minutes). Tip the caramel into your flan dish.

Gently arrange the orange slices over the caramel, slightly overlapping. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, crack the eggs and use a handheld electric whisk to beat them until they are fluffy and nearly doubled in volume. Tip in the caster sugar and whisk until creamy and thick.

Add the baking powder and orange zest and continue to whisk until the mixture forms thick ribbons. Tip in the flour and use a balloon whisk to gently fold it in until thoroughly incorporated.

Pour the mixture over the orange slices and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Use a knife to cut around the edge of the sponge and then, armed with oven gloves, place a serving plate on top of the flan case and quickly invert the orange sponge out onto it – quite spectacular!!!

Drizzle over the Grand Marnier and serve at room temperature, perhaps with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream or some double cream that has a little Grand Marnier mixed in.

Tip…

Once you have poured your caramel into the flan dish, fill the saucepan up with water and bring to the boil – this will melt the remaining stuck and rock-hard caramel, which you can then just tip down the sink – saves on all that scrubbing!

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Very easy and rather impressive looking as well as great on the taste buds!

 

 

 

Drunken Hot Toddy Sponge Pudding

These lovely, easy little puddings are elevated to new heights with the introduction of the whisky-based drunken sauce. Perfect for a cold winter’s evening or to conclude a Burns Night Supper.

Serves 4

What you need…

4 x 180ml pudding moulds, liberally buttered

for the sauce

150 golden caster sugar

150ml double cream

150ml whisky

for the sponge puddings

115g salted butter, softened

75g golden caster sugar

40g runny honey

Zest of 1 large lemon

2 eggs, beaten

115g self-raising flour

What to do…

First to the sauce: place the sugar in a large saucepan (copper if you have it) over a high heat. Melt the sugar, swirling the pan rather than stirring the sugar to ensure the sugar caramelises evenly. Once the sugar has turned into a wonderful golden syrup, pour in the cream slowly, stirring it in as you go: the mixture will become volcanic – spitting in a frenzied fashion – don’t be alarmed: just lean back and keep stirring. Then add the whisky and stir until the sauce starts to bubble – simmer for a couple of minutes to cook off the alcohol (otherwise your sauce will blow your head off and be quite bitter if you’ve used cheap whisky!) Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f /gas 4.

Into your food processor tip the butter and sugar and whizz until pale and fluffy. Add the honey and lemon zest and whizz again until evenly mixed. Whilst still whizzing gradually pour in the eggs, incorporating each bit before adding any more. Tip in the flour and whizz to mix.

Into each pudding mould pour 2 tablespoons of the whisky sauce. Then divide the pudding batter evenly between the four moulds. Pop onto a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out dry.

Invert the little lovelies out into bowls or largish plates so that much sauce can be indulged in! If you fancy being totally indulgent, serve with double cream as well as the whisky sauce. It’s certainly the best hot toddy I’ve ever had!!!

Inspired by…

John Whaite

How Easy…

The sauce requires steady nerves whilst you’re judging when it is sufficiently converted from sugar to syrup and then again when it performs its volcanic eruptions, but actually it’s all quite straight forward.

 

 

‘First Birthday’ Victoria Sandwich

I know: a classic and let’s face it – it’s not difficult! But this was made today as I realised that 7th November marks the first birthday of the official launch of my little foodie blog! 365 days and 195 recipes later…what’s a girl gonna do? Celebrate with cake!!!! Light as can be and quite simply delicious!

Serves 8 (or just 2 of us!)

What you need…

2 x 20cm sandwich tins, lightly buttered and lined with parchment paper/baking liner

225g unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened

225g caster sugar

4 happy eggs, lightly beaten

225g self raising flour

Icing sugar for dusting

for the filling

4 tablespoons raspberry jam

1 tablespoon caster sugar

200ml double cream

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Tip the butter and caster sugar into your food processor and whizz until the mixture is pale and fluffy – the paler, the better: it means that there’s more air in it and that the cake will be lighter.

Gradually pour in the eggs, whizzing the whole time and making sure that each time you pour a little in, it is fully incorporated before you pour in the next bit.

Tip in the flour and whizz again until evenly mixed together.

Pour the mixture into your two prepared cake tins, trying to get the same amount in each.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until lightly golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Cool in their tins for 10 minutes and then turn out onto cooling racks to cool down completely.

Put one sponge, top side down, on your serving plate or cake stand. Use a palette knife to spread the jam generously and evenly across the surface.

Tip the 1 tablespoon of caster sugar into a small mixing bowl with the cream and use an electric handheld whisk to beat the cream into stiff peaks. Either spread or pipe the cream on top of the jam. Gently place the remaining sponge – top side up – on top and then dust with icing sugar.

Cut and serve generous portions with a lovely cup of tea or a glass of fizz, depending on your mood!

victoria-sandwich-2-w_1

Inspired by…

Tradition. Any excuse to make a cake. First birthday for my foodie blog. And Delicious magazine!

How easy…

A really quick, easy cake that can be made in a flash with ingredients that you’re likely to have in the kitchen already.

 

 

Moist Plum and Amaretti Bake

Utterly delicious and dead easy, I cut this traybake up to make lots of bite-sized sponges that are delectably easy to just pop in as I’m passing the cake tin – which is left out permanently. Sweet plums combined with ground almonds provide a gorgeous Autumnal moistness to these sponges and the crumbled amaretti biscuits add a lovely depth of flavour. Ideal with a cup of tea, coffee or just on their own!

Makes loads – it depends how you cut up the traybake – I think I made about 40 poppables! (Forgot to count – sorry!)

What you need…

1 x 30 x 23cm traybake tin, buttered and lined with parchment paper or Bake O Glide

4 large plums, slightly under-ripe

125g self-raising flour

75g ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 large, happy eggs

200g caster sugar

200g butter, softened

Zest of 1 orange, grated finely

7 amaretti biscuits, crumbled

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Halve and de-stone the plums and then cut into wedges. Set aside.

Tip the flour, almonds, baking powder, eggs, caster sugar, butter and orange zest into your food processor. Whizz until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Tip the mixture into your traybake tin and spread it about evenly.

Scatter over the amaretti crumbs and top with a layer of plums. I arranged mine in lines of wedges all facing the same way but that’s not necessary as the sponge rises and hides them anyway.

Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out dry.

Cool in the tin, dust with icing sugar and cut up into whatever sized sponges you fancy. Enjoy these lovely little moist gems of Autumnal sponge.

Inspired by…

Country Living magazine

How easy…

I made them before breakfast on Sunday morning – deliciously relaxed, very easy.