6/15/2006

Kitchen failures

Domestic Goddess I am not. Yesterday I had an urge to make a sponge cake. This involved: buying a cake pan, ingredients and carefully balancing naps with bake times. I used the recipe from the Domestic Goddess cookbook for the Victoria Sponge, and I thought that I followed the directions rather carefully. There was only one rocky bit when the baby wanted to eat and the cake wanted to go into the oven, well the cake sat around a little while. Which probably was a bad idea. Taking it out of the oven it was as promised, a nice golden hue and an inch or so above the rim of the pan. Mission accomplished...or so I thought. 20 minutes later, I glance into the kitchen and wonder in shock where my cake has gone. It fell completely, to about a third of its size. Although the taste was fine, the texture resembled that of a brownie; not a sponge cake at all. How disappointing. What did I do wrong? Did letting the batter sit cause it to lose all the air? Did I take it out of the oven too early and shock it? Should I not have used the food processor? (I had my doubts about that one from the start, but since Nigella said it was ok...)

And where do I go from here? Hang my head in defeat, promising never to bake another sponge again or give it another go?
I'm tempted to try again, the new Donna Hay magazine has some seemingly idiot proof sponges.
Though if it goes south again, I swear I will never bake sponge cake again.

1 comment:

Phoebe said...

Sponge success is so sporadic.

My sponge secrets include the following...
Thrice sifting the dry indredients (or more if you're patient enough)
Whisking egg whites to the perfect peak (I use an electric whisk)
Folding dry ingredients really gently into egg mix in several batches
And... Yes, You guessed it, the cake pans really need to go into the pre-heated oven ASAP. I give them a little tap on the bench top to bring some of the bubbles to the surface first.

Not something I make often anymore as it is so time consuming. But nothing beats a great sponge spread with lemon curd and cream!