Friday, August 3, 2012

Strawberry Sponge Cake


This was my birthday cake this summer.  Everyone loved it.  What a great way to enjoy the bounty of fresh summer berries.  I made it just slightly spiked, but you can always substitute vanilla for the rum that I added.  I love that sponge cakes are so quick and easy too.  If you want to be really fancy, you can split this cake into three layers and use a combination of raspberries and strawberries.  Me, I went the easy route.  Halves and strawberries.  Yum!  Make the flavored syrup ahead of time or while the cake bakes and it's a simple matter of assembly once the cake is cooled.  (The rum syrup recipe makes more than you need but stores for a long time in a clean, sealed jar in the fridge.  You can make a half batch in a small saucepan though, which is just about the right amount for the recipe without too much waste.)

Strawberry Sponge Cake 
serves 8-10

For the cake:
2/3 cup flour
½ cup potato starch
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, divided  (as usual, I use one with tapioca starch)
5 eggs, separated
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp gold rum

For the filling and topping:
6 tbsp rum flavored syrup (recipe follows)
2½ pints fresh strawberries
3 tbsp sugar
1¾ cups heavy cream
1 tbsp gold rum

Rum simple syrup:
½ cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp orange zest (optional)
1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
3-4 tbsp gold rum

To make the syrup, place the water and sugar in a heavy saucepan.  Dissolve the sugar over low heat.  Bring to a rolling boil and remove from heat.  Stir in the zests if using.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Strain the zest out and stir in the rum.  Cool, store in a sterile jar and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Grease and line a 9" Springform Pan with parchment.

For the cake, sift the flour and starch together very well.  Set aside 3 tbsp of the powdered sugar.  Whisk the egg yolks and remaining powdered sugar until thick and pale.  (Ribbon stage.)  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and salt to soft peaks.  Sift over the reserved 3 tbsp powdered sugar and beat just to stiff peaks.  Fold in the lemon juice.  Lighten the egg yolk mixture by stirring in two dollops of egg whites.  Gently fold in the flour mixture and the 1 tbsp rum.  Then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites, taking care not to deflate them.  Pour into pan and gently smooth the top.  Bake at 350ºF for 35-40 minutes or until cake tests done.  Let it cool for 5-10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  (Take off the parchment when it is cooled.)

Slice the cake in half (or three layers) and brush or sprinkle the insides with a few tbsp of the rum syrup on each piece.  (Sprinkle the two bottom layers if doing three layers.)

I just love how easily this cake sliced and what a beautiful texture it had.  Sponges are great that way.

Save some of the berries for the topping and quarter the rest.  Whip the cream, sugar and rum into stiff peaks.  Spread the quartered strawberries over the bottom layer of cake and top with half of the whipped cream.  Cover with the top and press down to squish the berries and cream together.  Spread the rest of the whipped cream over the top and arrange the reserved berries as you like.  You could garnish with some mint or strawberry leaves if you like.  Basil would be good too!  (If you are doing a three-layer, divide the berries and cream accordingly.)  Chill until ready to serve.  This cake will last well, refrigerated and covered, for a couple of  days.  Sift over a little powdered sugar for a nice presentation just before serving.  Or just dive in.  ☺



Adapted from Ultimate Cake.

9 comments:

Nashreen said...

"Drooooling"... looking so good.... by the way, can i substitute the potato starch with cornflour of wheat starch? will i get same texture?

Nashreen said...

Your blog looks really interesting.. Was just browsing through your recipes ;-)

hobby baker said...

I would say you could use just about any food starch; corn, arrowroot, tapioca, even sweet rice flour. You could probably also use all cake flour and get a similar result. We just avoid corn because of the allergy in the family as well as the GMO status of almost all conventional processed corn products. ;) I'm so glad you like what you see, thanks for stopping by!

Cheah said...

How I envy you with easy access to all the lovely berries. Here in Malaysia, they're very expensive. Your strawberry cake just look awesome!

hobby baker said...

Oh I sympathize! Trying to get ingredients out of season or locality is very hard on the pocketbook. Strawberries are very pot friendly though, I'll bet a nice little alpine variety could produce for you depending on how hot it gets where you are. :) Are there any places to get plants nearby? Or even neighbors with some runners to share for free? ;)

kitchen flavours said...

Your cake looks wonderful! I am forever jealous over the beautiful berries that you have over there! We do have our own local strawberries, but they are not as sweet!
Happy Belated Birthday!

Nashreen said...

ok... am gonna try this cake using tapioca flour... I didn't know most corn starch and conventional processed corn products are mostly GMOs... Again, you rightly said "we learn more about food when dealing with it, than while studying it"... LOL i was wondering just now why the lecturers didn't tell me about this fact when we were learning about Corn production!! hehehe Happy birthday

hobby baker said...

I'd love to hear how it turns out for you! Hope it's great, and thanks!

Vale said...

WOW I love your blog and this cake is wonderful!!! Now I follow you ^-^

bye bye



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