If there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that many bakers find classic sponges equally delightful and intimidating! Here’s our top five tips for sponge cake perfection.
- The egg whites must be beaten in a well-cleaned and well-dried bowl to prevent any grease or water from impeding the white’s ability to incorporate air and become light and fluffy. This is very important since the egg whites will be the sole ingredient to provide lift to the batter and, thus, lightness to the cake.
- This cake is a French style that eschews chemical leaveners like baking powder and soda for the mechanical lift of air trapped in the protein of the beaten egg whites. When you add sugar to these beaten egg whites, the proteins in the whites become stabilized—and sweetened, of course—forming a smooth ingredient that can be efficiently folded into batter.
- This cake is known as a biscuit, which is a cake that’s thin and a bit dry in texture, so you’ll have to add moisture by either soaking it with a rum syrup soak and/or layering it with mousse to make Chef Dominique Ansel’s chocolate layered cake.
- Once the cake is cooled and unmolded, make sure to cut the cake from the inside of the ring mold, so that the cake will fit evenly inside it once you’re ready to assemble the finished dessert.
- Don’t forget to save the scraps! You can toast them in the oven and crumble them over ice cream.
How Do You Know When Spongecake Is Done Baking?
Never just rely on a timer, as every oven is different; there are three ways to know if the cake is done:
- Jiggle it: the cake should still be a little bouncy in the middle.
- Nudge it: press the top gently; it should bounce back.
- Stick it: stick a cake tester (or toothpick or paring knife) into the center, and if it comes out clean, you’re done!
People often burn chocolate cakes because it’s harder to tell if it’s cooked through with the dark color of the batter. So be extra careful and check even before the suggested bake time.