I think of this beautiful shower as I plan one for my daughter.
I enjoy the planning aspect as I look through my cookbook collection and surf the net for the last couple of weeks.
My list has enlarged as I look for recipes I can freeze. My theme will be a modern version of High Tea celebrated with Bubbly and Strawberries in Hats, Pearls, Gloves and Lace.
I have studied some of the videos on making Petit Fours as I want to do a sponge cake version. I have made a sponge cake a couple of times but was not pleased with the volume or height of the cake. I made a chocolate jelly roll stuffed with strawberries and whipping cream for my husband's birthday, a Canadian Living recipe.
As I looked at the videos, memories of my Mom came to mind as she made jelly rolls filled with lemon filling often on the farm. I imagine the ready supply of eggs was the reason for the sponge cake, but also her skill in making this beautiful full jelly roll! I remember her delicately transferring the cake to a dusted tea towel with icing sugar and rolling the cake to rest.
I studied two sponge cake recipes, the recipes were similar using 6 eggs, one cup of flour and sugar each with added vanilla extract. One recipe separated the eggs, where as the other used the whole egg.. The eggs needed to be at room temperature and the secret seemed to be beat the egg mixture for 5 minutes. The eggs can be soaked in hot tap water so that they are room temperature before using
Folding in the stiffen egg whites in to the egg yolk mixture carefully so the mixture does not deflate.
I decided to separate the egg and whip the egg white first, then whipped the egg yolk until fluffy and a lemon color. This step my Mom always did.
Not being a baker, this made two extra steps of gradually folding in the yolk mixture into the whipped egg whites. then folding in the flour into the mixture. Mom would fold this in with very strong folds using a spatula. I must say I was nervous doing this but the mixture did not deflate before spreading the batter into the prepared cookie sheet or as my Mom called it the jelly roll pan.
The cake cooked quicker than the suggested20 minutes, I took it out in 15 minutes.
The next step was to cut it in thirds, layer with two different jams that had been strained to get rid of the seeds or rind.
I cut the strips into thirds but the pieces could have been smaller yet.
The chocolate glaze was done twice as the first time I added cream to the mixture as it was too thick and when heated it did separate. I did remake the chocolate glaze, but still found the mixture was too thick and did not pour easily, needed to be spread with a knife, so thicker than I would have liked. The recipe was looking for a glaze but as in the picture below the glaze was more an icing.. Perhaps using icing sugar and adding lemon juice to make a glaze that is thick, yet pourable would have achieved the desired look.
Basic Sponge Cake recipe
1 cup flour
1 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
baking sheet,non stick spray, parchment
- Preheat the oven to 375 F
- Prepare cookie sheet or jelly roll pan, spray and line with parchment paper.
- Separate the egg whites from egg yolks
- Beat the egg whites with a mixer or whisk the whites until fluffy and stiff
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt together
- Add the sugar and butter (optional) to the yolks, whisk until thick and creamy
- Fold egg yolk mixture into stiffen egg whites.
- Fold flour using 1//3 c each time until well mixed.
- Do not overmix
- Spread this mixture evenly
- Bake it in the oven for 22 to 25 min until done