Sponge Cake

strawberry shortcake

Pochahontas needs to get out of her land before she can sing Colors of the Wind in full honesty.

Maybe she needs a visit to Asia.

Isn’t Asia quite a colorful continent? The times when toilets come with missing doors. Then in some places, buskers need to get licensed (pretty lame if you ask me). Students always cram after school hours… And the food. Man is Asia a culinary giant. Because really, I cannot live a day to day fish and chips diet. Or hamburger, for that matter.

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Us Asians don’t really have much fondness for ‘dessert with your sugar’. Maybe it’s a yin and the yang thing, but who cares. Why do that when you can have the right amount of sugar with your dessert?

A good dessert that’s easy on the stomach is a strawberry shortcake. 5 of these are an equivalent of a slice of cheesecake from the cheesecake factory. But that’s just my opinion. Think you could eat a whole cake in one sitting?

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This recipe for the spongecake is by a French (oh the irony). But case in point, I always see these in Asian bakeries.

Feel free to slap on more whipped cream. I ran out of whipped cream and you know how tough rationing is…

Sponge Cake

makes 12 x 18 inch (30 x 46 cm) sheet cake or

one 9 inch (23 cm) round cake

by Shirley Sarvis

1 1/2 cup (195g) cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 large eggs, separated, room temp

1/4 cup (60ml) cold water

1 cup (200g) white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Lightly butter just the bottom of the sheet or round pan (with sides at least 2 inches high). Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.

Into a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whisk together the egg yolks and water on high speed for 1 minute. Decrease the speed to medium, add the sugar and vanilla, then increase the speed to high and continue to whisk until the mixture forms a ribbon when the whip is lifted, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a clean dry bowl with a clean whip attachment, whisk the whites on high speed until formed stiff peaks.

Using one hand, gradually sift the flour mixture over the beaten yolks, and using a whisk with the other hand, fold it in. Setting the bowl on a damp towel will help steady it. When the flour is fully incorporated, use a rubber spatula to fold in 1/3 of the whipped whites to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining.

Pour the batter into the pan or sheet and quickly spread in an even layer. Bake until the cake is browned and the centre springs back when gently pressed with finger. Bake 15-18 mins in a sheet or 40-45 mins in a pan. Let cool in pan.

Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen it from the pan. Invert the cake onto a cutting board or large plate.

storage: keeps at room temp for 3 days or freezer for 1 month

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