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joann 03-13-2005 @ 4:00 PM                           Reply to this Discussion   Edit This Message   Delete This Message.
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Hi!!  I just made a Victoria Sponge cake.  It looks great, however, its dry.  I thought sponge cake was moist and bouncy.  The cake looks just like it does on the picture.  Is this cake suppose to be dry.  If not, please help me out.  I use the recipe on this web site.
Perhaps the "sponge" is the dry and hard type.
Someone please let me know if this is OK??


diana 03-14-2005 @ 11:11 AM                           Reply to this Discussion   Edit This Message   Delete This Message.
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Hi Joann,

Welcome to Diana's Desserts Discussion Forum and Website. Glad you found us.

I will try to answer your question about sponge cake.

First of all, sad to say that the nature of sponge cakes is that they quickly begin to stale or dry out once removed from the oven. In Europe it is commonplace to refresh and moisten the cake with a sugar syrup or a liquor syrup.

For an unfrosted sponge cake (such as the Victoria Sponge), you can keep it tightly wrapped for about a day, but if you want to keep it longer, store it in the freezer. Once the cake is frosted, however, it will stay moist longer, depending on the moistness of the frosting. Remember to keep it covered.

I have included here instructions for an All-In-One Sponge Cake recipe and information from Delia Smith, the well-known British cookbook author. I have also included one more recipe from an English Tea Room and Bakery in Santa Monica Californa that specializes in these types of cakes. That recipe states that the sponge comes out lighter if you whisk, beat and whip the ingredients by hand (opposed to an electric mixer).

From Delia Smith:

How to make all-in-one sponge

1. For beginners, making cakes can seem a bit of a daunting prospect but, as with all cooking skills, once you've been taught the correct way, you can proceed without fear and have success every time. Using the wrong tins (pans) is probably the cause of 90 per cent of failures – for this quantity you will need two 8 inch (20 cm) diameter sponge tins (cake pans), 11/2 inches (4 cm) deep. Lightly grease them and line each one with a circle of baking parchment paper, also lightly greased.

2. For an 8 inch (20 cm) sandwich cake (victoria sponge), start off by sifting 6 oz (175 g) of self-raising flour and a rounded teaspoon of baking powder into a very large mixing bowl, holding the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down.

3. Next, break 3 large eggs into the flour and add 6 oz (175 g) of caster sugar and 6 oz (175 g) of butter – the butter has to be at room temperature, so soft that the blade of a knife will make a deep impression straight away. Finally, add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

4. Now you just go in with an electric hand whisk and whisk everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined mixture. This will take about one minute – if you don't have an electric whisk, you can use a wooden spoon with a little more effort.

5. What you now end up with is a mixture that drops easily off the spoon when you give it a tap on the edge of the bowl. If it does seem a little too stiff, add 1-2 teaspoons of tap water and mix again.

6. Divide the sponge mixture equally between the prepared tins and level out the surface with a palette knife.

7. Place them on the center rack of a pre-heated oven, 325°F (160°C) and bake for 30-35 minutes. Don't open the oven door until 30 minutes have elapsed. To test if they are cooked or not, touch the centre lightly with your little finger. If it leaves no impression and springs back, the sponge is cooked.

8. Remove the cakes from the oven then wait for about 5 minutes before turning them out on to a cooling rack and carefully peeling off the base paper.

9. Leave the sponge to get completely cold before you add your filling and topping.

Victoria Sponge Cake

From the Tudor House, an English tea room and bakery in Santa Monica, Calif. The cake will come out light if you whisk, beat and whip the ingredients by hand.

Butter, for greasing tins
Flour, for dusting tins

1 cup soft butter
1 cup caster or superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup self-rising flour, sifted
3 tablespoons raspberry jam
Powdered sugar as needed to dust

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 C). Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Whisk together 1 cup soft butter, the sugar and vanilla to achieve a crumbly texture. Add 2 of the eggs, and whip until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the remaining 2 eggs, and mix again until airy. Fold in 1 cup flour, a tablespoon at a time. Split the batter between 2 pans. Place in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cakes to test for doneness. If crumbs still cling to the toothpick and the cakes aren't done, place parchment paper on top to prevent them from burning and continue baking until cooked through. Remove from the oven. Turn onto a rack to cool. Spread jam on each side; place one cake atop the other. Sift powdered sugar on top.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Joann, I hope this information (and the 2 recipes) helps you out. Please let me know if you made either of the cakes and if so, how it turned out. I must say that you won't find "sponge" type cakes that will last as long as regular butter type cakes. As I said above, this is the nature of sponge cakes. They should be light and somewhat moist, but will only stay that way a day or two at the most, so plan to serve the cake the day you make it.

Sincerely, Diana
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