There are two very popular homemade sponge cakes here in Australia; one filled with jam and cream, the other with passionfruit icing or cream. I have already posted the jam and cream version coupled with the delightfully light and airy cornflour sponge cake.
This time, I have done a more classic version of the sponge cake. With this version, the eggs are beaten whole instead of beating the egg whites separately first as for the cornflour sponge (beating egg whites separately produces a very airy cake). By beating the eggs whole, it produces a less airy cake but with a very fine texture, which is still very fluffy and light.
This sponge is more suitable to be used as a base for decorated cakes, as it is not as fragile as the cornflour sponge. However for the most simple serving suggestion, do as most Australians do, which is either to sandwich the sponge with jam and cream, or as I have done here, with passionfruit cream.
Makes one 20cm cake
Basic Sponge Cake:
2g (1/2 teaspoon) fine salt
140g (5 oz) caster sugar
140g (5 oz) cake flour *
3g (3/4 teaspoon) baking powder
30g (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted
30ml (1 fl oz) hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 quantity Crème Chantilly
170g-tin passionfruit pulp in syrup **
* If cake flour is not available, use 100g (2/3 cup) plain flour + 40g (4 tablespoons) cornflour instead.
** Use fresh passionfruit pulp when in season.
Basic Sponge Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 170-180°C. Grease a 20cm x 6cm deep round cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Sift cake flour and baking powder three times, set aside. Mix melted butter and hot water together; set aside.
2. Beat eggs and salt for about 1 minute on medium high speed. Start adding sugar gradually as you continue to beat the egg mixture. Beat until the mixture leaves a trail of ribbon when you lift the egg beater; total beating time can be 6 to 10 minutes depending on the power of your beater.
3. Sift the flour mixture in about 3 to 4 batches onto the egg mixture. Fold in with a big metal spoon after sifting in each batch of flour mixture. Once all the flour is folded in, add vanilla if using, and pour the melted butter and hot water mixture along the outer edges of the mixing bowl and fold in until thoroughly combined; do this as lightly and quickly as you can.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and give the tin a tap on the bench to get rid of any large bubbles in the batter. Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until cooked.
5. Remove from oven and give the tin another tap on the bench. Turn out immediately on to a clean tea towel placed on top of a wire rack; tea towel prevents wire rack marking top of the sponge. Immediately turn right side up on to another wire rack to cool completely; cool away from draughts to avoid shrinking.
6. Fill the cake only on the day of serving. Split the cake in half horizontally. Sandwich with half the Passionfruit Cream. Top the cake with the remaining Passionfruit Cream. Drizzle more passionfruit pulp on top.
Make the Crème Chantilly as directed but omit the vanilla or liqueur. Fold in about 2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp to the whipped cream. If you are using tinned passionfruit pulp, it might be a good idea to drain some of the syrup off so the pulp is not too thin with liquid. You can use the drained syrup to brush onto the cake layer before piling on the cream if desired.