September 10, 2009

Annunziata's Sponge Cake

She must sense when we're almost out of sweets. It almost never fails. My better half walked through the front door with an aluminum wrapped mass last night. "More figs?" I asked. "Sponge cake." he replied. I know I must have been smiling at that point.

Lemony yellow with a fluffy light crumb, it never lasts long under the cake dome. Annunziata has a knack for baking, but she only bakes her two signature cakes, sponge and apple. When the weather turns cold she'll, on occasion, bake a huge batch of bread. Last month she asked me for my banana bread recipe, which I took as the highest compliment. She even made that taste better. She has a gift.

For Annunziata's Sponge Cake you'll need:

2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder

7 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup water
3 teaspoons lemon extract
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

7 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Tube pan

Preheat oven to 350°.

Whisk together the flour and baking powder, set aside. In another bowl combine egg yolks and sugar, beat until fluffy. Add the canola oil, beat until combined. Add in water, lemon and vanilla extracts, beat until combined. Add in dry ingredients, do this in thirds. Beat until just combined and set aside. In a third bowl beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until the whites are stiff, but still wet. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter. 

Pour the batter into a greased and floured tube pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes. The top should be golden and the cake will look as if it's trying to climb out of the pan.

To cool, invert. If this step is missed, your cake will be a horrible deflated mess. The texture of the cake will be inedible. At this point you might as well throw it out. And yes, this has happened to me.

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