Saturday, November 15, 2008

Orange Sponge Cake

I promised myself that I will not bake anything until I clean up my house and with that motivation, I started cleaning up yesterday non-stop. After a few scratches and falling from the chair while cleaning the ceiling, I finished today and as my reward, I baked
Priscilla's Orange Sponge Cake with Neoclassic French Buttercream. The sponge cake is Sarah's recipe passed on to her by her mom.

I have made a sponge cake once, but it's the hot milk sponge cake which is made not with the traditional way of making one. I did not attempt making a sponge cake earlier because I know it would be difficult, like the genoise. I get second thoughts of baking anything that requires beating eggs and carefully folding the flour because it is very easy to ruin the batter, and waste ingredients. However, I do want to try cakes out of my comfort zone once in a while.

I needed 5 eggs for this recipe, and when I went to the supermarket, the chatty old man who works at the dairy area was there arranging new stacks of eggs. He would often chat with me whenever I get eggs or butter. I was looking for large eggs, and he told me that he had a stack of 12 XL eggs sold the same price as the 10 large ones. I told him that I needed large only, but he insisted on me taking the XL ones because he said it's a bargain, and with a hearty laugh, he asked me what difference would it make if I cook with it? Knowing that it would make a deal of difference baking with different sized eggs, but not wanting to disappoint the nice old man, and not wanting to have a lengthy argument (Israelis love to argue by the way :P), I just took the XL eggs. Anyway, no point of arguing because when I looked at the eggs in the carton, the eggs were NOT XL although marked as XL. Hehe.

So anyway, on with baking the sponge cake, I separated the whites and the yolks, beating both separately and aftewhich, I need to fold them together with the flour. Some people have heavy hands, and they often complain that they overfold eggs. As for me, my common mistake is I normally underfold. I'm trying to improve on this folding thingy, lest all my cakes will be sinking. I also used fresh oranges for the cake which I squeezed. I can't help it so I drank some of the juice. Hehe. After folding all the eggs, flour and the juice, I baked the cake for 40 minutes and it smelled wonderful!

The sponge cake was supposed to go with an orange glaze, but I had leftover egg yolks that I wanted to use so I made the Neoclassic French Buttercream. I made the orange variation so that it would go perfectly with the orange sponge cake. Making the French Buttercream was similar, even almost the same to the Italian Buttercream, only that the French uses egg yolks while the Italian uses egg whites. I also used some orange zest and juice for the buttercream.

Once the cake is cooled, I decorated it with simple pipes of the buttercream. After a few photos, I cut the cake and the texture was very fine. This is the fluffiest cake that I've ever made. The texture was so fine and soft, and the color was perfect light yellow. I'm so happy with how the cake turned out, it's so delicious. The recipe itself was a classic, and even if it is just my first time baking a real sponge cake, it was successful.

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