Sunday lemony sponge cake

I’ve had a couple of hours to myself this afternoon as Wilf has gone off with a friend of ours to see what he thinks of fishing. I couldn’t think of anything better to spend the time doing than baking a sponge cake.

This was after cleaning out the chickens and washing down the dog run. Watering the greenhouse, tidying up a bit……….oh well. Don’t worry I did wash my hands thoroughly before I started cooking.

It may be insulting to you to include a basic sponge recipe here but I found this one only recently. You go by how much the eggs weigh not the usual 225gsm of flour, butter, sugar and so on.

I’ve had much more consistent results with this method.

You need:

4 eggs, shells on (makes a good deep 2 tin 8inch (20cm) sponge)

butter or marge suitable for cooking (it took me  a lot of looking to find a marge you could actually cook with so do read the side of the box)

Caster sugar

Self raising flour

a pinch of salt

a lemon

Your choice of filling; whipped cream, jam, lemon curd, butter icing.

Oven to 180 degrees/Gas 4 and shelves in the middle

Grease your two cake tins with marge or butter and I use a couple of rounds of baking parchment to protect the base of the tins. I like tins where the base pops out best for cake making.

Weigh your eggs in their shells and make a note of this amount. Put them to one side and weigh out the marge or butter to equal that of the eggs with their shells on (the weight you made a note of earlier)

Beat the Marge/butter until light and fluffy. I use a hand electric mixer with balloon whisks on for this. Then weigh out your caster sugar to equal the weight of the eggs with shells on. Sieve in the caster sugar and beat this in well.

Now weigh out your flour, again to the same weight as the eggs with shells on and add a pinch of salt.

Crack open an egg and add this to the marge & sugar mix. I add a teaspoon of the flour each time I beat in an egg. Then beat in the egg with the mixer. Do this with the other eggs adding a spoon of flour with each egg.

The mixture is very creamy and should be light and fluffy. Sieve in the rest of the flour and gently fold it into the cake mixture until combined.

Grate in the zest of the lemon and squeeze in a table spoon of juice. But mind you don’t add any pips.

Give it a final stir and transfer to the two 8 inch cake tins as evenly as possible.

Pop in the preheated oven and put the timer on for 25 minutes.

After this time use a skewer to see if the cake is cooked. If not give it another 5 minutes and try again.

When it’s done take the cake out of the oven and holding the tin above a solid surface drop the tin so the cake base hits the work surface. This is supposed to let the steam escape from the middle and stop it sinking. I dare you not to do it now I’ve told you about it!!

Leave the cakes for a couple of minutes to allow them to cool and contract away from the tins edges.

Turn the cakes onto a wired rack and allow to cool.

Now to complete this I’m making a lemon butter filling and a lemon syrup topping.

I simply cream a couple of ounces of butter or marge and feed in sieved caster sugar until I like the taste & consistancy or I’ve run out of sugar. I then add a bit of grated lemon zest and use to sandwich the cakes together

For the topping use the rest of the lemon juice and a three tb of granulated or caster sugar

Heat them gently together in a pan until the sugar is dissolved and you have a syrup, allow this to cook for a couple of minutes to help it reduce down. Pour this sticky mixture over the top of the cake and allow to cool.

Store in an airtight tin as all good cook books say.

Enjoy – we intend to have sausage sandwiches for tea followed by a bit of sponge cake  – naughty and yummy. We made the sausages ourselves and the bread is done in the bread maker so I feel really pleased with my efforts.

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