Tuesday, 29 November 2011

When nothing seems to be working

The blog was initially published on Tuesday, 21 June 2011. As promised, I am adding more pictures and details to the existing content. Please note that the pictures display an 8" inch coffee sponge cake for which I have used only three eggs. The images are just to show you the different stages of sponge making, and the consistency of the cake mixture. Use the amounts as stated in the recipe below or adjust according to the size of your pan.

What do you do when nothing around you works the way you want it to??? Last Saturday was one of such days. A very close friend of mine with family was here to spend the weekend with us and nothing seemed like working in my favour.

It all started before they had even arrived. I couldnt manage to do my groceries in time, as a result to which we all had to compromise on junk for lunch. The dinner was served at 10:00 pm and was in my opinion utterly devastating as the new brand of noodles refused to soften up even after 35 minutes of boiling (you wont believe but they were so hard from inside that finally I had to pressure cook them. I know it sounds crazy but I have two witnesses to confirm this). Anyways, the dinner was somehow saved by the impaccable chicken stacks but the curse reappeared again the next day when my friend asked me to bake a cake for her.

Ive often encountered disasters in the kitchen but that day was really special. From cutting fingers to falling bowls, mistaking salt for sugar and forgetting to add water in the recipe, an overheated oven and a broken peeler - everything in the kitchen seemed jinxed no matter how careful I tried to be.

Nevertheless, I am grateful that there wasnt anything that we couldnt manage to fix in the end. Please ignore the flattened top of the cake, it was only because my cream and the beaters were not chilled properly before beating and I had no more nerves to try further.

Well, I must admit, without any red cherries on top and a flattened cream, this is one of the worst looking black forest tortes Ive made during this year but trust me, the taste was still amazingly good and impressive;)

Okay, I have just realised that its probably not a good start to a post on the best cake I have in my repertoire. Just try the recipe as stated below. It is the same famous most-wanted secret sponge cake that you all had been asking to share. I am extremely sorry for not being able to recall the original source of the recipe  (and I mean it!!! I am terribly sorry for not being able to give credit to the great mind who originally introduced this recipe. I just found it written in one of my diaries) but I have been following it for eons and am absolutely convinced that no other sponge could ever excel this.

Sponge Cake


6 eggs
200 g icing sugar
6 tbs hot water
100 g plain flour
100 g cornflour
25 g cocoa powder for the darker sponge or 25 g of additional cornflour for the yellow one
1 tsp baking powder
few drops of vanilla

And the most important ingredient is PATIENCE...a lot of patience while beating the eggs. And I mean it!!

Take all the six (in the pictures you can see only three as I have used half the recipe) eggs in a big bowl. Add in sugar.

Using your electric beaters or mixer, beat for about 7 minutes.

I have mixed 1 tbs instant coffee in the water to make 8" coffee sponge

Keep adding water into this with the beaters still on. Also add vanilla essence and continue with the beating process until foamy. (Altogether, Itll take about 10-15 minutes). Check the different stages in the images below!

Continue beating...


and beating...

Look at the thickness and volume of the mixture!

Its light in colour, thick but fluffy in texture.

Sieve the flour, cornflour, baking powder and cocoa in a seperate bowl.

And start folding it lightly into the egg mixture with a spatula (in batches). Tip: Dont overmix and keep your strokes very soft.

Pour the mixture into the greased and lined 11 inches pan. For optimal results use the foil pack method as well.

Bake in a preheated oven at 175 C for 25-30 minutes. Or keep an eye, check with a wooden skewer after 20 minutes, if it comes out clean and dry, turn off the oven. If still moist and sticky, continue baking. Tip: Never overbake the sponge, it will only turn it into a dry foam. Carefully remove the butter paper and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cake has completely cooled, cover with a kitchen towel to keep it moist until further use.

For the black forest, I cut the cake into three layers. Soaked each layer on both side with milk (I prefer milk over juice), spread cherry compote onto the base and stabilised whipped cream between the upper two layers. Covered the top and sides with stabilised whipped cream and decorated with grated chocolate (use your vegetable peeler for this), pearls and berries. Since there was already enough chaos in the kitchen, I didnt want to risk my camera and havent taken any pictures. Will update the post whenever I make it next (as promised, the pictures are up).

Happy caking!!


  1. though u had a disastrous kitchen day but it still looks mouth watering.... i was craving for one of these for a few days nw i think im gnna try this 1!!!

  2. Y do we use cornflour in sponge cakes dear???

  3. hi dear.. i want to make plain sponge cake, the yellow one and want to make half of the recipe.. so can u tell me plz how much cornflour to be used in the recipe in total?and for rest of the ingredients.. just half them, rite??

  4. and is this the same sponge recipe u used in ur triffle?

  5. and againa a question... while beating .. so we have to turn off the beater in betwwen or continue beating and no turning off for 10-15 mins ad can this sponge be made a day before?

    1. You can use this sponge in trifle as well...(For a smaller sponge, I would take 4 tbs cornflour in total). Check this post, Ive halved the recipe to make an 8" sponge. Just replace the cocoa powder with cornflour

      Make sure not to OVERBAKE the sponge, it should be ready in max. 15 minutes (round pan) or even less in a tray.

    2. Here is another good (easier to handle) sponge recipe that I use in many of my desserts:

      3 eggs (L)
      1/2 cup icing sugar
      1/2 cup plain flour + 1 tbs cornflour
      1/2 tsp baking powder
      pinch of salt
      few drops of vanilla essence

      Sieve the dry ingredients together. Take sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl and add one egg into it. Start beating on high speed. Add the second egg after one minute (without turning off the mixer), and the third egg after further 2 minutes of beating. Beat until thick and foamy. Total beating time will be about 8 minutes.

      Fold in the dry ingredients and bake in a greased, lined swiss roll pan for 10 - 12 minutes.

  6. Thanks alot ... will be making itt.... :)

  7. jazakllah so much for ur above sponge in the comment box i tried it for my pineapple cake and it turned out to be a big HIT

  8. plz visit my blog http://bondedbyfood.blogspot.com/2012/07/pineapple-cake.html

  9. How many cups is 100gm of flour