Sunday, September 16, 2012

Safe-option sponge

It was probably a bit remiss of me to return to work, after a whole week off, not bearing any baked goods for morning tea. I had in fact intended to make something last Sunday night, but never got around to it, so I decided to bring something at the end of the week instead.

While I would happily go the rest of my life without attempting another sponge, there are still several sponge recipes to be completed. It was about time to do another one, but I admit I played it safe, choosing orange sponge (p69), the final variation of that three-minute sponge recipe I'm reasonably confident with.

It's the same deal as the others - bung flour, sugar, melted butter, milk and eggs in the mixer, and beat for three minutes. The only difference is this time you add some grated orange rind. After the three minutes' beating, you stir in baking powder and bake in sponge sandwich tins.

It's pretty straightforward for a sponge cake. Of course, I still managed to misread the recipe, and only realised after I'd beaten the mixture that I hadn't put the milk in. I added it with the baking powder instead, and hoped for the best.

The only thing making this an orange sponge was a bit of orange zest in the cake. If I'm going to make an orange sponge, I want to make it as orangey as possible, so I decided to try something I'd been toying with for a while, and attempted to make 'orange honey' using the Edmonds lemon honey recipe, for something to spread between the layers of sponge.

It didn't work all that well. Whether this was because I didn't pay much attention to the proportions of the ingredients, or because it just doesn't work with oranges, I don't know. It had a lovely orange flacour, but didn't really set like it should.

This sponge cake didn't rise quite as high as my previous attempts at the three-minute recipe. I think this is probably due to my folding through the milk after the beating. So it was a bit flat, but otherwise it looked ok.

Before work on Friday, I spread one half of the sponge with the runny orange honey, and spooned on whipped cream which had more of the orange honey stirred through it. Topped with the second sponge and dusted with icing sugar, it didn't look too bad.

It tasted pretty good too. The sponge may have looked flat, but it was still soft and light. The orange flavour was pleasant, but (surprisingly, considering how much of that orange honey I'd used) still quite subtle.

Having now tried all three variations, I still recommend the three-minute sponge, particularly if you haven't made a sponge before - or, like me, you've tried but been repeatedly unsuccessful. It's uncomplicated, and (assuming you remember to put the milk in at the right stage) reliably produces an edible sponge.


  1. Thanks so much. I'm wanting to make a sponge for my sons kindy teachers for morning tea and will give the three minute sponge a go :)

  2. It'll come out great I'm sure - if this recipe works for me in spite of my 'sponge curse', I reckon it'll work for anyone!


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