It was Cameron’s uncle’s birthday just recently, so I got another excuse to make cake. If trying to get my partner to decided on a cake is a task, getting the same from his uncle is umpteen times that. We’re an indecisive bunch. My only brief was to make something ‘plain Jane’. In a way, that’s more difficult for me. I find it too easy to over-complicate something. Doing something plain? It’s not really my style. I’m not sure I even know what plain is.
For these instances, I tend to default to simple flavours and classic recipes. It doesn’t get much more classic than a sponge in my book. A sponge is also usually a pretty safe option in Cam’s household, and a relatively regular appearance at birthdays. I’m fairly sure the first time I ate a sponge was at one of his family celebrations. So all that was left was the fill it with flavours I find reminiscent of previous occasions spent with his family.
This sponge recipe is really quick and easy and the results are so worth it. The finished product comes down completely to how you treat the batter: whip a good amount of air into the eggs, don’t deflate it when adding the flour, and you’ll end up with the perfect sponge. This recipes cooks in two separate tins, but if like me you only have one tin of any given size, or if also like me you have a teeny oven, then just make up half a batch of batter at a time.
To fill the sponge I made a lemon curd which is then whipped into some cream to make a lemon cream filling. The curd is incredibly strong in flavour, but after lightening it with the cream it makes a gorgeous filling. Especially if you’re a citrus lover.
To top it off I made a passionfruit sauce and drizzled it on top. I’ve never worked with passionfruit before, but have had it many times at Cameron’s place. I love the flavour, but those seeds. I can’t stand the texture of large seeds in things so it puts me off. I asked Cam if I could sieve them out but he told me to leave them. So I decided to act like a grown up and get over it. They do add a lovely look to it, and once I caught the aroma of the passionfruit I forgot all about it. It’s just so delicious.
The chocolate lattices are incredibly easy to make. All you have to do is wrap a piece of baking paper around a rolling pin, then drizzle or pipe melted white chocolate over the top. Once it sets you can slide the rolling pin out from the centre, pull away the baking paper and you’re left with quick and simple decorations.
The end result is a light and fluffy cake that’s enough sweet and sour to balance both ends well enough to fool your tummy into accepting large portions of it. Or seconds.
The best part is how quick and easy it is to whip this up. You will need to allow yourself a bit of cooling time as both the curd and sauce are cooked and have to be cooled completely before you can use them. Both can be made in advance, and is probably advisable to do so you don’t have to wait around. The sponge is best served on the day it’s made as sponge cakes don’t store terribly well, though it will keep for a few days if absolutely necessary.
|Lemon and Passionfruit Sponge
6 free range eggs
220g (7oz) caster sugar
75g (2.5oz) plain flour, sifted
150g (5oz) self-raising flour, sifted
40ml boiling water
3 egg yolks
75g (2.5oz) caster sugar
grated rind from 1 lemon
90ml (3fl oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice
180g (6oz) unsalted butter, cubed
180g (6oz) passionfruit pulp
3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp caster sugar
300ml thickened (heavy) cream
chocolate decorations (optional)