Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sponge Cake with Orange Curd and Strawberries


Spring is here and most people are thinking about what may be considered as bright flavors, orange, lemon, strawberry, blueberry, lime...fruits mostly. Citrus makes people think of spring and summer. I'm not a summer person because I don't like the hot weather but I do enjoy spring (and fall for that matter). Light and fruity desserts always taste so good when it's starting to get warm outside and you don't want a heavy molten chocolate cake (yeah, like I ever don't want one of those!).


A sponge cake is very similar to an angel food cake to me, light and springy. I do mean springy in the sense of texture and not the season. It doesn't have the snow white color to it because does contain egg yolks. The pans aren't greased, just like an angel food cake, because the cake is so light that it clings to the pan in order to rise. If you grease your pans, you will be sorely disappointed with the flat cake that you pull out of the oven. There is no butter in this cake which is nice because it makes it a little healthier and is part of why the cake is so fluffy when you eat it. 

A curd of any variety works nicely with this cake because it is also pretty light in texture. A sponge cake shouldn't be weighed down with heavy ingredients that will overpower it. It should be complemented with light sauces (like a curd) or a coulis. I topped with cake with strawberries because I believe they work well with the orange curd.

If you would like to you can also bake this cake in an angel food cake pan for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you like this recipe you may be interested in my angel food cupcakes which are perfect for individual portions. Don't let the long directions scare you, this cake is really easy to make. As always if you have any questions send me an e-mail or leave a comment below. Happy Baking!


Sponge Cake with Orange Curd & Strawberries

Ingredients:
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
Orange curd
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2” cubes
- 1 teaspoon orange zest

- Fresh strawberries, quartered or halved

Directions:
1. Make the orange curd: In a small saucepan stir the sugar and juice and heat on medium until simmering. While waiting for the juice to come to a simmer, lightly whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Slowly add about 2 tablespoons of the hot juice mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly to mix. Slowly add the eggs into the juice mixture in the pan, whisking constantly so that the eggs don’t cook. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thickened, 3-4 minutes, remove from heat. Stir in the butter until mixed completely.
2. Strain the orange curd through a fine sieve into a small bowl to smooth it out and get any small pieces of cooked egg out (if there are any). Stir in the orange zest. Store in the refrigerator until thickened, at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350F. Bring the eggs to room temperature by separating the whites and yolks in separate bowls, covering with plastic wrap, and letting them sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Alternatively, cover the eggs (in their shells) in a bowl with slightly warm water (around 105-115F) and let sit for 5-8 minutes, then separate the yolks and whites into separate bowls.
4. In the clean bowl of a mixer, whip the egg whites until they become foamy, then add the cream of tartar. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add 1/3 cup granulated sugar a tablespoon at a time while the mixer is running. Whip the egg whites until they are stiff peaks. Pour into a separate bowl (if you only have one bowl for your mixer) and set aside.
5. In a clean mixer bowl beat the egg yolks with the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar until they are fluffy and light, 3-5 minutes on medium speed. Mix in the vanilla, water, and orange zest until blended.
6. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt over the egg yolk mixture. Using a rubber spatula or a whisk, fold in the flour until it is just combined. Gently fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture being careful not to deflate the batter. Fold in an additional 1/3 of the egg whites until almost mixed but streaks still remain. Carefully fold in the remaining 1/3 of the egg whites until just blended evenly being careful not to over mix the batter.
7. Evenly divide the batter between two ungreased 9” springform pans. Bake the layers for 28-30 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted just off center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes to cool. Remove from the pans by running a knife around the edges and removing them, then around the bottom of the cake.
8. Place one layer of cake onto a serving platter. Spread half of the orange curd onto the layer making sure it goes to the edges. Place the other layer on the orange curd. Spread the top later with the remaining orange curd then top with fresh strawberries.


Sponge cake recipe adapted from Joy of Baking  

This recipe may be linked up to:

· Inside BruCrew Life - Time to Sparkle Tuesday's
· Pint Sized Baker - Marvelous Mondays 
· The Mandatory Mooch - Tasty Thursdays 
· Back For Seconds - Back For Seconds Social Link Party
· Real Housemoms - Fabulous Fridays! 
· Lemons For Lulu - Saturday Share with Us Link Party
· Kitchen Meets Girl - What's In Your Kitchen Wednesday
· DJ's Sugar Shack - Whatcha Whipped Up?
· Mom's Test Kitchen - Wonderful Food Wednesday's
· The Real Housewives of Riverton - Riverton Housewives Round Up
· Mandy's Recipe Box - Totally Tasty Tuesday's
· A Pinch of Joy - Busy Monday Link Party 
· House of Hepworth's - Hookin up with HoH 
· Couponing & Cooking - Mealtime Monday 
· What's Cooking, Love? - Showcase Your Talent Thursday 
· Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo - Anything Goes Linky
· Chef in training - Tuesday Talent Show
· Dwell on Joy - Dwell on Friday 
· Six Sister's Stuff - Strut Your Stuff Saturday
· A Slice of Southern - Southern Sundays 



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