A SPONGE CAKE, (Pan di Spagna in Italy) is a fluffy and tender cake made of eggs, flour, and sugar, without shortenings or yeast. The eggs, well beaten, incorporate a lot of air, and that is what makes the sponge cake very porous and soft. The cake also, when properly executed, remains very flexible and soft after cooling.
It is important that the ingredients are mixed carefully to prevent the air bubbles from being forced out. Also the cake needs to be cooled slowly in the oven to avoid it to collapse. A Sponge cake can be served by itself, but also constitute the basis for countless layered cakes, such as Zuccotto, Zuppa Inglese, etc.. Sponge cake can be easily sliced, soaked in syrup or alcohol , and flavored, which makes it very popular in baking.
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
3/4 cup (150 gr) sugar
3/4 cup (110 gr) flour
1/3 cup (50 gr) corn starch
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
Butter a round cake pan of about 9 inches (22 cm) in diameter x 2 inches (5 cm) deep. Line the pan with a disk of parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vanilla, and sugar.
Beat vigorously with an electric mixer for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until the mixture is very soft and doubled in volume.
On a bowl or plate, sift the flour, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt together.
Sift the flour mixture into the beaten eggs.
Fold the mixture thoroughly with a rubber spatula, 3 – 4 times, mixing gently with a round, top to bottom, movement.
Pour into the pan. Level with a spatula. Bake for about 30 – 45 minutes, or until golden
Remove from the pan turning upside down. Remove parchment paper. Transfer on a rack to cool to room temperature.