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Best ever sponge cake

The Australian Women's Weekly Test Kitchen leads the field in baking and this sponge cake recipe (from their book, Classic Cakes), proves the point: it is simply the best ever sponge cake.

The filling of cream and rose-scented strawberries is our own variation.

(You can buy Classic Cakes: Sponges, Tea Cakes, Fruit Cakes online from Fishpond.co.nz)

Ingredients

Sponge cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (165 gram) caster sugar
  • 1 cup (150 gram) self raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 10 gram (2 teaspoons) butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) hot water

Strawberries-and-cream filling

  • 3/4 cup (200 ml) cream, whipped
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or rose water (according to taste)
  • At least 1 punnet (250 gram) of strawberries

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C for a normal oven or 160°C for a fan-forced oven.
  2. Grease two deep 20 cm round cake pans, and line the base with baking paper.
  3. Beat eggs in a bowl, using an electric mixer, for about 10 minutes, until thick and creamy.
  4. Gradually add sugar, beating until dissolved.
  5. Triple-sift self raising flour and corn flour together and fold it into the egg mixture (see notes below).
  6. Combine the butter and the water, pour it down the side of bowl and fold through gently but thoroughly.
  7. Pour mixture evenly into pans and bake about 25 minutes.
  8. Immediately turn out the sponges too cool, top-side up, onto a wire rack covered with baking paper.
  9. Whip cream, sweeten with sugar and flavour with vanilla or rose water.
  10. Sandwich the sponges with cream and hulled strawberries.
  11. Dust with sifted icing sugar.
Notes: 

Folding in flour:
Folding in flour and other ingredients can be tricky when you use a spoon or spatula, but you can use your fingers to pull the dry ingredients up and through the egg mixture.

Making self-raising flour:
To make 1 cup of self-raising flour, sift together:

  • 1 cup plain or high grade flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt