Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chocolate Sponge Cake

This recipe requires folding. Folding means cutting through the batter with a large rubber-type spatula to gently mix one ingredient into another, usually whipped egg whites or whipped cream. You have to be very careful when you do this or it will deflate the batter and you end up with something quite flat and uncake-like. If you are too timid though, and don't fold in the dry ingredients completely, you get big gross chunks of unsweetened cocoa powder, which, I know from experience, is not very enjoyable. Take the time and care and it really makes a delicious naturally leavened cake.  And yes, it really does cook completely in 10-12 minutes!

When preparing a pan with parchment, you can spray the pan lightly with non-stick spray to make the parchment cling to the pan. Take care not to get any of the spray on the top side of the parchment as the cake needs the be able to hold on to the paper to bake correctly.

3 large eggs
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon boiling water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Prepare at 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, combine eggs and sugar.  
Beat on high for about 10-15 minutes until mixture is thick and light yellow. When you drag a finger or spatula through it, it should hold the groove for at least 10 seconds.
While the egg mixture beats, sift together flour, cocoa and salt.
Fold in flour and cocoa in thirds, gently combining until no dry patches remain.
Fold in boiling water until just combined and batter becomes shiny.
Carefully transfer batter into prepared pan and spread evenly into the corners.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the center feels springy to the touch.
Remove cake from pan with parchment and allow to cool completely before frosting.

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