Elva and I would banter about baking, and she once served me this cake, her signature chocolate sponge recipe, which is now a regular at my shop, Cakeboi.
Baking is my passion. My perception of classic Aussie baking is heavily influenced by my Nan. She played social tennis every week, and my brothers and I would accompany her from a young age. As time progressed, so too did our tennis skills. We would often hit a ball against the clubhouse wall, mimicking Nan on the court.
In 2018, I joined a small local tennis club run by a lovely lady named Elva. This club advocated for me during my time on MasterChef. I’d often find my articles pinned to their notice board. I noticed a lot of similarities between Elva and Nan – both loved tennis and baking. Elva and I would banter about baking, and she once served me this cake, her signature chocolate sponge recipe, which is now a regular at my shop, Cakeboi. My shop gives me the opportunity to share my passion with the public, but now my book will take my baking into people’s kitchens. I just can’t wait to see people cooking Cakeboi cakes at home or even serving them up on Christmas Day this year.
Beware of a slight breeze; this cake is so light and delicate, a tennis ball might not be the only thing gliding by. With this blow-away sponge, the crowd will be in a frenzy. Game, set, match!
CAKEBOI BY REECE HIGNELL IS OUT NOW.
Elva’s Blow-Away Chocolate Sponge
Chocolate Sponge Cake
¾ cup (170g) sugar
¾ cup (105g) cornstarch
½ cup (60g) self-raising flour
4 tablespoon (25g) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
125g bittersweet (50-60%) chocolate
1 cup (240ml) thickened or whipping cream
Whipped Chantilly Cream
1 cup (240ml) thickened cream or whipping cream
½ cup (70g) icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoon (50g)
For the sponge cake, preheat the oven to 180°C fan forced, or, for a non-convection oven, 195°C. Prepare two 20cm baking tins, cutting baking paper into a round shape the size of the tin. Place the baking paper in the bottom of the tin, but do not grease the sides. With a sponge, I prefer not to grease the sides, so that the sponge can cling to the tin, allowing for a better rise.
With an electric mixer on a high speed, beat the eggs and the sugar until thick, light and foamy. This may take 10 minutes. Then sift together the cornstarch, self-raising flour, cocoa powder and cream of tartar – Elva’s secret is to sift all the dry ingredients to ensure the lightest batter possible – and fold these dry ingredients into the beaten eggs.
Divide this mixture between the two tins and bake them for 26 minutes. Once they are cooked, run a butter knife around the outside of each sponge to release it from the tin. Rest and cool the cakes on a rack.
For the ganache, chop the chocolate until it is in small cubes of about 6mm, then place them in a heatproof bowl.
Pour the cream into a small saucepan and place it on the stove over a low heat. Gently heat the cream until it starts to simmer. As the small simmering bubbles appear, remove the cream from the heat and pour it over the chocolate.
Stir the cream and chocolate until the chocolate is melted and has formed into a ganache. Set this to the side in the fridge to cool until it is the consistency of mayonnaise.
For the Chantilly cream, place the cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk them on high until you have firm peaks.
To assemble the cake, place the first layer of the sponge on the cake stand. Dollop the Chantilly cream onto the bottom layer of the cake, followed by the raspberry jam. Add the top layer of sponge, then drizzle the chocolate ganache over the sponge, covering the whole top layer. Allow the ganache to drip over the sides to create a beautiful homey effect.
Published in Ed#675