So I am gonna risk being thought a looney and admit that I bake my vanilla sponge without precisely measuring out ingredients. YEP! that’s right, I eyeball my cake ingredients and still manage to whip out what in my very biased and valuable opinion is a perfect sponge… I have been doing it for years now that I can literally do it with my eyes closed…true story.
This is my go-to, no-fail sponge that I use a base for alot of my layered frosted cakes, but trust me this is good to eat as is.
I will not subject you to throwing away cake batter by letting you experiment my madness, so I am sharing a recipe that I give to everyone who asks about my vanilla sponge and that works great.
I really need you to make this cake because the frosting is a must try- light,sweet,airy and witha hint of rum…the coconut just takes it to a whole new level and if you haven’t lived until you have entered this realm. Trust me you don’t want to miss out.
Check out that PERFECT sponge. Perfection, I tell you! Nuff said…
BASIC VANILLA SPONGE:
450g SR Flour
450g caster sugar
500g unsalted butter
9 free range eggs (you can use normal..I just love what the yellow yolk does for the sponge, plus the taste)
3 TBSp cold water
1tsp vanilla extract
Pre heat oven 140C
In a mixer, whisk the butter until silky.
Add caster sugar and cream together until pale and light.
In a separate bowl,beat the eggs with cold water.
Gradually add a little egg then a little flour to the creamed mix, fold in with a spatula.
Continue alternating the egg and flour, whilst folding-until all the ingredients are combined and then add the vanilla extract.
Grease then line your tin with parchment paper and sit the baking tin on the middle shelf.
Bake for about 1hour 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
Cool on a wire rack and proceed to frosting once cool enough, but this is also great as is.
SWISS MERINGUE RUM BUTTERCREAM:
5 Egg whites (approximately 5 large or 6 medium eggs)
5ml Rum Essence or 2TBSp Rum
2 cups desiccated or shredded coconut
You will need a double boiler or to make one; you need a larger pot to boil water in and a smaller one that fits into it well without touching the boiling water. If you have a metallic mixing bowl it’s even better but a plastic one will do as well.
Make sure butter is room temperature and cut into small pieces
Combine egg whites and sugar in bowl. Boil some water in a pot and place bowl like a double boiler. (Make sure bottom of bowl does not touch boiling water).
Continuously whisk the egg white + sugar mixture on top of simmering water for 4 minutes. Check that all sugar is dissolved (not grainy to touch). Mixture shouldn’t be fluffy just yet. Remove bowl from double boiler.
Begin to mix on high-speed. At first, there will be steam. Continue and it will fluff up. Don’t stop just yet, don’t worry about over-beating. Continue to mix until bottom of bowl does not feel hot or even slightly warm. It should feel almost cool to the touch. If in doubt, continue mixing.
This Proper beating of egg whites will assure you that the cream stays firm. This should take 10-15 minutes. The cue for me was the temperature of the bottom of the metal bowl.
Now begin to add butter. Do this ever so patiently. Each cube should be completely incorporated before continuing with the next cube, 15 seconds each addition.
After halfway through, cream should look a little curdled. Stay calm. Continue adding the butter. By the end, it will look smooth. Really any curdling will smoothen out with continued beating..this is a true labour of love and not for the faint hearted.
LAYERING THE CAKE:
Trim the cake if need be, it will look better when frosted. Eat away to your heart’s content all the trimmings 😉 you know you want to.
Tort the cake…My 10 inch cake was 3 inches high so I was able to tort it into 3 even layers. I use toothpicks to mark out then use dental floss to tort.
Place as equal an amount of cream as possible in between each layer.
Crumb coat. Chill cake. If you have time, it’s even better to freeze after the crumb coat
Frost with a clean batch of cream.
Use shredded or desiccated coconut to sprinkle evenly on the sides and top of the cake.