Chocolate Sponge

This is a chocolate sponge cake which is very useful to know.

You can use it in many ways, as I plan to show in the future. It could be one of the layers of a trifle, cut in regular size slices could be part of a layered chocolate custard chocolate sponge tower, or even topped it up with a thin berry jelly and accompanied by icecream it could be a not-so sweet treat.

Cooking time: 15 minutes prep + 45 minutes bake
Quantity: This mix makes a bizcocho for 6

Tips:

1. I have made the recipe on a 26cm diameter circular tin. The timing I sugest is based on this. If you choose to use a smaller diameter, you might need to adjust the time as the depth of the mix will be different.

2. Also, my tin has a removeable bottom,if yours does not, you may want to cut a greaseproof paper and lay it in the bottom of your tin instead of greasing it as it would be easier to lift off.

You can either by papers tosuit the size of your tin or by adapting a square of greaseproof paper to the right tin size.

3. Chocolate is delicate so be careful when you are working it in order to avoid spoiling it. One useful tip is to always use a wooden spoon. Another one is to make the mixing on a glass bowl over a bain Marie in order to control the heat. But in any case, if you are careful with the heat, you should be ok.

Ingredients:

3 medium eggs separated
80 gr of butter
80 gr sugar
80 gr of flour
80 gr of 70% cocoa chocolate cut into small pieces
1 tea spoons of baking powder
1 tea spoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For prep:
Butter
Flour

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven at 160 degrees c, gas mark 3

Prepare the baking tin by greasing it with the butter and then dusting it with flour. Remove the excess of flour , i.e. the flour which has not stuck to the tin.

In a clean / dry bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until the mix is fluffy, then mix the sugar in and continue to whisk until solid enough to not fall from the bowl when it is upside down. You may do his by hand but I rather use an electric whisk as I am not particularly strong. The best way I have found is, as described on the meringue tower recipe:

“Place the egg whites and a pinch of salt in a clean bowl. Wisk for two minutes on the slowest speed. The mix will begin to bubble.

Increase the speed up to medium and wisk for another minute. The consistency will change and begin to peek. As it does, add the sugar (one spoon at the time) as you wisk on maximum speed.

When all the sugar has been incorporated, and the mix is sticky and solid enough to turn the bowl upside down without the mix falling, you are ready for the next step.”

Put the egg whites mix aside and move on to the next process.

Melt the butter on a medium heat. Lower the heat to the minimum, add the chocolate and mix carefully as it melts. Do not over cook it. If you are nervous about this, do it on a bain Marie as sugested in the tips.

When you have all the pieces melted and mixed, remove from the heat and leave it to cool whilst in a separate bowl you mix the flour and the baking powder.

You can then go back to the chocolate mix, add the egg yolks and mix well. This will reduce the risk of egg crumbling. Add the vanilla.

Sift the flour mix onto the chocolate mix. The result will be a rather dry mix but this is ok. (Don’t pannic)

The final step is to incorporate the egg whites mix onto the chocolate mix. This will make the dry mix wet again.

The way you do this is by folding it in, a spoon at the time. Be careful to not over do it as you run a risk to loose the air you have introduced onto the egg whites mix.

Once the mix is ready, you can pour it onto the tin place the baking tin in the middle of the oven and bake it for 45 minutes. Check if it is cooked by piercing the cake.

When it is, leave the cake in the tin until the metal cools down , then remove from the mould and place on a cool wire rack until fully cool.

Photograph by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Recipe based on 1080 Recetas de cocina (Simone Ortega)

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