Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Undeserving workmates" strike again

I've been keeping a spreadsheet with details of my progress through the Edmonds book. The point is to keep an eye on which areas I'm neglecting. For example, I've completed 13 out of 25 recipes in the 'Meat' chapter (or 52%), but only 6 out of the 33 recipes (18.18%) in the 'Sauces and Marinades' chapter.

One of the most neglected is the 'Sponges' chapter - partly because my first attempt at a sponge had been disastrous enough to put me off, but also because I couldn't make a whole sponge cake just for myself. Lacking any other plausable reason to make one, I fell back on feeding the workmates and made a three-minute sponge (p69) to take to work.

I'd also been lacking the correct cake tins. Most of the sponge recipes require 20cm sponge sandwich tins. I didn't have any of these, but recently borrowed my Nana's adjustable tin which is the same as mine, so I could finally produce two matching 20cm tins. Oddly enough, I had it in my head that square tins were required, but actually it doesn't say that in any of the recipes, and when I came to think of it, most sponge cakes you see are round. Oh well, square is what I have, so I'll have to work with those (at least for now).

I gather that the three-minute sponge is a bit of a short-cut recipe, since almost all the ingredients are just bunged in a mixer and beaten on high for 3 minutes. I'm all for shortcuts, but I still took careful note of the hints at the beginning of the chapter, making sure my eggs were room-temperature, and sifting the flour three times before adding it to the mixer bowl.

After the three minutes' mixing, I folded through some baking powder and attempted to divide the mix evenly between the two tins. This done, I stuck them in the oven to bake.

The sponges looked a little worrying when they were baking - they rose sort of lumpily on top. By the time I got them out, however, they didn't look too bad. I let them cool and packed them up to take to work - along with some of my raspberry jam, a shaker of icing sugar, and an electric beater.

I dropped into Pak N Save for a bottle of cream while I was over getting the mail this morning. Come morning tea time, I was standing at the sink, whipping cream and assembling my sponge cake. Once assembled, it disappeared fairly quickly, though the one complaint everyone had was that it was a bit messy to eat - I'd put so much icing sugar on the top (to disguise that lumpy surface) that we all ended up covered in icing sugar.

I was quite pleased with how my three-minute sponge turned out - Maybe it wasn't the lightest sponge I've ever tasted, but when compared to my dodgy sponge roll back in June, it was an excellent result. It also would have been better baked same-day, as it had dried out just a little overnight (but was I going to get up at 5am to make morning tea for my workmates? I don't think so!). On the whole, though, it was pretty good.

One positive result of this (apart from a yummy morning tea and another recipe ticked off the list) is that I'm not so apprehensive about tackling the rest of the sponges. Be prepared for more sponges to come - assuming I can come up with excuses to make them!


  1. I use this recipe to make lamingtons...its fast and yummy...but of course had to go online all me cookbooks are back in NZ not a common book here in OZ...

  2. I've searched high and low for another adjustable pan with no luck. In fact your blog is the only place I've even seen them spoken about. Do you remember where you got yours because if I don't get my friend one soon she will steal mine for good. Keeping my fingers crossed.


  3. Found this one online if that's any help:


    otherwise look out for second-hand ones at market stalls and similar, or trade me. I have seen them from time to time so they are out there!


  4. Thank you. They are very useful pans and will make the ultimate gift for my friend.


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