Wednesday, June 22, 2011


All of a sudden wherever I turn people are talking about cream sponges!
My brother has just moved to the country and when I visited him the other afternoon he asked me if I had brought a cream sponge for afternoon tea. A couple of days later I had a request for cream sponge for 40 guests at a party because it was the birthday boy’s favourite.

It reminded me of my childhood on the farm where afternoon tea was taken into the paddock during harvesting and very often a cream sponge sat among the goodies in the bottom of the picnic basket. I have vivid memories of my father devouring great chunks of sponge with dirty hands, a face black with dust, and a huge smile on his face. He used to say it was the perfect afternoon tea treat because it didn’t sit heavily on the stomach when there were still hours of work to do before it got dark.
I made one for my grandson’s first birthday and it was a huge success so I am thinking - maybe it’s time to bring back the cream sponge! Talking in the kitchen with my chefs I discovered that nearly all the cream sponges you can buy are made with commercial sponge mix and the difference is huge.

So, here is a great sponge recipe and a few tips to help you make the perfect cream sponge. I have also included my mother’s Sponge Drop recipe which is fabulous as well. They are so light and delicious and I have often taken them to visit someone who is sick as they melt in the mouth.

- Use size 7 eggs
- Always have eggs at room temperature

Cream Sponge
3 eggs, separated
½ cup castor sugar
½ cup cornflour
1 dessertspoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add sugar gradually followed by yolks. Beat until thick. Fold in sifted dry ingredients. Pour mixture into two lined 20cm round sponge tins and bake for 15-20 minutes at 190°C. Cool in tin for short time and remove to cooling rack. Sandwich the two cakes together with whipped cream.

Sponge Drops
3 eggs
¾ cup castor sugar
½ cup cornflour
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon baking soda

Same method as above, and then drop mixture in teaspoonfuls on lined baking tray. Bake at 190°C oven for 3-4 minutes. Cool on rack and sandwich sponge drops together with whipped cream.

Cook it – Love it!