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Why can't I make a decent sponge cake?

(13 Posts)
esor Sun 28-Jun-09 21:52:54

Where am I going wrong? Tried to make children's tea cakes and they did not come out as light and fluffy as I had hoped. Then tried an, allegedly easy, orange and poppy seed cake and this has come out very stodgy, seems uncooked but the knife came out clean when testing. Have tried the same receipe twice, different size eggs and both times the cake has been really heavy.

Am I over whisking? Is my oven (10 years old) not working properly? Too much liquid? But how can this be if I follow the receipe carefully? I really want to crack this, is there a secret that I am missing or am I destined to make heavy stodgy sponges?

PortAndLemon Sun 28-Jun-09 21:56:26

Are you using the standard Victoria sponge recipe where you weigh your eggs and use the same weight of self-raising flour, butter and sugar?

Is your flour fresh?

Could be worth getting an oven thermometer to check out your oven.

Thunderduck Sun 28-Jun-09 21:59:32

Nigella has a trick of replacing a little of the flour with corn flour in her Victoria sponge recipe.
I find that works very well and does make it lighter.

esor Sun 28-Jun-09 22:03:37

Thanks, yes the tea cakes were a Victoria sponge receipe. I had not thought about the flour, I think it is reasonably fresh, it is not out of date but have had it a while. Maybe a thermometer would be a good idea as I have had my suspicions about oven for a while. My friend made a delicious sponge cake the other week and I realised just how poor my attempts were and aspire to create something just as nice and I am failing miserably.

PortAndLemon Sun 28-Jun-09 22:04:06

Mmm yes, I was always taught to do that for a Swiss roll (fatless sponge rather than victoria sponge) but I can see that the same principle would transfer <makes note to try it next time>

boogiewoogie Sun 28-Jun-09 22:04:32

If you add a a tbsp of milk per 2oz of flour and cook it at gas 4 for a few minutes longer than normal, then I find that makes the sponge lighter and fluffier.

Thunderduck Sun 28-Jun-09 22:05:39

Do you always sift your ingredients? I usually do that twice for each ingredient.

notperfectmum Sun 28-Jun-09 22:07:38

I tend to cook mine for longer but at a slightly lower temp (approx 160 C) and find I get better results.

Jux Sun 28-Jun-09 22:20:32

Or you could cheat and chuck a tsp baking powder in with the flour?

Do you sieve it, holding the sieve high to get lots of air in and then fold it in?

pointydog Sun 28-Jun-09 22:28:11

Are your ingredients room temperature?

If you are using cold butter (proper butter is worse for this than spreadable or marge) and cold eggs, it makes your sponge heavier.

Get your butter as soft and warm as poss, get your eggs warm too.

esor Sun 28-Jun-09 22:47:16

Eggs are usually straight out of fridge. Butter is usually slightly cool, will make a note and try these tips for next time.

Jux Mon 29-Jun-09 00:10:42

Oh yeah, eggs need to be room temperature. Very important.

Baisey Mon 29-Jun-09 17:13:32

I always found when I was younger the cake would come out alot stodgier if I didnt cream the butter and sugar together for long enough.
(I didnt have much patience back then and always wanted to get to the yummy eating the left over mixture part!)

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