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      Sponge Recipes

      Chocolate Sponge Recipe

      Chocolate cake is my absolute favourite flavour cake of all time! I cannot walk past leftovers without snatching some and putting it in my mouth. I honestly don’t know I’ve done it sometimes! This is a light cake but still has that gunky stick to the roof of your mouth thing that I love about all good chocolate cakes. 
      My advice here would be to use the best quality cocoa powder and dark chocolate you can possibly get. I’m talking at least 70% cocoa solids in the dark chocolate to give it that lovely rich taste. 

      Again this is a great starting point to add other flavours, be it a couple of handfuls of toasted hazelnuts or a splash of strong coffee. Just add to taste. 
      Any other advice? Just cover the cake quickly I suppose before you get tempted to take a slice yourself! 

       

      Ingredients (all at room temperature)

      Makes 1 x 8” Cake or 24 x cupcakes. See my handy table at the bottom of the page for other yields.

      • 180g Salted butter (preferably at room temperature, if not zap it in the microwave till its about 10% runny)
      • 300g Caster Sugar
      • 6 x Large free range eggs
      • 300g dark brown sugar
      • 180g plain chocolate 
      • 270mls milk
      • 400g plain flour 
      • 4.5tbsp cocoa powder 
      • 1.5tsp baking powder
      • 1.5tsp baking soda

      You will also need:

        

       Method:

      • Preheat the oven to 170°

      • Grease and line your cake tins. To do this I spray the tin with cake release and line the bottom with a circle of greaseproof paper. It’s much quicker/less faff. If you don’t have the spray you can use regular butter and flour round the edges. Whatever you do, it’s important to still line the bottom. If you’re making cupcakes, pop the cases into your muffin tins. (definitely muffin tins, not fairy cake tins as they’re much shallower)
      • Sift together your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.
      • If the butter isn’t at room temperature, melt it in a microwave until softened (about 10% liquid).
      • In a deep, heavy bottomed pan, place your chocolate, milk and dark brown sugar.
      • Bring your mix to the boil on a medium heat, occasionally stirring to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn. Once your mixture has boiled turn it off and remove from the heat. It can look a little bit separated sometimes but don’t worry.
      • Whilst your chocolate mix is heating, use the paddle attachment on your mixer to cream the butter and caster sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy.
      • Crack your eggs into a separate bowl and lightly beat, turn your mixer to low speed and gradually add them to your butter/sugar mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl occasionally to make sure everything is well incorporated. 
      • Add your flour mixture 1/2 at a time and mix until combined.
      • While your chocolate mixture is still hot, carefully add it to your batter whilst your electric mixer is on low speed.
      • Mix until combined but no more.
      • Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases or cake tins until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes for cake layers or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes. Turn everything 2/3rds of the way through to ensure they bake evenly and non of the edges burn. 

      •  5 minutes before the baking times up, open the oven a crack to check on them. Unlike most cakes I find the sponge doesn’t necessarily bounce back when touched and if it does you’ve likely over done it. Poke the sponges and if the bottom 2/3rds feel spongy then you’re on the right track. Insert a knife, look for a ‘cakey’ fudgey texture. A few crumbs should stick to the knife when it comes out but you certainly don’t want it molten inside, if that’s the case put it back in. The difference between runny and fudgey at this stage can be a few minutes though so don’t go far- your cake needs you right now! 

      • When you’re happy, take your sponges out the oven. If making cupcakes, turn them out onto a cooling rack as soon as soon as possible (If left to cool in the tin, you risk the cases steaming off). If you’re making cake layers, leave to cool for 20 minutes before removing them from the tin to cool slightly. If done right, your cakes should shrink and ‘deflate’ a little, so don’t be disheartened when that happens- they are going to taste really good. Wrap in clingfilm while still slightly warm to the touch, once they’ve cooled completely, transfer to the fridge or freezer. 

      How to make chocolate sponges

      Red Velvet Sponge Recipe

      Some people may say the red velvet cake is faddish, but if done well, to me it hits that right note when you can’t decide if you want a piece of chocolate or a piece of vanilla cake. That sprinkle of cocoa powder in the mix makes all the difference and compliments the tang of a cream cheese frosting. I also find the buttermilk in the batter gives the whole thing an irresistible tart note and I defy anyone to not be wowed when you make that first incision into the cake, only to reveal a deep crimson sponge! 

       On that note, I recommend you use a red food colour paste rather then the liquid ones you get from the supermarket. You want it nothing short of blood red inside, theatrics is one of the main appeals of this cake so ‘vaguely pink’ just won’t do! I recommend Sugarflair’s red extra to get the lewk.
      A note on the buttermilk. I am often short on this and it’s not the kind of thing you can grab in your nearest corner shop. If you find yourself in the same predicament then take note of my quick fix listed in the ingredients, it’ll give you a similar result and uses readily available items.
      loading up the tins

       

      Ingredients (all at room temperature):

      Makes 1 x 8” cake or 24 cupcakes. See my handy table at the bottom of the page for other yields.

      -200g salted butter
      -500g caster sugar
      -4 Eggs 
      -1 tbsp red food colour paste
      -400mls Buttermilk or 1 + 2/3rds tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice added to the same amount of whole milk and left to stand for 10 mins)
      -1 + 2/3rds tbsp vanilla extract
      -500g Plain flour
      -35g Cocoa powder
      -1 + 2/3rds tsp Bicarb soda 
      -5tsp Vinegar

      You will also need:

      -Freestanding electric mixer or handheld electric whisk
      -3 x loose bottomed sandwich pans or 2 x 12 hole muffin tins and 24 muffin cases
      -Bake even strips (optional, see post)
      -Pencil
      -Scissors
      -Grease proof paper
      -Cake release spay/butter and flour, for greasing
      -Large icecream scoop (I recommend no.16 Sunnex brand) or spoons if you’re making the cupcakes
      -Cooling rack

        

      Method:

      Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

      - Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg, vanilla extract and beat until everything is well incorporated.

      - Add the red food colouring and and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly sift in half the flour and all of the cocoa powder.

      - Beat until well mixed, then pour in half the buttermilk and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the flour and buttermilk have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed, combine the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar in a teacup or similar sized bowl and as soon as it starts fizzing up pour into your red mixture.  Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.

      - Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases or cake tins until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes for cake layers or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes. Turn everything 2/3rds of the way through to ensure they bake evenly and non of the edges burn. 

      - 5 minutes before the baking times up, open the oven a crack to check on them. Unlike most cakes I find the sponge doesn’t necessarily bounce back when touched and if it does you’ve likely over done it. Poke the sponges and if the bottom 2/3rds feel spongy then you’re on the right track. Insert a knife, look for a ‘cakey’ fudgey texture. A few crumbs should stick to the knife when it comes out but you certainly don’t want it molten inside, if that’s the case put it back in. The difference between runny and fudgey at this stage can be a few minutes though so don’t go far- your cake needs you right now! 

      - When you’re happy, take your sponges out the oven. If making cupcakes, turn them out onto a cooling rack as soon as soon as possible (If left to cool in the tin, you risk the cases steaming off). If you’re making cake layers, leave to cool for 20 minutes before removing them from the tin to cool slightly. If done right, your cakes should shrink and ‘deflate’ a little, so don’t be disheartened when that happens- they are going to taste really good. Wrap in clingfilm while still slightly warm to the touch, once they’ve cooled completely, transfer to the fridge or freezer. 

      How to make a red velvet sponge
      Looking for a simple buttercream to decorate your gorgeous sponges with? Look no further then here!

      Ready to distribute among the tins