Basic Vanilla Sponge Cake
4 Eggs/ 206g Caster Sugar/ 140g All Purpose Flour, sifted (or Cake Flour)/ 4g Salt/ 30g Full Cream Milk/ 30g Vegetable Oil / Dash of Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 180 C and line one 20-22 cm spring form cake tin
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat eggs and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn to a medium speed. Beat eggs until it reaches double its size. The mixture should be stable and you should be able to create ribbon of the batter with the mixer. NB: The eggs act as the rising agent for a sponge cake so it is important that your mixture is stable. This can be achieved using a medium speed which allows air to be incorporated in the batter. A medium speed will also create a stable batter, which ensures that when the flour is added, the mixture does not deflate.
Sift in the flour, then add the salt and vanilla extract. Carefully fold the mixture, removing at lumps and making sure the flour is well incorporated. (Be light handed as you don't want to beat out too much of the air)
In a separate bowl, combine the milk and oil together. Then draw some cake batter and mix it with the milk and oil, before returning it to the main batter. NB: It is important to draw some cake batter to mix it with the milk and oil beforehand. This is because the consistency is different between the two. Drawing some batter and mixing it with the oil and milk, allows the mixture to adjust slightly so that when it is returned to the main batter, it is more easily incorporated and require less folding (i.e. less knocking out the air from the batter)
Pour the batter into the baking tin. Fill the tin till 2 cm from the top. This allows room for the cake to rise, but more importantly, ensure the cake will be cooked evenly.
Bake the cake for 35 minutes. Do not test the cake with a skewer as it will take the air out of the cake. Rather, gently press down on the cake and if it bounces back, then the cake is cooked.
Invert the cake, in its tin, on a baking rack to let it cool completely. NB: Inverting the cake prevents the cake from shrinking in the tin.
Remove the cake, then slice accordingly.
This basic vanilla sponge is good for all types of cream cakes. Above is a Strawberry Cream Cake. To assemble you need:
Basic Vanilla Sponge
500g Thickened Cream (Whipped with some icing sugar)
2 punnets of fresh strawberries
White Chocolate, almonds and sugar balls for decoration.