Sponge cake with dried apricot puree, whipped cream and edible flowers
( SERVES 8 )
Photo by Tam West
A successful sponge is all about the folding in of the dry ingredients and melted butter. After you have beaten as much air as possible into your egg and sugar mixture, gently and carefully fold in the dry ingredients, trying to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
For the dried apricot puree
|115 g||Dried apricots, soaked overnight or for a few hours in enough cold water to just cover|
|2 pieces||Orange peel, or lemon rind|
|1 drizzle||Runny honey, enough to sweeten|
For the sponge
|½ cup||Caster sugar|
|½ cup||Plain flour|
|1 tsp||Custard powder|
|1 tsp||Baking powder|
|25 g||Butter, melted|
- Place soaked apricots with any soaking liquid in a small saucepan with the orange or lemon rind and place over low heat. Cook until the apricots are soft and pulpy. Rub through a non-metallic sieve to give you a puree and sweeten to taste with honey. Set aside to cool.
- Make the sponge: Heat the oven to 190C. Grease 2 x16cm round tins and line the base of each with baking paper. Dust the inside of the tins with flour, tapping out the excess.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with a pinch of salt until foamy. Gradually add the caster sugar and beat until thick. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, and continue beating until the mixture is very pale and fluffy. You should be able to draw the letter “M” in the mixture as it falls off the beaters, in an unbroken trail.
- Sift the flour, cornflour, custard powder and baking powder together, then sift them again on to the egg mixture and carefully fold in with a large spoon or spatula. Lastly fold in the melted butter.
- Using the spatula to help you, carefully place the mixture in the tins. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the sponges spring back when lightly touched. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool.
- Slice the cooled sponges in half horizontally.Layer the base of one sponge with cream and dollop with some apricot puree. Top with the other half. Top that with more cream and apricot puree, then the other base, followed by the remaining cream and apricot puree and the last layer of sponge. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with edible flower petals.
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