In our previous post; I shared 4 main types of cakes used in baking, based on mixing methods – one of them was Sponge cakes. These cakes have a variety of methods in which they are combined, which give them each a different taste and texture.
In this post; I will describe the 4 most popular types of sponge cakes and their mixing methods. This will hopefully help you as a baker or bakerette when you encounter different mixing methods in the various recipes you may search for or even in our recipe booklets you may purchase as well, e.g. in our Sponge Cakes Recipe Booklet.
Biscuit (Pronounced ‘bees – kee’ = French)
This type of sponge cake contains both the egg white and yolks in the recipe. They are however first separated; whipped separately (egg whites and sugar to make a meringue) then mixed back together.
The resulting foam batter is very light. The Biscuit Sponge cake is a bit dryer than most sponge cakes, but holds its shape very well. It can be used to make just a regular sponge cake for different types of cakes and tortes; it can also be used to make Swiss rolls. It is also known to be used while making Lady-finger cookies.
This sponge is usually moistened with syrup, fruit juice or some kind of liquer to give it moisture and flavor.
You can use this type of Sponge cake in the Black or White Forrest cakes assembly. Click here for a simple Spicy Sponge cake recipe on this blog made using this method. This type of sponge cake is best decorated using Whipped Cream frosting as it tends to be lighter in texture.
This type of sponge cake is made with whole eggs (no separation); this technique is a bit more involved as opposed to the Biscuit. Eggs are mixed with sugar and heated over simmering water then whipped. You must ensure that you constantly whip the egg mixture so the eggs don’t cook and become scrambled eggs. Make sure the bowl you’re mixing in doesn’t come into contact with the water in the pot below. The pot of water should not come to a boil; it should simmer. Whisk the egg mixture on top of the water about 3 to 5 minutes; until the bowl is warm to the touch or until it gets to about 110°-120°F/43°-49°C. Whipping the eggs over heat allows them to whip to a greater volume. After the eggs and sugar have doubled or almost tripled in volume; add some melted butter and fold gently – then add the flour and fold.
Genoise cakes tend to be light, airy and a bit moist; but they can also be moistened with syrup for flavoring and to add more moisture. These types of sponge cakes can be used in Forrest cakes assembly. They are also used as layer cakes (e.g. in making a cake called Fraisier); they’re torted into a few layers and filled with fruits, fruit preserves, pastry cream or frostings such as whipped cream or meringue buttercreams.
Angel Food Cake
This type of sponge cake is made with egg whites alone, no egg yolks. The egg whites are whipped; then a fine granulated sugar is added and whipped until very firm. The flour is then very gently folded in. This gives a very white, airy and fluffy cake; it does tend to be dry in texture.
This type of sponge can also be moistened with sugar syrup, then filled with whipped cream and also garnished and filled with fruit; they go very well together (the fruit & cream).
This is a cross between a sponge cake and an oil cake. We refer to it as a sponge cake that ‘cheats’ ^_^
This sponge cake contains both a fat and a chemical raising agent; oil and baking powder, in the ingredients list. The eggs are also separated; the whites are beaten until stiff. All the other ingredients are combined in another bowl to make a smooth batter like a pancake batter; the beaten egg whites are then folded into the ‘pancake’ batter. The result after this mixing process is of a lighter sponge cake texture, but with a rich flavor like butter/oil cakes. These cakes are generally layered and filled with fillings and frostings. They don’t always require decoration especially when used in Bundt pans; you can just dust some icing sugar on top or drizzle a little bit of glaze. You can however decorate with whipped cream or meringue butter-creams if you prefer.
You also don’t have to ‘wet’ or moisten the inside of these cakes due to their rich and soft texture; however, you can still do so if you would like for flavor and moisture.
These are the top most popular sponge cakes made by most bakers in the industry. Once again; these are not all the sponge cakes used in the world, there are many varieties out there. I hope this post will add some insight to your baking knowledge as you grow as a Baker or Bakerette ^_^
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To get tried and triple-tested Sponge cake recipes, get our Sponge cakes Recipe booklet, click here for details.
For a Chiffon cake recipe; check our Decadent Cakes recipe booklet here.
Happy Baking awesome people.