My mum’s birthday was approaching recently and I’d decided that, for the second year running, I wanted to bake her a cake. Conscious of the fact that not everyone likes to eat as much cake as I do, I decided to try a fat-less sponge cake recipe from Sarah Flower’s book for the Halogen Oven.
From what I could tell, the main missing ingredient was butter, which is pretty much essential in almost any baking recipe.
I’d like to point out that this is not an entirely fat-free recipe; it simply contains less fat than your average cake.
Something specific I had to do was to separate the egg whites from the yolk (not to mention that I almost discard the egg whites before reading a little further on that they would be required later).
I’ve no idea whether separating the eggs like this also helps to reduce the fat but I realised that my previous efforts to do this in other recipes have been a little bit wrong…
They always state that you’re supposed to whisk the egg whites until they’re ‘firm’… Not realising exactly what this meant, I’d always whisked them briefly by hand until they’d ‘mixed’. This time, I decided to use my electric whisks (I was feeling lazy) and I got to see what firm egg whites really look like, as the contents of this bowl virtually doubled in size!
This sponge cake comes together in two layers, with a spread of jam in between. I baked each layer separately, as I only have one of each of my cake tins (I used a 200mm/8in diameter) and inside the halogen oven, I’ve never had much success baking two at once (usually, the top one’s okay but the bottom one remains uncooked.
It didn’t rise nearly as much as I’d expected. This cake was more closely resembling a pair of pancakes over anything else I could think of. Was it the absence of butter? Is this how they’re supposed to be? It didn’t taste bad at all and that really is the most important factor. I kept the temperature down at 160° to avoid over-cooking or burning the top.
These risen sections in the centre were from where I scooped the final dollops of the mix from the bowl and in to the tin.
Thanks for reading. I manage to bake some carrot cake muffins around the same time and these went along without any real concern. I’ll write about those next!