Sunday, October 28, 2012

31 Days of Decadent Desserts {Day 28} Sponge Cakes

When my dear friends Mr. Steve and Miss Tamera gave me a dessert shell pan, I went on a search for something to make in them. I came across a recipe for Julia Child's sponge cake in her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Then I tried to find something to put in the small cavities and found a recipe for chocolate whipped cream. 

Sponge Cakes 
with Chocolate Whipped Cream

  Butter Sponge Cakes
   or Biscuit au Beurre
   as found in Julia Child's cookbook 

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pan with cooking spray. 
  2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
  3. Gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks, add the vanilla, and continue beating for several minutes until mixture is thick, plate yellow, and forms the ribbon.***see note 
  4. Beat the egg whites and salt together in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. 
  5. Scoop one fourth of the egg whites over the top of the egg yolks and sugar mixture. Sift on one fourth of the flour, and delicately fold in until partially blended. Then add one third of the remaining egg whites, sift one one third of the remaining flour, fold until partially blended, and repeat with half of each, then the last of each and half of the tepid, melted butter. When partially blended, fold in the rest of the butter but omit the milky residue at the bottom of the pan. Do not overmix; the egg whites must retain as much volume as possible.
  6. Turn into prepared cake pan, tilting pan to run batter to the rim all around. Set in middle level of preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, is lightly brown, and has just begun to show a faint line of shrinkage from the edge of the pan.
  7. Remove from oven and let stand in the pan for 6-8 minutes. It will sink slightly and shrink more from the edges of the pan. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse on cake rack, giving the pan a sharp little jerk to dislodge the cake. If the cake is not to be iced, immediately reverse it so its puffed side is uppermost. Allow to cool for an hour or so. 

***Forming the ribbon prepares the egg yolks so that they can be heated without turning granular. The mixture will turn a pale, creamy yellow, and thicken enough so that when a bit is lifted in the beater, it will fall back into the bowl forming a slowly dissolving ribbon on the surface of the mixture. Do not beat beyond this point or the egg yolks may become granular. 

  Chocolate Whipped Cream
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  1. Put chopped chocolate into a medium bowl.
  2. Pour cream into a small heavy saucepan; stir in sugar. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. 
  3. Pour boiling cream over chocolate; stir until smooth and chocolate is melted. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, until thoroughly chilled.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl. Beat to spreading or filling consistency, or until it reaches soft peaks. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before using.

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