Gourmet Fast app

Get our Gourmet Fast app and you can download 140 recipes for your iPhone.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to the print version this month and you could win an endota spa experience.

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Thai recipes

Sweet, salty, sour and spicy, Thai food hits all the right notes and then some. Hungry for Thai? Then we've got you covered with everything from a classic green papaya salad to a red curry of beef with green peppercorns, wild ginger and holy basil.

The Fat Duck, Melbourne restaurant review

There’s technique and theatre aplenty at Heston Blumenthal’s highly coveted ephemeral Fat Duck pop-up, writes Michael Harden.

Top 10 Sydney Restaurants 2014

Looking for the best restaurants in Sydney? Here are the top ten Sydney restaurants from our 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide.

Hot 100 2015 - Restaurants

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about global warming. From food to faraway destinations, artistic accomplishment to technological triumph, our trend-hunters have combed the planet for what to eat, see, do and watch – right now. Here are the restaurants, and restaurant trends, to watch this year.

Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with roast vegetables

Slice Recipes

Why just have a bite when you can take a slice? Check out our slideshow for a dozen recipes for slices: from a classic vanilla to a violet honeycomb and even a savoury onion and sour-cream for good measure.

Top 10 Melbourne Restaurants 2014

Looking for the best restaurants in Melbourne? Here's our top ten from our 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide.

Our favourite baked goods from Australia's best bakeries

The cooler months can be dreary, no doubt. Fortunately there are baked goods to ease the pain...

Basic sponge cake


You'll need

80 gm butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for brushing 240 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting 8 eggs, at room temperature 220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar 1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Brush two 20cm-diameter cake tins with melted butter, line bases with baking paper, dust sides with flour.
  • 02
  • Triple-sift flour and set aside.
  • 03
  • Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla seeds in an electric mixer until thick, pale and tripled in volume (7-8 minutes). Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • 04
  • Sift over flour in three batches, folding each batch in with a large metal spoon.
  • 05
  • Fold in melted butter.
  • 06
  • Divide evenly between tins, bake until light golden and centre springs back when pressed lightly with your fingertip (20-25 minutes). Pull cake gently away from sides of tin with your fingers or carefully loosen with a knife. Turn onto a wire rack, remove baking paper, turn back over, then cool completely.

For good old-fashioned satisfaction, is there anything better than a sponge cake? It demonstrates the almost alchemical nature of baking, transforming the simplest of ingredients - eggs, sugar, butter and flour - into virtual gold, and filling the house with a mouth-watering smell at the same time. When a sponge turns out just the way it should - golden, delicate and feather-light - it brings with it a great sense of satisfaction. In fact, the ability to whip up the perfect sponge cake was once considered essential in a potential bride and the inability to do so spelled social disaster.

The boy scout motto, "Be prepared", could well apply to making sponge cakes. Brush your cake tins with melted butter, line their bases with baking paper and flour them before you start. Be sure to have your eggs - free range or organic are best - at room temperature, and your butter melted and cooled (if it's still hot when you add it, your cake will be less sponge and more pancake).

Note the absence of any raising agent, such as baking powder, in the ingredients list. This is no mistake. Instead there's one invisible ingredient absolutely essential to a sponge, and that's air. Lengthy whisking of the eggs and sugar will incorporate masses of air bubbles. We highly recommend an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. In days of yore, there wasn't the luxury of such a thing (those housewives must have had impressive biceps), but given that even with an electric mixer you're looking at close to 10 minutes of whisking, this isn't something to be attempted manually. Whisk until the mixture triples in volume and is thick enough to hold a trail.

Additional aeration is achieved by triple-sifting the flour and then by taking a very light-handed approach when folding it in. It's best sifted over in several batches, folding in with a large, long-handled metal spoon between additions. Use an up-and-over motion to make sure no flour settles at the bottom of the bowl, and turn the bowl a quarter-turn clockwise each time you fold, to ensure even distribution.

Next is the incorporation of the butter - melted, but absolutely never hot. To prevent the butter from dropping quickly to the bottom of the bowl, you can fold a little of the cake mixture into it first.

Rather than mangling the delicate cake with a skewer to test for doneness, press it gently in the centre with your fingertip. When it's cooked, it will spring back. The cake will also shrink from the sides of the pan when it's done. Turn it onto a wire rack swiftly, then turn it back over so it's not scored with the criss-cross of the rack.

Sandwiched with vanilla-scented cream and good-quality (preferably homemade) jam, it doesn't get much better. Or take a different tack as we have and make a hazelnut version. Sandwich with raspberry-spiked chocolate cream and it's heaven on a plate.


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
Win
a trip to the Gold Coast!

Win a trip for two to Jupiters Hotel & Casino on the Gold Coast to dine at the new Italian restaurant, Cucina Vivo.

Read More
Our
favourite boutique producers

From artisan honeys to organic oysters, we've rounded up some of our favourite boutique producers from around Australia and across the Tasman. Dig in.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our video section for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Featured in

Sep 2009

You might also like...

Alistair’s secret barbecue sauce

recipes

Waffles with chocolate and Pedro Ximenez sauce

Poached eggs with creamed corn and green chilli relish

recipes

Egg, spinach, rocket and feta breakfast tart

Grilled peaches with sherry and apricot-delight ice-cream

recipes

Lemon and raspberry iced tea

Ginger beer with lime

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×