Monday, February 21, 2011

Italian Sponge Cake

For nearly the last two weeks I have been on my death bed.   It's this strange illness that initially presents itself as a cold but then hits you like a mac truck.  Last Friday I was so sick I couldn't get out of bed and I was so weak I could barely speak.  By Saturday morning my husband had drug me (against my will) to the doctor where he managed to talk them out of five prescriptions none of which I am sure helped me get better any faster.  Here I am a week later calling in a refill on my codeine cough syrup because I'm certain that at any moment I may literally lose a lung. 

The only time you will find my meal calendar clear and me not standing in the kitchen is when I am ill.  I didn't cook dinner for a week and I missed it dearly.  Yesterday I was starting to feel much much better and that was evident by my instant desire to bake.  I had to get in the kitchen the moment I walked in the door from work.  Heck, I didn't even bother to walk upstairs to the bedroom to change my clothes.  So there I stood in my slacks and sweater whipping up a new to me cake.  I had this recipe in my files for quite some time and considering that I hadn't been to the store in over a week I knew I needed a recipe with very few ingredients.  This recipe called for 6 eggs and by some miracle I had exactly 6 left out of the 18 carton I had purchased before being hit by a mac truck.  Add in some cake flour and sugar and you are in business.  Now, cake flour is nothing that I keep on hand but I think that I will start to.  By chance I had attempted unsuccessfully to make an angel food cake several months ago so I had it sitting in my cupboard.  Otherwise this cake would have never happened.  As for that angel food cake, I'll attempt it again when I find the nerve.  That was one of the more notoriuos kitchen disasters and if I ever get that cake right I'll tell you the story.

Italian Sponge Cake
6 eggs, separated *see note
1 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour

Cut wax paper to fit two 9" round cake pans. May also use a bundt or tube pan.

Separate eggs, putting whites in large mixer bowl and yolks in small mixer bowl.  1/2 c sugar to whites and beat until very stiff. Add 1/2 c sugar to yolks and beat until very thick and light yellow in color. Fold egg yolk mixture into egg whites.

Fold flour in using 1/3 c each time until well mixed. Do not overmix. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out dry. Cool for a few minutes, remove from pan and remove waxpaper. Cool completely.

Fill with a custard cream filling, jam, ect.  or leave plain.  May also frost with whipped cream.

*as always it is best to use room temp eggs.  I separate the eggs (whites into my kitchenaid, yolks into another bowl) and then let them get to room temp which is faster than waiting for the whole egg to warm up.

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

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