Delia Online Cookery School term 1: Classic sponge cake
In the very first lesson, Delia shows how to make a Classic sponge cake.
115g self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
115g spreadable butter
115g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preserves, etc (see end of method)
Icing sugar for dusting
Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC, gas mark 3
Equipment: Two 18cm by 4cm sponge tins, lightly buttered and base lined, plus two wire cooling trays
All you do is sift the flour and baking powder into a roomy mixing bowl, lifting the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down, then simply add all the other ingredients.
Now, using an electric hand whisk, combine them for about 1 minute until you have a smooth creamy consistency.
Next divide the mixture between the two prepared tins, level off using the back of a tablespoon, and bake near the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes. The cakes are cooked when you press lightly with your little finger and the centre springs back.
Remove them from the oven and after about 30 seconds loosen the edges by sliding a palette knife all round them out onto a wire cooling tray. Now carefully peel back the lining by gently pulling it back. Lightly place the other cooling tray on top and just flip them both over so that the tops are facing upwards (this is to prevent them sticking to the tray).
When cooled, sandwich them together with any sort of preserve or lemon curd, with or without fresh whipped cream (in the summer, fresh berries and cream make a superb filling).
For a final flourish, dust the whole cake generously with icing sugar.
Store in a tin, or if you are using cream, in a polythene box in the fridge.