Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

The Child loves to bake. She did not inherit this gene from me. I can bake and I do, but it rarely gives me the sense of satisfaction that she gets. Which is fine because every household should have at least one serious baker.

The first thing she ever became adept at baking was a "Cinderella" cake, from a child's cookbook. It's awful. But she liked it. (Because she never met a cup of sugar she didn't like). The only good thing about this cake was that it taught her the basics of cakery. For that we are grateful.

A few months ago I suggested that, given the really truly awful nature of Cinderella Cake, she should try her hand at something tastier and that is when I introduced her to this perky little sponge cake, which I adapted from an old Mennonite recipe.

This cake is very good without any adornment, but The Child is not about the unadorned anything. She wanted to make 7 Minute Icing but I wanted to not have to monitor the whole boiling-hot-sugar-syrup-whipped-around-in-a-mixer thing so decided that this was the perfect opportunity for her to learn that most valuable of life skills, how to make ganache. And voila! a pretty little cake, just in time for tea. (She decorated it, as you can see, with extra chocolate chips).

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

Preheat oven to 325° F.

2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
2 inch piece of vanilla bean
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 2-inch piece of vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
1 t. butter

8-inch round cake pan, greased and floured

In a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the eggs well. Add in the sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until everything is light and fluffy.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and whisk together. By hand, fold dry ingredients into egg-sugar mixture.

Combine milk and butter in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk and add the vanilla pod. Bring milk to a boil and then remove from heat. Discard vanilla pod.

Slowly add the hot milk mixture to the batter, stirring gently to combine.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

Cool on a baking rack.

When cake is cooled, frost with Chocolate Ganache.

Chocolate Ganache
1 c. heavy cream
9 oz. dark chocolate chips

Place cream in a sauce pan over medium high heat. As soon as little bubbles start to form, add the chocolate chips and stir until chips are thoroughly melted. Pour over cake and allow to cool before serving.


TWISI said...

The child is .....

well, the child is....


Jon said...

She should try Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake next. I'm not much of a baker (hence, the absence of dry measure cups in my kitchen, thank you) but her cake is to D.I.E. for!
Easy too.
Hint: Add the whole bottle of Guinness. It works fine and makes it really moist.

Anonymous said...

Ooowhee, I love me some Mennonite cakes I tellz ya! (clicks heels)

Lorraine said...

Twisi: I'll tell her you said so.

Jon: I have someone's Guiness Chocolate cake recipe uses a whole bottle of Guiness, too. And it is amazing. And how are those new cups working out for you?

Hat: A plain and undancing people those Mennonites (which may be why I didn't make a very good one) but man, can they cook.

Anonymous said...

MMMmmmmm.... Chocolate.

gina said...

The Child is a woman after my own heart. I love that she added the chocolate chips. Perfection! My Daughter is also the baker-in-residence (well, HER residence, but it used to be MY residence), and she "did not get the baking gene from me" too. *grin*

more cowbell said...

Wow, The Child really does rock! That and cleaning the kitchen while you're at work, too? You done good, moms.

I will show this to my middle daughter -- she is a baker/decorator extraordinaire. So much she started making noise about going to culinary school rather than, hello, college! Um, NO. After college, fine. Anyway, you can see she does NOT get those genes from me. This was confirmed when she won the Iron Chef contest at her high school. It seriously must skip a generation.