Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ginger Sponge Cake with a Citrus Curd Glaze

And so my love affair with sponge cake continues. There are only two kinds of cake that I am really craving at the moment - rich chocolate cake slathered with a thick layer of icing and light, fluffy sponge cakes with a lot of fresh whipped cream. My usual Sunday baking day ritual led to the creation of this lovely afternoon tea cake; Ginger Sponge Cake sandwiched with Candied Ginger Cream and a Citrus Curd Glaze on top. It's so light that you'd think that you could manage the whole thing in one sitting, but one slice is perfectly satisfying because it's packed full of flavour...if that makes sense.
People who are not fans of ginger can relax, the cake itself only has the faintest hint of ginger and you can omit the candied ginger from the cream if you prefer. But for ginger fiends like me, you will absolutely LOVE the little morsels of sweet candied ginger that you will encounter in that thick layer of whipped cream. I actually found the amount of ground ginger in the cake a little too mild, so feel free to add another teaspoon to the batter.
I was slightly hesistant to mess around with the original recipe, it was a basic sponge cake recipe from Gourmet Traveller. It was my first time trying a cake batter that didn't use any chemical leavening; it completely relies on the air beaten into the egg/sugar mixture to make it rise. I've always had success with GT recipes so I ploughed on, only adding some ginger to the flour mixture and replacing half the caster sugar with brown sugar. It was nerve-wracking because my oven lightbulb blew right before I put the cake in the oven, so I had to check on how the cake was progressing by shining a torch through the oven door! But to my relief, the cake rose perfectly and came out gorgeously soft and golden. It was the perfect texture.
The filling and the glaze on top is what gives this cake that extra wow factor. The cream is sweetened but only slightly, and the little bits of candied ginger give it that extra punch of fresh, sweet ginger flavour. To balance out all the sweetness I used the leftover lemon & lime curd from the Lemon, Lime & Bitters Macaron recipe, and mixed it with a bit of icing sugar and warm water to make a luscious glaze which is spread thinly over the top of the cake. But I totally understand if you can't be bothered making the curd from scratch just for this recipe, so you could replace the curd with just the juice and zest from a lemon and/or lime to taste. Either way, it's great to have a tiny hint of sourness in the glaze.
Ginger Sponge Cake with Ginger Cream & Citrus Glaze
(makes one 20cm cake, adapted from Gourmet Traveller's Basic Sponge Cake, click through to article for some very helpful tips on sponge cake baking if you are new to sponge cakes)
40g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for brushing
120g (about 1 scant cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp ground ginger
4 eggs, at room temperature
55g (about 1/4 cup) caster sugar
55g (about 1/4 cup) brown sugar

For the Candied Ginger Cream:
250ml (about 1 cup) thickened cream
1/2 cup icing (confectioner's) sugar, sifted
About 2 tbsp finely diced candied/glace ginger

For the glaze:
1/4 cup lemon & lime curd (from this recipe, can be replaced with zest and juice from a lemon and a lime, add to taste)
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
About 1-2 tsp warm water

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Brush a 20cm-diameter cake tin with melted butter, line base with baking paper (I also lined the sides), dust sides with flour. Triple-sift flour and ground ginger together and set aside.

Whisk eggs, caster sugar and brown sugar in an electric mixer until thick, pale and tripled in volume (7-8 minutes, longer for a handheld mixer). Transfer to a mixing bowl. Sift over flour in three batches, folding each batch in with a large metal spoon. Fold in melted butter. Ensure there are no lumps of flour still in the mixture.

Pour into tins and gently smooth top with a spatula, 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 (it is easier to remove cake from tin if you line the sides with paper). Turn onto a wire rack, remove baking paper, turn back over, then cool completely.
Prepare the cream when cake is entirely cool. (It is best to assemble cake on the same day that it is served, since it has fresh whipped cream in the middle, but I was able to keep it in an airtight container overnight without affecting the appearance/texture too much) Place cream and sifted icing sugar in a medium mixing bowl and carefully whip using an electric mixer or hand whisk to soft peaks. Take care not to overwhip, I find it very easy to overwhip thickened cream. Fold in candied ginger. Use a long serrated knife to carefully slice the cake in half and spread the cream over the top of one of the cooled cakes. Sandwich other half of the cake on top. Prepare the glaze - place lemon curd and icing sugar in a medium bowl and whisk together until smooth. Gradually add warm water 1 tsp at a time until the mixture is just starting to get runny, i.e. just starting to lose it's shape. (If you are using just the lemon & lime, add all the zest and gradually add juice until it is sour enough to taste, then add water to achieve desired consistency). Spread thinly over the top of cake, just to the edge. Serve immediately or within a day or so after assembling.
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  1. This looks so perfect and delicious. One day I'll be able to make a perfect sponge cake! In the meantime I'll just drool over yours. The ginger and citrus combination sounds awesome!

  2. Oh yum - I love ginger and citrus mixes, and this sounds (and looks) amazing!

  3. Oh yum, I adore ginger in cakes and biscuits.

    I'm on a massive chocolate cake kick - every recipe I pull up is some version. Honey, coconut, hazelnut...etc etc. Weird for summer!

  4. I'm eyeing that generous cream filling. Looks great!

  5. Looks and sounds delicious! GREAT photos!

  6. I am DEFINITELY giving this a go someday! i have a complete loveeee of ginger (as seen in my triple ginger crunch bars i posted a few days ago :) ) and just cant get enough of the stuff. So this looks fandabulous. Your photos are divine also, your site is just ace to put it bluntly :)

  7. I am literally mouthwatering for a slice of this cake!!!

  8. Lol I love that fourth photo, stab stab stab! Oh and the cake looks fabulous too... as always :)

  9. Refreshing combination of ginger and citrus with the lightness of the sponge cake. Might try this soon!

  10. this looks amazing! your photos are delish, and now I'm seriously craving this cake! i love your cake plate by the way - where did you get it from?

  11. Your cake (And pictures!) are perfectly done! Everything's fabulous!!

  12. the traveling cupcake - Thanks! I got the cake stand at a local homewares store called Burnt Orange, unfortunately they don't have an online store!

  13. Beautiful! That cream in the middle looks amazing and I really love your pictures!

  14. I want this right now! I seriously may have tried to reach through my computer screen to scoop up a slice. It didn't work : (

    Gorgeous shots too!

  15. woah man i like your ratio of the cream in the middle to cakeage!

  16. Wow *O*!! This cake looks gorgeous and delicious ^__^!!

  17. this is officially on my to do list

  18. Oh what a beautiful cake. I too am a ginger lover so I will definitely take your advice and add a bit more when I make it...and I intend to! Your photographs are equally beautiful by the way; I can almost taste the cake!

  19. I've never tasted spongecake before *face palm* but the one you made there is truly pretty. I just want to click on the picture and hope that it magically comes to life so that I can taste it, haha.

  20. felicidades x tu blog me quedo de seguidora es precioso un saludo desde españa

  21. I know ive already posted on it but this is just such a crazy good lookin cake im counting down the days to try it! Plus I would just like you to know I have given you and your ridiculously ace blog an award, if you would like to receive it just stop by my blog and check out my latest post :)

  22. These photos are BEAUTIFUL!

    The cake could not look more delicious. :)

    This is my first time on your blog and I'm already hooked!


  23. Fork stabbed into a slice of cake - I like, haha!

  24. Lisa - Thank you dear :) It was so light and I loved the ginger cream.

    Julia @ Boredom Abounds - Same here, ginger and citrus is a winner combo!

    Seelenschmerz - Me tooooo!

    La Roquette - Thanks!

    Poires au Chocolat - Same here! Ugh yes, chocolate cakes are totally calling to me at the moment, I've made more chocolate cakes this year than in my entire life!

    leaf (the indolent cook) - hehe that's a whole tub of thickened cream! I wouldn't have it any other way :)

    Blog is the New Black - Thanks so much!

    The Procrastobaker - Mmm triple ginger crunch bars sound fantastic. As is the word fandabulous :D Thank you heaps!!

    Colores - Thank you!

    K | Citrus and Candy - Heehee stab stab! Couldn't resist :)

    Dadá flavors - Thanks!

    Deb - I love light cakes like this :) Hope you try it!

    Valerie - Thank you so much!

    Heidi @ Food Doodles - I loved the cream! Thanks!

    Russell at Chasing Delicious - I wish i could have some right now too :( thanks!

    chocolatesuze - Heehee awesome right? I love cream...

    Giuliana - Thank you! <3

    susan - Oh good! Hope you do it :)

    knitstamatic - Thanks so much! Go crazy with the ginger!~

    Veronica Weatherby - What! You are missing out! Sponge cake is awesome.

    eva - Thanks?

    The Procrastobaker - Haha you're too sweet! Thanks for the award!

    CakewithHazel - Thanks so much for stopping by!

    Hannah@ Bake Five - Thanks!

    mademoiselle délicieuse - hehehe I like to get stabby..oh wait that sounds wrong in so many ways...


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