Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Vicious as a sponge.

So, I'm still bubbling around in existence. Been busy with uni and other commitments, including singing in various ensembles around the town.

And this morning I somehow found myself ingesting a quarter of a sponge cake. With blueberries. And cream, of course. It's soft, naturally, and meringue-like, this sponge. The first I've made away from home, and the first to this recipe of Maggie's that my mum has had great success with in the past. And it's gluten-free.
I won't lie. While I was assembling the line-up of ingredients, I was thinking about how people say sponges are hard, and they really aren't. But then I opened the oven door too early and it was a bit of a flop.
Not to worry. A blueberries-and-cream sandwich isn't going to be unpopular, even if it doesn't rise as far as you wanted.
Make sure you put the sugar in with the egg whites at the start, if you make this. I forgot to do so, and it might have helped. I had intended to make it for a group of people that includes a coeliac, and so I was ultra particular about getting things that had no chance of gluten in them. This led me to buy 'Pure Cream' instead of thickened, which is my usual default for whipping cream. What a revelation! It whips really fast. And it's so runny to begin with. I recommend trying it sometime, because it's interesting. Maybe sad that this is the case, but all the same..
Would go nicely with a cup of tea.

Because I'm at it, now, I'd like to share with you some thoughts about people and cakes:
People can often be grouped by what kinds of cakes they prefer in terms mainly of texture. And sweetness, perhaps. And I may offend. I don't mean to, but neither am I aiming for particular political correctness. In fact if your opinion differs, please comment- I'd love a second or third opinion. Which group/s are you in?

Light, fluffy cakes: People whose mums make these sort of cakes. Often descended from CWA schools. Includes sponge fans and pav fans. If you are one of these, please also like whipped cream. (Real, not fake.) If you are one of these and do not like cream, chances are you don't mind packet mix. I'm sorry for you, but get out.

Fruitcake: People also tend to be categorical about whether or not they like fruit cake. For some it's an acquired taste. I acquired it at some point over the last 7 years. One can prefer fruit cake groggy and dense (see next point), or lighter.. in which case, you might like sultana cake without liking fruit cake so much. Or you may like neither. That's ok.

Dense cakes: YAY. This is me. Flourless cakes are here, anything involving nut meal (dacquoise not included - that's under "light, fluffy." May not like it too sweet, but texture is important.. and when it comes to chocolate, fans hereof prefer mudcake to fluffy Sara Lee "chocolate" cake. Dense cake lovers like chocolatey chocolate cakes, not brown fluff pretending to be chocolate.

Cheesecake: Cheesecake lovers often tend to categorically love all things chocolate. Sometimes they place high importance on the icing of other cakes (maybe this comes from a childhood of shop-bought things where the cake tasted/felt like plastic and the icing was the only part to have any taste?) I am not really a cheesecake person and don't really understand it. Are you also more likely to enjoy chocolate croissants? What about doughnuts?

Chocolate cakes: Nobody dislikes all chocolate cake. Chocolate cake really deserves another section of its own, about how people like theirs. Then again, chocolate cake preferences probably fit quite nicely into the above 4 categories. Yes, chocolate fruit cake does exist. It is delicious.

Icing lovers: See cheesecake. If this is you, try not to be offended. Also: to marzipan or not to marzipan? I suspect that often, true dense-cake lovers like marzipan. Maybe. Certainly stollen fans do.

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