A dear friend of mine gave me this recipe & I always think about her when I make this cake!
Over the years I have made many Sponge Cakes! Not just for Passover but during the year as well. They can be a bit tricky. But, when they work out they are fantastic! I have certainly not had success with every cake!
I think one tip I have figured out is to not over-beat the egg whites, they get dry & do not hold the cake up! Be gentle when folding the beaten whites into the egg yolks… also, sift the dry ingredients into the egg yolks, lumps of dry ingredients are not your friend! When checking to see if the cake is finished baking, don’t leave the oven door open too long while you check the cake, don’t take the cake out to check it either! One tip is to listen to your cake, it should be quiet. This may sound funny but if it is quite it is usually baked through. The other way to check is to gently see if the cake will spring back if you push on it… if not bake for another 10 minutes
Never grease a cake pan that you will be baking a Sponge Cake in
Here is the recipe for Passover Lemon Sponge Cake
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided in half ( 3/4 cup for the egg whites, 3/4 cup for the yolks)
3/4 cup potato starch
3 tbsp cake meal
Grated rind of a lemon
Juice of one lemon
You need an angle food cake pan with feet or a tube pan with a removable bottom
Preheat the oven to 350f
1. Divide the eggs, putting the whites in a large bowl to beat them & the yolks in another large bowl. If you are using a mixer & only have one bowl, mix the whites first then very gently put them into a bowl to set aside while you mix the yolks, This way you will not have to wash & dry the bowl & beaters!
2. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks & then start to gently add 3/4 cup sugar while beating the whites until stiff, but not too dry. Set aside
3. Beat the egg yolks with the remaining 3/4 cup sugar until light in texture & colour.
4. Sift the potato starch & cake meal over the beaten egg yolks. Mix well.
5. Grate the rind of one lemon into the yolk mixture, add the juice of that lemon & mix until combined. Scrape down the sides & bottom of the bowl to make sure that all of the ingredients are really well combined.
6. Now you are going to incorporate the beaten egg whites into the yolks. Using a spatula, take a few scoop-fulls of whites & gently mix them into the yolks. Once they are nicely mixed in you will see that the texture of the yolk mixture is lighter. Fold in the remaining beaten egg whites. When the whites are folded in nicely without streaks so that the colour of the batter is uniform, very gently put the batter evenly into the cake pan.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes. Check after 50 minutes! If it isn’t done bake for another 10 minutes.*** if you gently press of the cake it should spring up, if it doesn’t bake it longer for about 10 minutes & listen to the cake! It should be quiet. The length of time the cake takes to cook really depends on each persons oven, some ovens cook hotter & some cooler so you have to check…
8. When done, take the cake out of the oven. The cake has to be cooled upside down!! So if your cake pan has little feet then turn the baked cake over to stand on those feet to cool. If you do not have that type of cake pan, you have to rest the cake upside down using 4 glasses or cups. You place the rim of the cake pan on the edges of the glasses/cups Leave the cake in this position until it is completely cool!! I left mine for a couple hours. Get the cake out of the pan by using a knife to cut gently around the edges, then using one hand as support, gently remove the cake from the pan. If you used a pan with a removable bottom, then remove the cake from the ring & run the knife between the cake and the bottom to separate the two, then to gently take the cake off the bottom
That’s It! Enjoy!