Sunday, 13 July 2014

White chocolate sponge cake


  

Now don’t get me wrong, I have love for all baked goods (even those I don’t personally like) but given the choice of fancy patisserie or a nice simple sponge I will ALWAYS choose the sponge.  What can I say?  I’m clearly low-rent.  Just saying the word ‘sponge’ pleases me.  Low-rent and easily pleased?  Who can say….




I needed sponge cake this week; it’s the cake equivalent of a security blanket.  Have a slice of sponge and all is right with the world.  This sponge recipe is soft and fluffy with a lovely crumb and little pockets of white chocolate baked into it.  The thick, sticky frosting is smooth and perfect for picking up any crumbs that try and escape!  The cream cheese/white chocolate combination worked well as the tang balanced out the sweetness – it was a big hit!



You can decorate it how you please; it truly is a blank canvas.  You could jazz it up with fruit dipped in white chocolate or opt for colourful with smarties.  I chose Aero balls simply because they were big and I liked the two-tone look of them.  I cut the cake into 15 pieces...of varying sizes.  I cannot cut straight to save my life.  Here's the proof:




Recently I have made a discovery.  I always found melting chocolate on the hob a bit stressful because, even though I made all efforts to melt it slowly,  it did occasionally seize on me (go grainy) and it would always be at a high pressure moment when I didn’t have any spare chocolate (in truth, does anyone ever have spare chocolate?  But maybe this is just semantics).  So I switched to the microwave but that can be hit and miss too if it overheats.  My discovery is this: a heat diffuser.  Unfortunately it only works on gas hobs. You place it on the gas ring and put your pan of chocolate directly on top of it.  I have never had any issues since I’ve started using this.  And it only costs around £6!






Ingredients

For the sponge:
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g golden caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
300g self raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
150ml natural yoghurt
3 tablespoons milk
100g white chocolate, finely chopped – or you could use white chocolate chips if you prefer

For the frosting:
100g white chocolate
300g cream cheese – I used Philadelphia
100g icing sugar

Optional: sweets of your choice to decorate, or chopped white chocolate



Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan oven 160°C/ 350°F/ gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm x 30cm tin with baking paper.  You can, if you prefer, use a 20cm square tin or a 23cm round tin but this will alter the depth of the cake and therefore also the cooking time.

Beat the butter until it is soft and creamy.

Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and whippy – do not skimp on this!

Beat in the vanilla.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding some of the flour if it looks like it might curdle.  (Use this as a learning opportunity – if it curdles you didn’t spend long enough beating together the butter and sugar – increase the time next time)

Stir in the flour, baking powder, yoghurt and milk – ensure they are well incorporated into the batter.

Finally, stir in the chopped chocolate.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out cleanly.

Leave to cool in the tin.

Now make the frosting: melt the white chocolate either in the microwave (in short 30 second bursts) or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (ensuring the bowl does not touch the water).

Put the chocolate to one side to cool a little.

Beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar.

Stir in the melted chocolate.

Chill in the fridge until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

Spread over the cake and decorate with the sweets of your choice.

Cut into chunky squares.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.


Eat.

18 comments:

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

I couldn't agree more- forget fancy-pants posh bakes, I'll take a good old fashioned splendid sponge any day, just like this one!

Librarian Lavender said...

I love a wonderful sponge cake and there are so many ways you can decorate them or give them a different flavour! Great recipe!

Lucy said...

Oh my - I love white chocolate so this sounds amazing. The icing looks incredible!

Laura Denman said...

I totally agree. I like the idea of fancy but when it comes to it, simple is so much better, yummier and quicker to make and therefore eat =)

Gloria Baker said...

Aww CC I have to make this cake make me nuts (hehe) the frosting with cream cheese and white chocolate !
Look delicious!!
xo

Cakelaw said...

This cake looks delish! I want to steal an Aero ball off the top - we don't have those here.

Katie said...

I'm with you on sponge cake. Cake can cheer up almost any situation. Its comforting, soft and light. This one looks delicious. Love the addition of the yoghurt and white choc

Sally Sellwood said...

Ooo aero balls. I like the sounds of them. Also this cake - yes, I'm a sponge kinda gal too (unless it's the alternative is a really good almond croissant, then the patisserie - or perhaps it's viennoiserie?) would win.

snowy said...

Great tip to use a heat diffuser - I have one somewhere! Delicious looking cake, and I prefer a sponge cake too.

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

Absolutely........ Sponge cake wins hands down every time! And this one looks wonderful. That frosting is to die for......... so oozy and creamy-looking! I so want a slice.... now!!!

Maggie said...

My love of a sponge cake stems from my days at school. Great heat diffuser tip.

Stuart Vettese said...

I could eat an entire bowl of that icing in one go! Oh my goodness!! Lovely, lovely, lovely :)

Jo said...

Sponge cakes trump everything in my opinion. I love their fluffiness, versatility and how quick and easy they are to throw together. I can't believe I've never thought to add white chocolate to cream cheese icing. It looks amazing!

Kim said...

Oh yes - love a simple sponge! Apparently when I was little I used to just want to eat cakes warm off the cooling rack without icing, so I've always been a sponge fiend. It's just so satisfying in every way and this looks like a shining example of a perfect sponge!

Mollie at Yumbles said...

You really can't beat a perfect sponge... unless of course you add white chocolate! Amazing, thanks for sharing :)

Choclette said...

Patissierie always looks fab in shops but there's nothing like a good home cooked cake and your sponges are legendary.

Anne Szadorska said...

I am not sure what spare chocolate is either.

I adore those aero chocolate balls as much as I love a good old sponge cake, you can never go wrong with sponge!

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Hmm I saw those white aero balls just yesterday in the shops for the first time and thought what a great bake they would make! I love how light and fluffy your sponge looks! This would be a perfect mid morning snack right about now!!