Friday, 15 February 2013

Basic sponge - quatre quarts - Marmalade

It is easy to think that cake making is a natural born skill, rather than something anyone can do. I've got no idea how many cakes I've made that haven't turned out quite as I expected, it could be in the 100s, it seems like more. Still, somehow every failure is a surprise, and in many ways, so is every success! Although cooking is a science, and recipes are the formula, there are so many ways to mess things up. I know very well how essential baking powder is, having produced numerous cakes that look like large biscuits. The thing is to not get distracted.

This cake is a basic sponge, in French they call it four quarters -quatre quarts - because all the ingredients are of the same weight. I used four eggs and matched them, so that is around 200g of all the other ingredients.

I prepare my tins first - I use two lined bread tins - then I tip all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat them together using a hand whisk. Once this is done I stir in flavouring ingredients. I like to split the mixture into two. In this case I got a bit crafty, adding lemon juice and lemon zest from one lemon to the lot, put half the mixture into one tin, and then added four tablespoons of dark marmalade to the mixture, stirring it in quite roughly, and then pouted the mixture into the second tin.

So, here you have pictures of the marmalade cake, which was wonderfully tangy and a little bit sticky, with chewy orange bits. The lemon cake got eaten before anyone took a picture. Like all cakes, I think this one improves for sitting a day or two. Easier said than done.

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