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This sponge cake can be used for many things, including Strawberry Shortcake, a big hit in our house when I was a kid! During the strawberry season it was always welcomed with open arms! A note of caution: make sure you use an angel food pan that is not used for cakes that have butter or oil in the batter, otherwise, the beautifully risen to perfection, sponge cake, won’t rise! We don’t want that do we? Hey, I was introduced into making sponge cakes when I was 13 so if I did it, so can you! I have a feeling that fresh raspberries & blueberries might be a really good alternative later in the season. A note: according to the original recipe, the eggs specified are “large, 2 oz. eggs”. I weighed mine just for the fun of it and discovered they were heavier which would likely cause the cake to fail.
6 large (2 oz.) egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp. cream of tartar
¾ cup sugar
6 large (2 oz.) egg yolks, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. finely grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup cold water
Heat the oven to 325F.
Sift the flour, baking powder & salt together. Combine the lemon rind, lemon juice & water.
Using an electric or stand mixer , beat the egg whites &cream of tartar until foamy; adding ¾ cup of sugar gradually; continue to beat until “meringue” forms stiff, glossy peaks. Set aside. In another bowl, using an electric mixer or stand mixer & clean beaters, beat the egg yolks until thick; beat in ¾ cup sugar gradually, until light & fluffy. Alternately add the flour mixture & the combined lemon rind mixture to the beaten egg yolks.
Fold the yolk mixture gently into the “meringue” mixture until no streaks of yolk remains. Don’t overdo this bit.
Pour the batter into an ungreased 10” angel food tube pan. Cut through the batter gently with a knife or spatula to prevent air pockets.
Place in the oven & bake for 60 – 65 minutes or until the cake tests done (insert a wooden skewer into the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s ready). Turn the pan upside down on a rack & let stand until cold. Remove from the pan by going around the edges with a thin bladed knife slowly, lifting gently as you go until the cake releases itself from the pan. Take your time, it will free itself! Place on a serving plate. Cut into slices with a serrated knife to serve.