Few things are as complimentary to your morning or afternoon tea as a nice piece of sponge cake. Cyrus claims that sponge cake remains to be his favorite type of cake, and although I like it, too, I find it can be a bit dry and boring at times. So I experimented a bit with different variations of sponge cake and came up with this recipe. The pear and chocolate give it a nice moist texture and a direction of taste that may not be highly innovative in itself, but is a nice change to the very classic lemon, chocolate chip or marble sponge cakes.
The amount of dough is sufficient for a small rectangular cake mold (approximately 12 x 20 cm). If you want to make a larger cake, adapt the proportions.
- 3 eggs
- 120 grams of sugar
- 150 grams of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 150 grams of butter
- 50 grams of blanched almond (ground)
- 50 grams of dark chocolate (baking chocolate)
- 30 grams of finely chopped hazelnuts
- 1 small can of pear picked in syrup
- optional: 1 tablespoon of flaked almonds
- Beat the eggs with an electric mixer until creamy and of a light color. Beat in the sugar and continue beating until very creamy.
- Pass the flour and the baking powder through a fine sieve and then beat into the egg mix.
- Melt the butter and let it cool down bit, then also beat into the dough.
- Beat in the ground almond.
- Cut the chocolate into rough chunks, then stir it into the dough with a wooden cooking spoon or a dough scraper.
- In the same manner, stir in the hazelnuts.
- Drain the pears, cut them into dices and carefully fold into the dough.
- Butter a cake mold. If you like, line the sides with flaked almond. (This last step requires a generous application of butter so the flakes will attach to the sides of the mold. Frankly, I am not so sure whether it is worth the effort.)
- Pre-heat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
- Pour the dough into the mold and bake at 210 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.
- Take the cake out of the oven and cut through the top lengthwise approximately 2 cm deep with a knife.
- Reduce the heat of the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and continue baking the cake for approximately 45 to 50 minutes.
- At the end of the baking time, take out the cake and check whether it is completely baked by sticking e. g. a knitting needle or chop stick into the cake. If it has dough attached to it when to take it out, the cake requires further baking. Should the outside be in danger of turning too dark, reduce the oven temperature a little bit.
- After baking let the cake cool down a little bit, then take out of the mold (loosen the sides carefully with a knife if it should not come out easily) and put it onto a serving plate. Let cool down completely before serving.