Italian Sponge Cake Recipe
Italian Grandma’ Gina
There are many sponge cake recipes from around the world. We love this one by Italian Grandma’ Gina. And it’s a pleasure to hear her explain in her lovely broken English. Hope you enjoy her recipe.
Some history on Sponge Cake
Sponge Cake Fun Facts. During the renaissance, Italian cooks became famous for their baking skills and were hired by households in both England and France. The new items that they introduced were called “biscuits,” though they were the forerunner of what we now consider to be sponge cake.
The traditional sponge cake is easy to make since it consists of just three very basic ingredients: flour, sugar and eggs. The key to the perfect sponge cake is in the technique. The batter must be beaten thoroughly in order to create volume.
A sponge cake has a firm, yet well aerated structure, similar to a sea sponge. That’s why it is called a “sponge cake.”
August 23rd is National Sponge Cake Day.
Gervase Markham, English poet and author, recorded the earliest sponge cake recipe in English in 1615. These sponge cakes were most likely thin, crisp cakes (more like modern cookies).
By the middle of the 18th century, yeast had fallen into disuse as a raising agent for cakes in favor of beaten eggs. Once as much air as possible had been beaten in, the mixture would be poured into molds, often very elaborate creations, but sometimes as simple as two tin hoops, set on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
These cakes are common in Europe, especially in Italian patisseries. The cake was first invented by the Italian pastry chef Giovan Battista Cabona (called Giobatta), at the court of Spain with his lord, the Genoese marquis Domenico Pallavicini, around the middle of the 16th century.