I think if someone asked my mum what was her signature dish, she would probably tell them she does not have one. But I think she does have a signature dish – it is her blow-away-sponge.
My mum used to make this cake every year for our birthdays and so it has become entrenched with fond memories. A few years ago, I returned to this recipe and now make it for birthdays and any other good reasons I can find. This is a great cake if you’re looking for absolute lightness – it really could blow away, not that it has ever happened.
3 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup corn flour
1 tsp plain flour
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the over to 180°C and line a 20cm round baking tin, preferable a spring or loose bottom tin.
Separate the egg whites, reserving the egg yolks. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, the type where you can safely tip the bowl over your head without fear of wearing them. Add the castor sugar gradually and slowly – almost 1 tablespoon each time, allowing the sugar to dissolve into egg whites. Then add each egg yolk one at a time, ensuring they are well combined before adding the next.
Sift all the flours together twice and then sift the flours for a third time over the egg mixture. Fold the flour mixture through using a metal spoon, taking care to fold and turn the bowl. Don’t over work the mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes.
Test the cake with a skewer making sure it is clean when you pull it out. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes before gently removing it. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting it in half and decorating.