I use the Delia all-in-one method for sponge cakes plus a tablespoon of hot water (a tip given to me by a cake maker), spoon the mixture in to two 8 inch sponge tins.
I then place a tin on the lower rack of my JML HO and use the upper rack covered in foil to stop the cake from burning.
Time it for 30 to 35 minutes at 170 degrees (175 to finish it off if the its not fully cooked inside).
I find the results to be a golden sponge cake, light and fluffy.
My only gripe is that I can’t bake two at a time. So far I’ve cooked 3 sponge cakes using this method and they all are perfect.
1. For beginners, making cakes can seem a bit of a daunting prospect but, as with all cooking skills, once you’ve been taught the correct way, you can proceed without fear and have success every time. Using the wrong tins is probably the cause of 90 per cent of failures – for this quantity you will need two 8 inch (20 cm) diameter sponge tins, 1½ inches (4 cm) deep. Lightly grease them and line each one with a circle of silicone paper (baking parchment), also lightly greased.
2. For an 8 inch (20 cm) sandwich cake, start off by sifting 6 oz (175 g) of self-raising flour and a rounded teaspoon of baking powder into a very large mixing bowl, holding the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down.
3. Next, break 3 large eggs into the flour and add 6 oz (175 g) of caster sugar and 6 oz (175 g) of butter – the butter has to be at room temperature, so soft that the blade of a knife will make a deep impression straight away. Finally, add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
4. Now you just go in with an electric hand whisk and whisk everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined mixture. This will take about one minute – if you don’t have an electric whisk, you can use a wooden spoon with a little more effort.
5. What you now end up with is a mixture that drops easily off the spoon when you give it a tap on the edge of the bowl. If it does seem a little too stiff, add 1-2 teaspoons of tap water and mix again.
6. Divide the sponge mixture equally between the prepared tins and level out the surface with a palette knife.
7. Place them on the centre shelf of a pre-heated oven – gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C) and bake for 30-35 minutes. Don’t open the oven door until 30 minutes have elapsed. To test if they are cooked or not, touch the centre lightly with your little finger. If it leaves no impression and springs back, the sponge is cooked.
8. Remove them from the oven then wait for about 5 minutes before turning them out on to a cooling rack and carefully peeling off the base paper.
9. Leave the sponge to get completely cold before you add your filling and topping.
Copyright to this recipe belongs to Delia Smith