How to stuff the sponge cake
Pan di Spagna, or Sponge cake in English, first made by the Genoese Giobatta Carbona in the mid-18th century, is one of the world’s best-known and most widely used basic recipes in pastry making. It is a soft, fluffy preparation that, after appropriate wetting, lends itself to being filled according to personal taste. The possible fillings for the sponge cake are really countless, and the choice of these must be made taking into consideration both the syrup used and the sponge cake itself ( whether it is plain, cocoa, or flavored with flours such as almond flour).
The following are the most commonly used sponge cake fillings plus a few new ideas.
The most classic filling for pds is custard, which is prepared by boiling the milk with a vanilla stick, meanwhile with the ‘help of a whisk whisk the egg yolks with sugar, then incorporate the sifted flour. Remove the vanilla pod from the hot milk and pour it into the bowl with the eggs, stirring vigorously. Then transfer the mixture to the heat and let it simmer, stirring continuously, until the cream thickens completely. If you want a lighter and fluffier cream, you can prepare chantilly cream or a diplomatic cream, which is prepared by simply adding to the cold custard an amount varying from 30 percent to 70 percent depending on personal taste and the recipe of whipped pastry cream, stirring. In the same way you can also prepare a delicious chocolate custard by adding chopped dark chocolate to the hot, freshly thickened custard and mixing vigorously.
Another type of custard that you could use for your fillings is coffee custard, which is prepared by simmering milk on the stove with a vanilla pod, meanwhile whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl, then add the starch and stir. Transfer this mixture to the saucepan with the milk, after removing the vanilla pod, and add the ristretto coffee as well. Stir vigorously until the cream is completely thickened. Vanilla cream is an ‘excellent alternative, it is prepared by letting the liquid cream simmer in a saucepan with a vanilla pod, then remove the pod and let it cool. Meanwhile, process the egg yolks with the sugar and add the sifted starch , then continue to process it by adding the cream at a trickle, then transfer everything to the heat until it thickens.
When the cream has cooled add the mascarpone and mix well. Lemon cream, widely used in pastry making, is prepared by whipping the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl, then add the sifted starch and continue working with the whips, then transfer the mixture to the stove and let it cook, adding the zest of a lemon, until completely thickened. Then let it cool and add the juice of one filtered lemon and blend it into the mixture. If you like the intense flavor of lemon then you could make lemon curd by grating the zest from untreated lemons and keeping it aside along with their filtered juice. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter in a bain-marie , then whisk the eggs with the sugar and add them to the saucepan, then also add the lemon juice and zest and mix properly. Continue cooking for 10 minutes and if you prefer it thicker add a tablespoon of starch and stir.
In the same way you can also prepare orange curd, clearly using oranges instead of lemons. The mascarpone cream is prepared by whipping the very fresh egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl, then incorporate the mascarpone. Separately, whip the pastry cream and incorporate it into the mixture. An extremely mouth-watering filling is creme rocher, which you can prepare by lightly whipping fresh cream, to which you will add Nutella and mix. Then add the crumbled hazelnut wafers, chopped hazelnuts and some maraschino liqueur and mix well, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until you use it. A ‘very quick alternative for filling the sponge cake is offered by mousses, for example nutella mousse, which is prepared by whipping fresh cream with powdered sugar with an electric whisk. Then you will need to add nutella softened in a bain-marie to the mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon. The coffee mousse, on the other hand, is prepared by whipping cold refrigerated pastry cream, in the meantime, mix condensed milk with the ristretto coffee and add the attenuto mixture to the cream.
If you prefer a fruit filling instead, you might opt for lemon mousse, which is made by soaking isinglass sheets in ‘water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, take the eggs and separate the yolks from the egg whites. The yolks should be whipped with the sugar and you add the lemon juice the grated peel, mix and transfer to a saucepan to put on the stove. As soon as it begins to thicken add the squeezed isinglass sheets, which should dissolve completely, then turn off the flame and let cool. Meanwhile you will prepare the meringue by boiling the ‘water with the sugar, for about 8 minutes. In the meantime, whip the egg whites until stiff and then flush with the boiling syrup, continuing to whisk. Incorporate the resulting meringue into the mixture with the yolks and also add the sweetened whipped cream and let cool in the refrigerator.