Pan di Spagna (Sponge cake)

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Pan di Spagna (Sponge cake)

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
6 Egg
6 yablespoons Water Boiling water
250 g Sugar
300 g Flour '00' type
Lemon peel
1 sachet Baking powder

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Ingredients

Directions

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Pan di Spagna (Sponge cake) is part of the classic recipes of Italian cuisine: it is the most widely used base in pastry making and, thanks to its texture, soft and light, it is particularly useful as a base for filled cakes, but it can also be exploited in other more complex preparations, such as elaborate birthday cakes, special cakes and so on.

Over the years, I have tried various recipes for making Pan di Spagna: some recommend using starch, others suggest a variant without yeast or with eggs beaten in a bain-marie, others dwell on the differences between a static or ventilated oven for the final result, or push for the use of a planetary mixer rather than a food processor… In any case, I must confess that grandmother’s and mother’s recipe I do not change it for any other, because for me it is the top and represents the traditional Pan di Spagna. Besides, the results I get when I prepare it are always comforting, because the cake becomes really tall, soft and delicious!

Before discovering ingredients and doses to prepare a homemade sponge cake quickly and easily, I open a parenthesis: have you ever wondered why it is called that? Well, according to studies it is said that the recipe for Pan di Spagna originated from a Genoese cook, a certain Giobatta Carbona, who in the mid-18th century, being in Spain with Marquis Domenico Pallavicini, invented this very soft and extremely sweet dough. This preparation was given the name Pâte Génoise, in honor of the inventor’s Ligurian roots, and to this day this recipe is still well established in the field of pastry making. However, given its complexity, it became necessary to create an even simpler dough that was christened Pan di Spagna, to honor the Spanish court that had so highly praised it.

The ingredients and doses of the original recipe for the sponge cake make it possible to create a base with a diameter of 24 centimeters, resulting in a dough tall enough to make three layers to be filled as desired, or a 26-cm one if we prefer a two-layer cake. A word of advice: for me, it is better to prepare the base the day before, because this simple expedient will make it easier to cut. Then it will be enough to proceed with the preparation filling, using a simple custard or some more elaborate mixture, to give more flavor to the cake.

In addition to the recipe, I leave some useful guides in the links below:
How to cut sponge cake
How to prepare the syrup for the sponge cake
How to stuff the sponge cake

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Steps

1
Done

Separate the yolks from the egg whites and beat the latter until stiff.

2
Done

Separately, whisk the egg yolks with 6 tablespoons of boiling water.

Add the sugar and finely grated lemon peel, continuing to whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy.

3
Done

Add the sprinkled flour and baking powder, continuing to whisk.

Finally, add the beaten egg whites and incorporate them into the mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon and making a bottom-up motion.

4
Done

Grease and flour a mold, then pour the mixture into it.

To bake: in a static oven preheated to 180°C (356°F) for 40 minutes. If you use a ventilated oven, the temperature should be lower, 170°C (338°F) and about 30 minutes is enough.

5
Done

Remove the Pan di Spagna - Sponge cake from the mold and let it cool on a wire rack before using it as per your preferred recipe.

Eatsitaly

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