Tag Archives: sponge

Chocolate Orange Raisin Bread-A Favorite Homemade Bread

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Homemade Bread, Chocolate Orange Raisin Bread

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Orange Raisin Bread – A Favorite Homemade Bread

Perfecting this Chocolate Orange Raisin Bread was exhilarating for me. I have been fascinated with chocolate bread for more years than I care to remember.  Almost every recipe I read mentioned the denseness of the bread. Every chocolate bread I made was dense. In fact, I have a Chocolate Cherry Bread on my blog that is also dense.  Good, but dense. There had to be a way to lighten up the dough and make a moist, light and flavorful loaf.

I was reminded of this quest when I saw a Chocolate Bread recipe by David Lebovitz.  Again, he mentioned the dense word.  After giving the problem some thought I came up with the answer – and it was right in front of me all the time – a sponge. Continue reading

Lemon Butter Sponge Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished photo of 3 layersBy definition, a sponge cake is a light. airy tender cake of the foam variety meaning the egg whites are beaten separately and the egg yolk base is folded into the whites along with flour.  It can be varied easily and is used as a base for many fillings.  The name comes from its open structure which resembles a sponge.  The plain sponge cake on its own is rather neutral and doesn’t have a lot of flavor which is why recipes often brush the sponge cake layers with liqueur based washes..  However, by enhancing it with lemon zest and adding a little butter it becomes a more flavorful vehicle for fillings.  By omitting the zest,  you have a basic Butter Sponge Cake.  By omitting the butter, you have a basic Sponge Cake.

Another characteristic of the sponge is that it doesn’t contain shortening except in the Butter Sponge Cakes.  Sponge cakes can be dry if the egg whites are over beaten.  It is better to under beat them than get them too stiff.  When the whites are too stiff, it is difficult to fold the flour in without deflating the whites. Continue reading