Pan di Spagna is an Italian sponge cake. This sponge serves as base for many sumptuous desserts. You could create your own dessert with any flavoured filling and frosting. This sponge is so light and airy and it drenches so well with any syrup. I began to make Pan di Spagna to make a luxurious Tiramisu. You could also serve this sponge cake plain with a hot cup of coffee/tea. The best thing I liked about this recipe is that, there is no butter or any leavening agent. The foaming up of whites is the key to the sponge. If you ever made this recipe, this would be your forever sponge cake recipe. Enjoy!!
- 2/3 cup loosely packed all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup lopsely packed corn flour
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C (350 degree F). Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a 9 inch round cake pan, butter and dust with flour.
2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together all-purpose flour and corn flour. Sift and keep aside.
3. In the bowl of your electric beater, place the egg yolks, half of sugar and vanilla extract.
4. Beat well on medium high speed for about 3 to 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
5. In another bowl of your electric mixer (or you could transfer the beaten yolks to another bowl and use the same one), add the egg whites.
6. Add a pinch of salt and beat on medium high speed until frothy.
7. Add the remaining half cup sugar into the frothy whites, one tablespoon at a time and beat well on high speed until beater marks are seen clearly and stiff peaks are formed when the beater blade is raised.
8. Remove the bowl from the beater and add the beaten up yolks mixture into the whites.
9. Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon make big strokes and blend the yolks and whites without deflating.
10. Divide the flour mixture into 3 parts and add the first portion and again using big strokes, blend it into the eggs. Do not over beat, mix them slowly with a spatula or a wooden spoon.
11. Add the remaining 2 portions of flour, mixing after each addition. Make sure you do not over blend or the structure might deflate.
12. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
13. Bake in the oven for about 30 to 35 minutes until the cake is well risen, springs back when touched on top or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
14. Remove from oven and leave the cake to cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife or metal spatula around the edge of the cake and remove the cake from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack. You could serve it plain and hot, or use it as a base for any elaborate cakes. You could wrap it using a plastic wrap and freeze it for about month. Stays good for 2 days at room temperature and 1 week refrigerated.