I started my cake decorating class recently and this is my first piece of "homework". The first lesson requires us to bake a basic sponge cake at home and bring the cake to class for creaming and decoration. In the class, we need to slice our sponge cake into two or three layers and fill the layers with whipped cream. We also learnt how to crumb coat the cake and thereafter apply cream on cake and smooth the surface.
I consider myself a beginner to cake decoration, as I have not attended any other cake decorating classes before, other than the 2-tier fondant cake workshop early this year. In any case, the skills and technique required for fondant cake is rather different from cake creaming. For instance, when we apply cream on the cake, the way we hold the spatula, the angle and our movement will affect how the cream is applied on the cake. I used to spend an hour just to smooth out the cream... but to find that the more my spatula touches the cake and cream, the messier and uglier my cake has become. In fact, trying to slice the whole cake into three equal slices is not an easy task to begin with!
After my successful attempt with the Green Tea Strawberry Swiss Roll, I decided to use this green tea + strawberry combi for my first lesson. I love the colour contrast of the green-layered sponge against the bright red strawberries. For the sponge, I used this wonderful and easy to remember "4-1-1-1" formula, plus 5g of baking green tea powder, added to the sifted flour:
Basic sponge cake:
(makes one 8" round cake or two 6" round cakes)
100g fine or caster sugar
100g plain flour or top flour, sifted
100g melted butter or corn oil*
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (or other flavor) - optional
* I used a combination of 50ml melted butter with 25ml corn oil and 25ml milk.
1) Whisk eggs, sugar and a pinch of salt at maximum speed till stiff (mixture does not drop easily when mixer is held up).
2) Fold in sifted flour and melted butter/oil till batter is shiny.
3) Pour batter into greased and lined baking pan.
4) Bake in preheated oven at 160C for about 45 minutes (test with a skewer).
5) Remove cake from baking pan, peel off baking paper and leave the cake to cool completely.
[Recipe: Richard Goh's baking classes]