Eggless Vanilla Sponge Cake

2017-02-23-11-55-08

For someone who bakes for a hobby like me, each bake is still a learning lesson. Every attempt at the regular sponge cake is a separate experience to the previous. Why? If you typed in “basic sponge cake” on google (a very good friend of mine ^.^), you will see lots, I mean lots of recipes bounced back. It goes from the light, fluffy to firmer textures, separating to non-separating the yolks from the whites, adding flour before to after the egg whites, not to mention the ratio of liquid to dry ingredients…. etc…. It will take a whole dedicated article to goes into depth of sponge. Just when I thought I’ve got a decent take on the sponge and how to work with my eggs and flour to achieve a good taste and texture for it, I’ve got a request for the eggless sponge. Yes, Eggless would be a challenge since I am far from being a vegetarian and totally foreign to the usual substitutions in a vegetarian/vegan pantry.

So, I turned to my good friend and looked up recipes after recipes for eggless sponge cake. I extracted a couple of conclusions from my “study”: egg can usually be replaced by either condensed milk or plain yogurt in making sponge cake, and the aeration provided by whipped egg whites can be substituted by the use of baking powder/baking soda. This is what I gathered, so any experts out there seeing error in my thinking/translation, please correct me 🙂 Oh, and of course, there is egg replacer powder, obviously used to replace the eggs. Since I don’t know much about it, and don’t know where to buy it, I settled on trying the above methods first.

I decided to use the first method as I had condensed milk handy at home. I came across a recipe from http://bhavnaskitchen.com. Coincidentally, I later found a very similar recipe from the book “80 Cakes Around The World” by Claire Clark with very similar ratios. This really boosted my confidence in this recipe.

Recipe adapted from the above 2 sources.

Dry Ingredients/Nguyên liệu khô

For two 20cm cakes/Cho 2 ổ bánh 20cm

  • 280g plain flour (I used 200g all purpose + 80g corn flour)/bột mì (mình xài 2300g bột mì và 80g bột bắp)
  • 2 tsp baking powder/2 mcf bột nở
  • 1 tsp baking soda (soda bi-carb)/1 mcf muối nở
  • 1/4 tsp salt/ mcf muối

Wet ingredients/Nguyên liệu ướt:

  • 400g Nestle condensed milk/sữa đặc
  • 1/2 cup softened butter (I used 60g vegetable oil)/ 60g dầu ăn hoặc bơ (dầu ăn bánh mềm hơn, bơ thì thơm hơn)
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (this supposed to aerate the cake batter owning to a chemical reaction with baking soda)/1 muỗng canh dấm(sẽ gây phản ứng hóa học với muối nở và giúp tạo bọt khí cho bột bánh)
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence/2 mcf chiết xuất vani
  • 1 cup milk or water or orange juice/sữa tươi hoặc nước hoặc nước cam
Method
    1. Preheat Oven at 350°F (about 180°C) – I baked at 170°C-180°C and did not use fan.
    2. Sift together all the dry ingredients.
    3. Use a hand whisk to whisk together condensed milk and milk/orange juice, oil and vinegar until well combined. Add vanilla essence. Again, mix everything well together.
    4. Add all sifted dry ingredients and mix gently by hand until and thick batter forms. Don’t over mix the batter, just combine until a smooth consistency is reached. It should be at “dropping” consistency, not flowing. It it is flowing, you probably have over worked the batter and it won’t rise as well.
    5. Pour batter into a lined tin, I did not grease or line the sides of the tin.
    6. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
    7. Let cool in tin for 5 minutes before inverting the cake out.

Cách làm
1. Bật nóng lò 180°C. Nướng ở nhiệt 170-180°C.
2. Ray chung các nguyên liệu khô.
3. Dùng phới tay trộn chung sữa đặc, sữa tươi/nước/nước cam, dầu ăn và dấm cho đều. Cho vani vào trộn chung.
4. Trộn tất cả nguyên liệu khô vào trong nguyên liệu ướt. Trộn đều bằng tay thì sẽ cho một hỗn hợp bột hơi đặc. Đừng trộn nhiều quá, chỉ tới khi thấy bột hòa quyện, mướt thì dừng. Để thử, xúc một ít bột lên và để cho bột rơi ngược xuống. Bột đạt sẽ rớt xuống từng mảng lớn. Nếu bột chảy thành dòng xuống thì bột đã bị trộn quá đà, sẽ nở rất kém và chai.
5. Đổ bột vào khuôn có lót đáy, không chống dính thành khuôn.
6. Nướng bánh 180°C khoảng 20 phút hay khi que xiên vào không dính ướt bột nữa là được. (Đừng cố đợi bánh nở thêm vì bánh chay độ nở sẽ giới hạn hơn các loại bông lan có trứng. Bánh vừa chín là ngon nhất, nướng lâu hơn rất dễ bị khô).
7. Để bánh nguội 5 phút rồi lấy ra khỏi khuôn.

and this is it….

Picture5

The cake rises reasonably well considering no eggs. No eggs. I can’t get over this fact … just yet.

Doesn’t look too bad, does it? 🙂 It feels soft to touch and looked moist just out the oven. I had a peak inside, it looked aerated.Picture7

This is the cut slices, ready to be sandwiched together with whipped cream.

Picture inside 1

After fiddling with whipping cream, butter, colouring, piping and decorating, this is the end product 🙂

2017-02-23-11-53-50

Since this cake is vegetarian, I want to make the decoration eggless as well. That means I could use the Amerian buttercream which is just butter and icing sugar, but I thought that would be a little sweet. The other option is just whip up thickened cream and decorate with it. One problem though, whipped cream isn’t very stable for piping flowers. So I came across an idea while browsing the internet: combine butter into the whipped cream for a sturdier buttercream with a light and refreshing taste from the cream. All the decorations on this cake were done with this new type of buttercream. The result is very, very pleasing.

Buttercream with Whipped cream/Kem bơ tươi
50g unsalted butter/bơ lạt
10-20g sugar (adjust to taste)/đường (gia giảm tùy thích)
100g thickened cream/(kem tươi)

Let the butter come to room temperature then whisk with sugar until pale and fluffy. Slowly add in the cream and whip until well combined. Once done, the end buttercream is very smooth and has a shine to it. This can be used to pipe flowers and any decorations desired. Store in fridge if not using.

Để bơ mềm đi ở nhiệt độ phòng rồi đánh bông với đường. Khi bông lên và màu đã nhạt đi thì từ từ cho kem tươi vào đánh chung cho đến khi hoàn toàn hòa quyện và kem bơ bóng mướt, mịn thì được. Kem này có thể dùng trang trí bánh, bắt hoa rất ổn, nó không mềm oặt như kem tươi không, nhưng ngược lại thì cũng không cứng cáp như kem bơ Ý hay Thụy sĩ. Nói chung thì kem bơ tươi rất phù hợp cho việc trang trí một cái bánh hoàn toàn không sử dụng trứng từ trong ra ngoài.

 

2017-02-23-11-55-42

The first time trying I used butter as the original recipes suggested. I had a fright after refrigerating the bare cake overnight, when I took it out, it hardened, not the soft cake I had just out of the oven. It probably was the butter. I also did used twice the amount from the original recipe by mistake. I coated the cake anyway and waited till next day to to a little taste test. Thankfully, it tasted good with the cream and not dry or hard as it felt as after refrigeration. Thank goodness! However, after that I substituted butter for oil and the cake  seems to be softer as opposed to oil.

2017-02-23-11-59-20

 

 

 

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