In the grocery store today, I could not resist the bright red packages of strawberries, adorning the produce asile. Since we were having company over, I thought it the perfect excuse to make strawberry shortcake. I started with a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Baking Illustrated for Foolproof Sponge Cake and adapted it so that it would make 12 “mini sponge cakes”. I did this by cutting the recipe in half. Since it was my first time making this sponge cake, or any sponge cake, as a matter of fact, my biggest fear was over or underbeating the egg whites. Based on the recipe name, I felt pretty confident that I wouldn’t screw this up, and without fail, everything turned out great.
Here’s the recipe and process:
1/4 cup cake flour
1/8 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbs half & half
1 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs at room temperature
6 tbs sugar
- Lower oven rack to low-middle postion and preheat to 350° and grease a muffin pan.
- Measure out flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl and set aside
- In a small sauce pan, add milk and butter and warm until butter is melted. Add vanilla to mixture. Once butter is melted, cover and remove from heat.
- Separate the whites of 2 of the eggs into bowl of stand mixer. Set aside yokes in another small bowl. Add 1 whole large egg to 2 yokes.
- Whip egg whites until they start to foam, and begin to add 3 tablespoons of sugar. Beat until soft peaks form.
- Carefully transfer whipped eggs whites to a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- Put yokes + whole egg in stand mixer bowl and start to mix until foamy. Begin to add last 3 tablespoons of sugar to mixture. Beat until thick and light yellow in color and begins to peak.
- Add yoke mixture to egg white mixture to and sprinkle flour mixture over the top and gently fold in flour into egg mixture approximately 12 folds.
- Make a small well in one side of the batter, and carefully fold in until everything is blended and flour is completely mixed in.
- Immediately fill muffin pan 3/4 full and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown and tops spring back when pressed.
- Turn out and cool on cooling rack
I served these with a simple strawberry mixture with 1 pint strawberries hulled. reserve 1/4 of the strawberries to slice and quickly pulse remaining strawberries with 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar until a semi-smooth texture is achieved. Mix in sliced strawberries and refrigerate until ready to serve. I sliced the mini cakes in half and layered strawberry mix, topped off with fresh whipped cream.