Get Started Baking Sponge Cakes | Amy Kimmel | Skillshare

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Get Started Baking Sponge Cakes

teacher avatar Amy Kimmel, Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is Sponge Cake


    • 3.

      Sponge Cake Mise en Place


    • 4.

      American Sponge Cake


    • 5.

      American Sponge Method


    • 6.

      European Sponge Cakes


    • 7.

      Genoise Method


    • 8.

      Thank You!


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About This Class

Level: Beginner

Prerequisites: An electric mixer, counter top or hand, will be necessary for this course.

Sponge cakes can be tricky for anyone who has never attempted them before.  Recipes don't always give all of the details or explanation necessary to first timers.  This class will give you a little background combined with two methods to help you become a sponge master! 

You will learn what classifies a cake as a sponge and the two classes of sponge cakes.  This class will teach you how to prepare ingredients and learn a proper folding technique to get the most volume in your cakes. 

There are also easy, tested recipes that you can download, included with the class:

  1. Classic American Sponge Cake
  2. Genoise Sponge

Sponge cakes are delicious on their own, soaked with simple syrup, or layered in elaborate confections.  So, let's start baking!

Want to learn more about cake baking and decorating?

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Meet Your Teacher

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Amy Kimmel

Baking and Pastry Arts Instructor


I’m Amy. I’m originally from Pennsylvania and grew up on stick-to-your-ribs desserts. Think pecan sticky buns and fresh made fruit pies…straight from my grandma’s house!

I always loved to bake and when I was 18, I started my first pastry job at a ski resort decorating cakes, baking cookies, and running registers. I spent a lot of years moving around the country and trying out different ways of following my passion. Everything from large volume pastry baking to having my own little tent at a farmer’s market in Kalispell, Montana. I loved every minute of it and collected so many amazing memories.

Fast forward 10 years and I started teaching baking online. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I spent 6 solid months lea... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello, I maybe Kimmel. In this class, I want to teach you a little bit about sponge cakes. For new bakers, these could be a little bit tricky, even for seasoned. Baker's thes can be a little bit tricky in this class will take a look at how to prepare ingredients and some things to watch out for when making the cakes. We'll talk about American style sponge cakes as well as European style sponge cakes. You'll get to go step by step through an American sponge recipe. Anna Jenn Watts Recipe. Perfect on their own or so quick, simple stirrup stack in a beautifully elaborate European style cake. There's a lot in this course, and I hope you're excited. I'll see you in the first lesson. 2. What is Sponge Cake: sponge cakes, which are also known as phone cakes, get their volume from the air beaten into the egg whites and the egg yolks or one of the other, or in combination not from chemical Levin ER, such as baking soda and baking powder. Like we've spoken about in previous lessons. They're really great for people who are kind of health conscious. They're low in fat and low in cholesterol. They typically fall into two categories. European style and American style sponge cakes. Now there are some outliers because, of course, bakers and pastry chefs have been tinkering around with recipes over the years and have started to incorporate, you know, butter and other ingredients that I didn't used to be in sponge cakes. In this section, we're going to be looking at a European style sponge origin waas on an American style sponge. They're different in that you add air in different ways, but their main structure comes from air rated eggs. Some sponge cakes, such as the American sponge or angel food cake, can be eaten all by themselves, with maybe first fruit and whipped cream, or just with a little bit of lemon zest in the batter. and they're delicious on their own. Whereas European style sponges typically need a good soak of simple syrup, we will get to look at simple syrup in this course later on. But just keep in mind that European style sponges like these young waas that will go over definitely needs some type of added moisture, which really allows to add a lot of flavors into the sponge cake itself. And the last thing about sponge cakes is that they contend to be the most complicated, which is why we're going over them at the end of this course. And it's not because that there's some magical way of making them, really. It's just about the folding and being able to look at them and know when they're ready to go into the oven. But we'll definitely get into detail with that so that you're comfortable making the sponge cakes 3. Sponge Cake Mise en Place: When you're making sponge cakes, you'll most likely come across recipes where you're going to have to separate your eggs. So for this process, you'll need two bowls, one for whites and one for yolks. And there's a couple different ways to do this by hand. So I'm gonna give you both options. Whatever you're comfortable with, try both out and see what works best for you so you can craft the eggs on the edge of one of your dishes or on your counter. I prefer just the edge of my countertops simply because it seems to splinter the egg show a lot less, and you want to try to hit it in the middle of your egg like that. So it's given me a nice, clean crack around the sides. They don't have a shattered egg strip of my thumbs in there, and I don't want to open it the whole way to where all the eggs gonna fall out, turn it upright and then pull the top shell off and you can see that some of the egg white has fallen to the bull. And that's exactly what I'm going for. And at this point, you can just move the egg back and forth and slowly work out the egg white. And once you have the egg weight off there, Yoko's into another bowl and you can get rid of your eggshells. Another way to do it cracker eg the same way. I just want to make sure that your yoke doesn't fall into your whites. You can set aside 1/2 of the egg show and use your hand to filter out that egg white, and you'll feel that go through your fingers. Check underneath. Looks good. You know, I always make sure you wash your hands really well. After handling raw eggs. You don't want to cross contaminate any other products. So once you get all your eggs separated for the recipe, then go ahead and wash your hands thoroughly. Just a couple other pointers for sponge type cakes. If you're gonna be whipping egg whites, you want to make sure that you have a grease free bowl and whip attachment. So after you're done washing these or even before you start a sponge cake, you know maybe you wash these again and towel dry them very thoroughly to make sure that there's no grease at all on the whip anywhere or in the bowl, because if you get any into your egg whites and you realize they're not whipping up, you will have to start over. Also, pay attention to the different types of sponge cakes and which type of pan and Pam preparation that they're calling for. Certain cakes, such as the American sponge that we're going to be doing don't need any preparation for a to pan. So it's just playing to pan with battery it into it. Now for the Gen. Woz, you'll have to do the butter and parchment and flower like we did for the butter cakes, so just watch out for that when reading a recipe. 4. American Sponge Cake: the first class of sponge cakes we're gonna take a look at is American style sponges, and this class includes the chiffon, angel food, daffodil feather and net sponges. Thes cakes typically don't need any syrups, fillings or frostings. I usually like them just with fresh fruit and whipped cream. Or if you add a little bit of zest to the batter, they're fine on their own. And that's because they have a higher proportion of sugar compared to other sponges, which makes them more palatable. They're typically made without fats such as butter oil, except for the chiffon cake, which we talked about earlier, and it's kind of its own unicorn. In a way, their key characteristic is their very airy structure on that comes from whipping the egg whites and the egg yolks separately to stabilize them and get the most aeration and good structure into the cake. They also need to be baked in a to pan to help support their structure, and we're reading a classic Americans bunch cake, and you'll get to see how the two pan and a rating the eggs really play their part in making it such a nice like cake thes sponge cakes have a moderate shelf life. They're stored well at room temperature for two days in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly for five days or even in the freezer for up to two months. I find that their best served at room temperature, but because they don't have any fats in them, they come to room temperature very quickly. 5. American Sponge Method: Once you have your ingredients ready to go for the American sponge cake, the first thing you want to dio with your sugar is take a tablespoon of sugar, level it off, and you want to put that table spoon into a separate container, and we're going to save that for later. Then you want to take three tablespoons of the sugar and add that to your cake flour and sift those together. And you can just set the whisk aside because we're done with that. Once you have your sugar separated out, you want to take the remaining sugar and put that into your large mixing bowl. And it's fitted with the whisk attachment. And with that, we're gonna put our separated egg yolks. Make sure you scraped the bowl after you put in your egg yolks. We want to get all of those yolks in there. Lower the mixer Lockett, and we're going to beat this on high speed for five minutes until it's at the ribbon stage . You want to whip your egg yolks and sugar mixture to the ribbon stage. The ribbon stage is a pastry chef term, which means that your yoga and sugar mixture is ready when you pick up your whip, and as the mixture falls down into the bowl, it leaves a ribbon on the top, and it usually takes it out five seconds to dissolve back in. And that is the ribbon stage. So that's what you're looking for. Once you get here, you want to turn your mixer back on too low speed and add in your water and vanilla, then turn back upto high and beat for 30 seconds. After you add the water, you'll notice that it gets a little bit thinner, but then picking up a little bit. So it's It is a center, really thinner ribbon stage now. So this point you want Teoh, take this, make sure, and we're gonna transfer it to another large mixing ball. What do you do that you'll take your flour sugar mixture and just Sprinkle it over the top of the egg yolks? Set that aside. At this point, you will want Teoh Wash this full and the whip attachment. Drive them really, really well. And then we're going to whip up the egg whites now that my bowl and with detachment are clean and really, really dry towel dried them going to whip up the egg whites so all my egg whites will go into the ball and I'm gonna turn this on. While that's going, I'm gonna measure out my cream of tartar and put that into the bowl. You want to have the cream of tartar while it's mixing so it doesn't clump up. Once you do that, you're gonna want to turn the mixer up to medium high speed and let the egg whites whipped until they're phony. My egg whites have got a nice and foamy. It's been about a minute on. This tells me that there wasn't any grease or anything in here that's gonna keep the egg whites from whipping up to a stiff peaks so these are ready to go. I'm going to turn on toe low speed rain in my tablespoon of sugar and then turn this up too high speed and let it whip until stiff peaks. It's been a couple minutes that my egg whites and sugar and cream of tartar have been whipping. You know it's the stiff peaks stage because there's gonna be a lot of resistance, and when you pull it out, nothing's moving. Nothing's drooping. It's very, very stiff, and the points on the peaks are standing straight up. So this is what we're looking for. We want a really solid structure for a nice light sponge cake so I can pull this off my mixer. We're ready to incorporate this into our egg yolk and flour. You add the egg whites in parts because it's going to help preserve most of the air that we've put into the egg whites is what makes the cake so light and spongy. So we want to try really hard not to lose all this really nice aeration. So I start with 1/3 of my egg whites, and when I'm folding, I'm coming down through the middle, cutting through, flipping over in a J motion. Spin my boat with the other hand and repeat that this is a proper folding technique. If you're just floating around the edges of the bowl, you're missing all the ingredients in the center, and it's so important to really get a nice uniform mixture here and this 1st 3rd you will lose some of the air, but you can see that this process of getting the yolks and the flower in there really knocks all of the air outs. This is why you don't want to put all of your whites in at once, so it's not fully mixed. But it's mixed enough that I can add my next third. - I can still see some streaks of egg whites, but that's OK. We're really working to preserve all the air that we put into this. My final third goes in Mrs, where you want to make sure that it is all thoroughly combined. I don't want any streaks, but if you have to be careful to mix it until just combined. - So I'm not seeing any more big pockets of egg whites in here At this point. I want to transfer my to pan. Carefully get it in there. There's no preparation on this to pan. It's just plain because you want the cake to actually stick to the pan, because that's really gonna help hold it up after you take it out of the oven and set that very fragile warm egg structure. Smooth this out a little bit. I just like to spin it here like this. Smooth it out and then take your spatula and run it through the center to knock out any air pockets that could be in there. This is ready to go into the oven at 350 degrees. Your cake is done when it is about doubled in volume, and you want to make sure that you test your sponge cake as well. I see just a few crumbs on that so it is ready to come out of the oven. Be very careful removing your sponge from the oven. When you take American style sponge cakes out of the oven, you have to flip them upside down. I have just a bottle here, and I know that the neck of this bottle is gonna fit through the center of my to pan. So bring my cake over. Make sure you're wearing oven mitts. Always be careful. Put whatever bottle you're using upside down into the pan. Move it off the counter and carefully flip over the cake. Make sure you have a firm grip on the cake itself. You don't want it to tip over and try to balance the cake, and you're going to leave the cake. Bear undisturbed too cool for at least an hour. Once the use. Bunch cake is completely cool, and it's time to remove it from the pan. You just want to take a sharp object that's going to be able to reach the whole way to the bottom. I use a paring knife. Ah, flat spatula will work just as well. You just don't want to use something that's too thick because it'll you won't get is nice of a look. Teoh the outside of your cake. So you just want to start by running around the edge, starting at the top, making sure that whatever you're using it, slap to the pan and as you come around to where you started, you slowly move your blade or spatula deeper down the side of the pan until you reached the bottom. Oh, and you want to do the same thing for the middle of your sponge, and this is what the removable bottom is for once you have it at this point, you're going to want to just hatched the bottom of your cake, so just make sure that you're keeping it flat to the bottom of the pan. That's what makes the center so nice, because it really helps you grab a hold and hang on to it. While you're doing this part, you'll know when you get to the end. Should be able, Teoh, flip it over. Set it down on whatever you're keeping it on. And I like to just brush these little bits off very gently. You don't want to take too much off, just a kind of make it look a little bit cleaner and then these are really great, adorned with some fresh flowers or fruit, or just like this. 6. European Sponge Cakes: Now we'll take a look at European style sponge cakes, and this class of sponge includes the Gen Waas, the French biscuit and Lady fingers. These are a little bit on the dryer side, so they definitely need simple syrup, which will go over in the next section. There are also more versatile and that they could be spread out thinly and use for jelly rolls or realize they could be used in beautiful Charlotte's and even sliced and put in multilayered, elaborate desserts. They also have a mild flavour, so they pair really well with rich filling, such as ganache, Kurds or moose with the American style sponge cake. We saw that the egg whites and the egg yolks are whipped separately and then combined by folding, whereas European style sponges take the whole egg and whip it with the sugar to gain the volume. They also commonly don't have any fats except for the General Ross, which will be going over in the next lesson. Their storage and shelf life is very similar to the American style sponge cakes. Without simple syrup, they keep for two days at room temperature, five days in the refrigerator or up to two months in the freezer wrapped really well. If you're going to soak them with simple syrup, which I definitely recommend, they'll keep for upto one month in the refrigerator, and I recommend that you don't soak them with simple shirt before you freeze them. You'll want to do that step after you take them out and saw them. 7. Genoise Method: e. I've already preheated my oven to 350 degrees and prepared my pan. I'm only going to need one for this recipe. This is an Aidan prepared with butter, flour and parchment paper, so I can just set that off to the side. You want to fit your mixer with the whisk attachment, and to that we're going to put in our whole eggs and all of the sugar. Lock that in place in. Turn this mixture onto medium high and whip the whole eggs and sugar until it reaches the ribbon stage way . Theo. It's been about five minutes, and my egg and sugar mixture is fully a rated at the ribbon's stage. This point you wanna work fairly quickly so that you don't lose all of that air. Do you want to sit your cake? Farmer kick fire is little bit finer, tends to clump easier, so I like to sift it right before adding, and rather than sifting it in the beginning, just going Teoh rain this down over and in the J emotion, fold our flower into our A rated ache and sugar mixture. Okay? No, Once that's incorporated. Gonna take a little bit of this and add it to our butter. You want to make sure your butter is not hot and that you definitely gave it time to cool down. It's best if you melt it before you start prepping anything else, and then that way it'll have adequate time to cool down. To be added. You want to add it in this way, because if you just add it directly to the egg and sugar mixture in the mixer, it'll completely deflate the eggs. So you definitely want toe. Work the butter in this way, and it has some flour in there for structure. So, yeah, it won't deflate all of your batter, and that goes back into our full to be forward in, pour it into the pan. It'll find itself Alan top and, as with sponge cakes directly into the oven, don't hesitate. After about 25 minutes, yours and laws spun should be done, and you tested the same way. You test all your other case with a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center, and this is coming out clean, so I know that my sponges done. I'm gonna let it cool in the pan for about five minutes, and then I'm going to remove it from the pan to finish cooling. It's been about five minutes, so I'm ready to take my gin woz out of its pan. Just going to run a spatula around the edges to loose mint. Don't forget your oven mitts. I do not want you to burn yourself. Okay. 123 Beautiful. You can just smell freshly baked. General, A sponge smells amazing. Here we go. Let that cool room temperature before using it or wrapping it up tightly to store it. 8. Thank You!: Are you ready to start making sponge cakes at home? I hope so. If you have any questions about anything we went over or you start to make the cakes and they're just not turning out how you would hope. Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions. I'm happy to help. I'm always teaching classes on cake, baking and cake decorating, So go ahead and check out my other classes on skill share. If you want to follow me on social media and stay up to date on what I'm working on, you can find me on Facebook, instagram or Twitter. And as always as you're working on your projects, please post them to the platform or social media. And be sure to tag me that way. Waken share with other students and other followers and cheer each other on thanks so much for taking this class