Sponge cake: the recipe

I have been hesitating if posting this recipe now. My perplexity was due to the fact that I didn’t provide you jet with all the elements to master a sponge cake and understand which factors might affect the outcome. It is like attempting to solve a math’s exercise without knowing the theory ;) But, eventually, I didn’t resist trying this recipe I had in mind for such a long time :)

The recipe come from Di Carlo’s book, but...there’s a but...I modified the original recipe so deeply that I should rather speak of a “rearrangement” :P

More precisely:

I cut the dose in half

I replaced potato starch with corn starch

I have increased the amount of corn starch to weaken the flour

Finally, I prepared a limoncello syrup and a white chocolate ganache to make a:


Limoncello and white chocolate cake

For the sponge cake (rearrangement of Di Carlo’s recipe)

500 g of whole eggs (10 in my case)

215 g of sugar

2 g of salt

1 lemon’s grated zest

250 g of weak flour (mine wasn’t so weak...the protein content was about 11.5%, better one with 10%)

60 g of corn starch

For the limoncello syrup

60 g of lemon juice

140 g of water

120 g of sugar

A shot glass of limoncello

For the white chocolate ganache

150 g of white chocolate

150 g of fresh cream

1 table spoon of corn starch

Prepare the sponge cake. Place the eggs, the sugar, the salt and the lemon zest in a food processor equipped with a whisker. Beat the batter until you get a stable foam (the batter should “write”, that means that you should be able to take a little of it and draw curls on the mass). Di Carlo suggests to warm up the eggs along with the other ingredients up to 45-50 ˚C, before beating them. This step help with the whipping. If, like me, you decide to use cold ingredients, be aware it will take longer to get a stable foam. Now, add the flour and the starch. Incorporate them very gently with the aid of a spatula. To avoid the formation of lumps, I recommend to sieve the flours and add them to the batter in small amounts. Pour the batter in a backing pan covered with parchment paper (mine was 22 cm of diameter, I recommend a bigger one of the cake will turn too tall) and bake it at 170 ˚C in convect mode for the first 30 min. Then set the oven 150 ˚C and keep baking for other 30 min. Baking time might vary with the type of pan and oven you use. Check with a cake tester if the sponge cake is ready. Once baking is completed, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool down covered with a humid cloth. I tempi di cottura possono variare molto a seconda della grandezza dello stampo e del forno.

Prepare the limoncello syrup. Mix all the ingredients in a pot. Warm them up under a low flame to dissolve all the sugar. Set aside to cool down.

Prepare the ganache. Chop the chocolate and place it in a bowl. Bring the cream to boil and pour it on the chocolate. Stir until you get a homogeneous cream. Let it cool down. Place the starch in a separate bowl and incorporate the ganache onto it little by little. Place the ganache in the fridge to let it thicken.

Assembling. Cut the sponge cake in half horizontally. Wet the inner part of each disk with the syrup, garnish with the ganache and close the two parts together. Place the cake in the fridge for at least one hour before serving. Sprinkle the cake with icing sugar before serving it.


Leonardo di Carlo, Tradizione in Evoluzione, 110, Chiriotti Editori