Perfectly imperfect custard sponge

Sometimes the best things come from our mistakes. This custard sponge cake is one of my favourite culinary mistakes ever made. Ironically, I find it hard to follow a recipe and years ago found myself in the midst of a recipe fail. I was attempting to make an impossible pie, however skipped ahead while reading and forgot a crucial step. Instead, with a few tweaks here and there over the years, I came up
with this delicious sponge like cake. With an ever so fluffy texture and utterly delicious custard flavour my perfectly imperfect custard sponge was born.

100g unsalted butter, chopped
2 cups (500ml) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated
¾ cup (165g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 cup (150g) plain flour, sifted
icing sugar, to dust
ground cinnamon, to dust

Preheat oven to 160C (fan forced). Place the butter, milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring or until the butter has melted. Set aside. Place the egg yolks and half the sugar in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Add the milk mixture and flour to the egg yolk mixture and fold until just combined.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add the remaining sugar and vinegar and whisk for until stiff and glossy. Working in batches fold the egg white into the egg yolk mixture until just combined. Pour into a 26cm x 12cm lined loaf tin* (or 2 20 x 10cm) and cook for 45 minutes, or until risen, cracked on the top and with a slight wobble. Set aside for 10 minutes, before refrigerating until cold. To serve, dust with sugar and cinnamon.

Serves 8-10.

*This cake will puff and rise to the very top of the loaf tin so make sure you line the baking paper to the top. It will sink when it cools.


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