10 July 2013

Nigella Challenge: Sponge Drops

A sponge cake-come-pikelet-come-whoopie pie, these little treats are everything. They can be elegant and special if needed, or you can slap them together quickly for a last-minute morning or afternoon tea. They'd even be good for night-time situations involving larger numbers of people and minimal seating (think BBQ). Everyone will be impressed, and there is even room for experimenting and making do with what you have. Kids could make these unattended, they're that simple!

These lasted 5 minutes before being devoured; I barely had time to photograph them!

[sponge]
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 50g (1/3 cup) self-raising flour
  • 25g (1 heaped tbsp) cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
[filling]
  • 150ml thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks (add a little icing sugar to give them some firmness if you aren't serving straight away)
  • jam (use whatever - go crazy! Though blackberry or raspberry is good if you're stuck for ideas)
  • a punnet of berries (this is optional, and just use whatever is in season/matches your jam)
Preheat to 200C. Line 2 large baking sheets/trays with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer (hand-held or stand), lightly whisk the eggs. Add the sugar and whisk until it is pale and creamy. 

Sift the flour and baking powder in, and then fold gently to combine. Do make sure you  sift here. I'm not normally one for sifting (who can be bothered?), but trust me that it is necessary here. The mixture should resemble a thick, but still liquid, pancake batter.

Spoon dessert-spoonful sized amounts onto your trays. Leave plenty of room, as they grow quite a bit. And make sure you have an even number, or you'll be left with an odd side when it comes to sandwiching. Cook for 5 minutes (see what I mean about speedy!). Once they're golden all over, pull them out of the oven and lift off with an egg flip or spatula to cool on a wire rack. 

Once cool (shouldn't take too long), sandwich them together with the cream, jam and berries (which you're lightly crushed or chopped up finely).

Just a note, this doesn't make very many (about 8-10 sandwiches) but it is relatively easy to bulk up. I would just make repetitive batches though instead of making one huge batch.