I think celebrations was the theme for Thane Princes cookbook club, the inspirational meeting for talking cook books and eating held every month at The Drapers Arms. The thought of family celebrations started a nostalgic longing for my mother, Judy’s hot milk sponge. This was the failsafe cake of childhood, always there for high days and holidays, sandwiched with fresh fruit and cream, just as often jam or lemon curd, always decorated with fresh flowers and leaves.
By the time I was twelve I despised it for its delicious foolproof qualities. I wanted to explore the wide world of cake opportunities. Now years later the wheel has come full circle, I want recipes that deliver unfailingly, I love this recipe for its impressive easiness.
Unconfident about the size of my cake tins, no time for the usual recipe rehearsal, I was up against it. I cracked on, with horror I watched through the glass window of the oven door as the mix fizzed up, swelling over the top of the cake tin. I nibbled at the inelegant muffin top, delicious, so with reckless bravery I decided on flavor alone it could come along with me to the august group.
A cake moist, soft, with the slight bounce of a marshmallow, the group liked it and thought it might be a chiffon cake, such a fancy name, yet so easy. Judy says the recipe is American, possibly from an early edition of the Joy of Cooking, hence the cup measurements. Excuse the unconventional way it’s written, this is how she dictated it to me.
Judys Hot Milk Sponge Cake
- 1.5c caster sugar
- 3 eggs
Beat eggs ‘til very light
Add sugar very slowly, beating constantly
Beat 5 mins by hand or 2.5 with mixer
- 1.5c plain flour
- 1.5tsp baking powder
- 0.5 tsp salt
Sift together then fold into egg mixture
Combine and heat but do not boil
- 0.75c milk
- 2tbsp butter
Add all at one time to eggs and flour
Fold in quickly and briefly
- 1tsp vanilla
- 0.5tsp lemon zest
Bake in an 8’ x 8’ greased cake tin
2 x 8’ layer pans
Oven 350F-375F hotter for smaller cakes
35mins for layer cake