Recipe: Gingerbread Sponge with Cream Cheese Frosting and Pomegranate Seeds

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I first made this cake for a book club meet-up and it went down so well I made it one December weekend as well. And that’s also when I tweaked the recipe to what it is below. The original recipe called for lingonberry jam which I omitted even the first time, but I thought the spices could come through a bit more as well and after my tweaks I’m very happy with it!

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So next time you want a festive cake, try this! I promise it’s a welcome change from mince pies and other cakes heavy on dried fruit. This is still a spiced cake but much lighter and, dare I say – fresher – with its cream cheese frosting and juice bursting pomegranate seeds!

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Gingerbread sponge with cream cheese frosting and pomegranate seeds, serves 8

Adapted from Brinken Bakars recipe.

75 g butter

1 1/2 eggs

135 g caster sugar

125 g plain flour

3 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tsp ground ginger 

1 tsp ground cloves 

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

150 g buttermilk 

Pre-heat the oven to 175C. Butter a baking tin. Melt the butter and put aside. Mix flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and bicarb in a bowl. In another bowl whisk eggs and sugar pale and fluffy with an electric whisk. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix well. Add the buttermilk and lastly the melted butter and mix well. Pour the batter into the baking tin and place in the middle of the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes. 

Cream cheesefrosting

75 g softened salted butter

80 g icing sugar 

1 tsp vanilla

150 g cold cream cheese (preferably full fat Philadelphia) 

110 g pomegranate seeds

Cream the butter for approx 5 minutes using an electric whisk. Add icing sugar and vanilla and beat for another few minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until well incorporated. 

Let the cake cool and put it on a cake plate. Spread the frosting on top and decorate with pomegranate seeds. 

 

 

Sponge with elderflower liqueur, ice cream, whipped cream and blueberries

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This is more of an assembly job than actual cooking, but a really nice simple dessert to pull out when you crave something sweet after dinner or throwing a last minute dinner party. Make a sponge at the weekend, cut into slices and freeze and you can make this any time with just a few minutes notice.

Sponge with elderflower liqueur, ice cream, whipped cream and blueberries, served 3

3 slices sponge cake

3 tbsp St Germain elderflower liqueur 

3 scoops vanilla ice cream

3 spoonfuls lightly whipped cream

150 g fresh blueberries

Place the sponge slices in bowls. Pour the liqueur over the cake. Top with ice cream, whipped cream and blueberries. 

Sponge cake with vanilla filling

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In Sweden a sponge is as common as here in the UK, even though we normally make them without butter which gives you an airier lighter cake.

This cake is just like that, a simple airy sponge but with a very simple filling adding both moisture and lots of flavour. It is incredibly simple to make, and yet wonderful to eat.

I got the recipe from my mother, and although I remembered it was very good I was surprised how good it actually is! And needless to say it went down a treat in the office as well…

Sponge cake with vanilla filling, serves 8

Cake:

3 eggs

300 ml  (240 g) caster sugar

300 ml (180 g) plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

100 ml lukewarm water

Filling:

125 g butter (I used salted)

100 ml milk

3 tbsp icing sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla 

Beat eggs and sugar until pale and pluffy. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir it in. Add the water and incorporate well. Pour the batter into a buttered springform tin, lined with parchment paper in the bottom. Bake in 200C (180C fan) for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin while preparing the filling. 

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the milk and let it simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and add the icing sugar and vanilla. Leave to cool slightly.

Loosen the cake from the tin and cut in half. Place the bottom piece on a serving plate and pour over the filling. Place the other sponge on top while still warm. Decorate with icing sugar and serve. 

A Swedish sponge cake

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Today on my Swedish blog, I share an adapted version of Delia’s recipe for a sponge cake with passionfruit filling which feels like old news, yet I know it will be appreciated by my Swedish followers.

A sponge cake is as common in Sweden as here in Britain, but they do differ a bit. The sponge cake recipe I grew up with is such an old recipe we measure it in cups. Not imperial cups, but a specific coffee cup we use for baking.

You start by beating eggs and sugar pale and fluffy and without butter the batter is light and runny which in the oven transforms into an airy moist sponge covered in breadcrumbs.

That cake was probably the first recipe I mastered on my own, and as it also was the way to my daddy’s heart I have made it many many times.

When arriving in the UK a few years ago now, I realised a sponge here was something different. A buttery, sturdier version of what I knew. Of course we have buttery sponges in Sweden too, but in my family they’re not that common, and we don’t really do the sandwich thing either.

The English varieties I am sure you know, but below is that old family recipe of a very simple sponge.

My family sponge, serves 8

3 eggs

150 g caster sugar

1 tbsp water

120 g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

melted butter for coating tin

breadcrumbs for coating tin

Brush a little melted butter in a cake tin, prefferably of the bundt variety. Coat with breadcrumbs. Beat eggs and sugar pale and fluffy with an electric whisk. Add the water. Mix flour and baking powder and incorporate into the batter. Pour into the tin and bake in 175C for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick/skewer comes out dry. 

Spongecake with meringue, dulche de leche and honey comb

I’ve had the fridge full with egg whites, as I mentioned before, and I wanted to use them up rather than throwing them away and decided to bake a cake for work. This would be a bit much for Christopher and myself to share…

The cake starts with a regular sponge as the base, which is covered with meringue, then a layer of dulche de leche, a layer of lightly whipped cream and honeycomb, and then the same again

Dulche de leche is easy to make, all you need is a can of condensed milk. Put it in a pan and cover it with boiling water, let it boil on medium heat for 2 hours. Top up with boiling water as the water disappears. Leave to cool, open the can and inside you have the loveliest toffee. If you cook the can for less time it will be paler and more runny, if you cook it for more than 2 hours it will be darker and thicker. I think the 2 hours one is perfect, but it is quite thick, so slightly runnier would make it easier to assemble the cake but it would taste less toffeey.

The cake was gorgeous (if I may say so myself) and the colleagues described it as decadent. It is definitely a cake I will make many times over.

Spongecake with meringue, dulche de leche and honey comb, 10 pieces

Sponge:

175 g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 eggs

175 g caster sugar

175 g very soft butter

1 tsk vanilla

Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the other ingredients and beat it all together with an electric whisk. Divide between two rounf springforms covered in baking parchment.

Meringue:

5 egg whites

250 ml caster sugar

400 ml rice krispies

Beat the egg whites foamy. Add half the sugar and beat until stiff peaks. Add the rest of the sugar and continue beating until you can turn the bowl upside down without anything falling out. Fold the rice krispies into the meringue. Divide between the two springforms and spread it out onto the unbaked sponge. Bake in 150C for 35-40 mins. Leave to cool completely.

Filling:

1 can (397 g) dulche de leche

300 ml lightly whipped cream

honeycomb

Place one cake on a plate. Spread/place dollops of the dulche de leche on top. Spread half the cream on top. Sprinkle with honeycomb. Place the other cake on top and repeat the procedure. Serve straight away.