If you’re fed up with the dull and boring cakes that you can buy from the local store, then perhaps it’s time to get back into homemade cakes. The cakes you buy may be beautifully packed to look attractive, but read the ingredients and you will see how many preservatives and additives are used to ensure they stay fresh on the shelf.
One of the easy ways to make cakes at home is to use cake mix, but again these prepacked mixes often contain ingredients designed to make the mix cheap and long lasting, rather than to produce a wholesome cake. But, help is at hand – soft, melt-in-the-mouth sponge cakes can now be made very quickly and easily thanks to soft margarines which enable ingredients to be blended very quickly.
Cakes can still be made using traditional methods of creaming together fat and sugar and then adding the eggs and other ingredients, and there’s no doubt that cakes made in the traditional way have a unique texture. But if you’re just getting back into making homemade cakes then try this very easy sponge which has to be the quickest cake to make from basic ingredients. You simply put the flour in a bowl and mix in all the other ingredients!
Very Easy Sponge Cake
4 oz…110g self raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
4 oz…110g quality, soft margarine at room temperature
4 oz…110g caster sugar
2 large eggs
2-3 drops vanilla essence
Icing/confectioners’ sugar, jam
Two 7 in (18cm) cake tins, at least 1.5in (4cm) deep, greased and bases lined with greaseproof or waxed paper.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3, 170 deg C, 325 deg F.
Sift the baking powder and flour into a large mixing bowl. Make sure the margarine is soft and simply add all the other ingredients to the bowl and beat them well until everything is thoroughly mixed together. An electric mixer will give good results. The mixture should just drop from a wooden spoon when tapped on the side of the bowl, so if needed mix in 1-2 teaspoons of warm water to get the right consistency.
Divide the mixture between the lined and greased tins and place on the centre shelf of the preheated oven for about thirty minutes. When cooked, the top of the sponge should be golden and springy to the touch.
When cooked, allow to cool for about a minute. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn the sponges out onto a wire rack to cool. Carefully remove the lining paper and when completely cool spread your favourite jam on the sponge and sandwich together. To finish, dust the top with icing/confectioners’ sugar if you like.
What could be easier? A lovely homemade sponge cake in less than an hour from beginning to end.
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