Jam Topping Sponge Cake

When I was growing up, cakes did not look anything like what we see today – we almost never saw anything with fresh cream and one can totally forget about intricate entremets. What we had then were rustic, simple and predictable. I recall that we would always look forward to marriage celebrations among family friends, waiting for the day when they would personally deliver the red invitation card and the box of engagement cake. Yes, those were strange times when the bride/ groom family would be running around distributing dozens of boxes of cakes and wedding invitation cards. Depending on how close one is to the family, one may get either one or two boxes of wedding cakes.

The contents of those cake boxes were almost always the same- typically an assortment of 10 slices of sponge cakes frosted with delicious butter cream. Some would be crusted with chocolate rice, others would be dotted with colourful jams.  Quite often, the ones with chocolate would get snapped up first after which we would reach for those topped with jams… The tradition has become simplified over the years. Nobody runs around distributing cakes on their engagement day anymore. Instead these have been replaced by cake vouchers which one can redeem from the bakery stores.

When I spotted these in Alex Goh’s Creative Making Of Cakes, I knew that I would have to make these just  to revisit childhood nostalgia. My cake is not completely the same as what we used to have.The sponge cake is more refined, the butter cream is fluffier and lighter and the jam tasted less artificial than what I used to have 30 years ago…(even though I tried to buy the cheapest jam I could find off the supermarket shelf) but it still managed to give me flash backs of those pink floral cake boxes tied with raffia ribbon and those lacquered red invitation cards…gosh, I have not seen those in ages!

If you are from the same era as I am, you will love this. Memories are the world’s most potent ingredients…

  • (A)
  • 150g                Sugar ( A tad sweet, I would reduce this to 120g next time)
  • 15g                  Cake Emulsifier
  • (B)
  • 5                      Eggs
  • 130g                Flour
  • 1tsp                  Baking powder
  • (C)
  • 40ml                 Water
  • (D)
  • 85g                   Melted butter
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Strawberry jam
  • (E)
  • 75g Egg white
  • 70g Castor sugar
  • Pinch Salt
  • 225g Unsalted butter
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2tsp Instant Expresso powder
  1. Preheat oven to 190C. Mix (A) until well blended in a mixing bowl. Add (B) into the same bowl and start to whisk with balloon whisk until thickened.
  2. Add (C) and continue to whip until light and fluffy. (ribbon stage – with the help of the cake emulsifier, this can be achieved very quickly and it stays very stable)
  3. Fold in (D) and mix till well blended.
  4. Pour the batter into a 12 inch square tin lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake at 190C for 20mins.
  6. Remove from oven. Lift cake out of baking pan (so you should cut the parchment paper such that it overflows and allow you to grip the edges to lift the cake out of the tin) and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  7. Peel off parchment paper when cake is completely cooled. Cut into 2 equal slices.
  8. Sandwich  the 2 slices together with butter cream.
  9. Using a 3 inch round cutter and cut the cakes into rounds. (alternatively, you can just slice into rectangular slices which will reduce wastage)
  10. Coat the outside of the rounds with butter cream and cover with desiccated coconut.
  11. Pipe a ring of butter cream at the top of the cakelet. Fill center with your favourite jam.
  12. To make butter cream, refer to ingredients (E).
  13. Place egg whites, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk egg whites over a water bath until sugar and salt completely dissolves.
  14. Remove from heat and continue whisking the egg whites using a stand mixer.
  15. Whisk at low speed and gradually increase speed. Whisk the egg whites until glossy and firm peaks are formed. (The meringue should cool down by then)
  16. Lower mixing speed and add butter in spoonfuls until smooth and fluffy.
  17. Mix coffee powder with vanilla extract and add to (4).
  18. Change balloon whisk to paddle and continue mixing for another 10mins at low speed to deaerate the cream.