Chinese Sponge Cake
The inspiration for this recipe has been lifted straight from the yum cha trolley. The ginger sponge comes in different guises: sometimes they are light as a feather, other times they are incredibly dense. The flavours range from strong ginger to something that focuses more on treacle. I like both, which is why this recipe sits as a hybrid somewhere between the two.
1 cup sifted cake flour
(Cake flour is very low in protein. If you can’t find Cake Flour use Plain Flour and remove 2 tablespoons and replace with 2 tablespoons of Cornflour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
Line an 8 X 8 or 9 X 9 inch cake pan with baking paper, or grease and paper a pudding steamer, whichever you plan to use.
Place the flour in a medium bowl. Stir in the baking powder and salt and set aside.
Separate the egg yolks and the egg whites. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat briefly. Add ¼ cup of sugar and beat for another minute (don’t let the egg whites stiffen). Add the egg yolks and the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Beat for about 2 more minutes. Stir in the almond extract. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, stirring. Mix thoroughly, but do not beat.
Pour the batter into the steamer and steam for 20 to 25 minutes.Test with a skewer. Cool the cake on a rack.