If you’ve been following along with the recipes lately, then you know I recently found myself with a stash of some incredible fresh yuzu fruit grown right here in Australia by Mountain Yuzu. If you want to know a little more about the citrus fruit that is yuzu head to my previous post here.
The three yuzu recipes I shared in the last post culminates in this incredible yuzu sponge cake. It uses the yuzu curd as a filling along with whipped double cream, and is topped with candied and dried yuzu. The yuzu flavour is all riding on the base of an Italian pan di spagna (sponge cake) which is one of the most incredible sponges to make because it is made without butter, milk or baking powder/soda. Also, it isn’t anywhere near as sweet as its sponge cake counterparts so leaves space for the sharp yuzu flavour to shine through.
I made this as a 15cm cake because it just seemed perfect in that size – also baby cakes are the cutest. This cake is a flavour punch in the face, so the quantity is perfect for a gathering of 6 and won’t leave you with half a cake as leftovers to make you feel guilty about eating over the next few days.
The use of double cream was entirely intentional but you can use whipped thickened cream instead if you can’t easily find double cream. It’s not often you see whipped double cream in a recipe, but with the pan di spagna being not overly sweet and the yuzu being beautifully sharp, the extra fat content of the double cream added an unctuousness that paired with the sharp yuzu perfectly.
Yuzu Sponge Cake
Italian pan di Spagna | Italian sponge cake
- 3 extra large eggs, room temperature
- 90g plain flour
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 90g caster sugar
- Zest of 1/2 yuzu (or a lemon)
- Pinch sea salt flakes
- 300ml double cream
- 1/2 cup yuzu curd*
- 1/4 cup candied yuzu peel*
- 5 dried yuzu slices*
ITALIAN SPONGE CAKE
Preheat a fan forced oven to 165°C
Spray a high sided 15cm loose bottom cake tin with oil spray and line the base and sides with baking paper.
In a bowl combine the plain flour and cornflour and then sift the mixture 2-3 times. We don't have cake flour for sale here in Australia so this flour and cornflour mixture is the way to achieve the same baking results.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, caster sugar, zest and sea salt and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high for 15-20 minutes. Because we are not using a chemical baking agent, this step is integral in achieving the rise you need for the sponge. We need to create air in the batter so that when the steam is released as the sponge cooks it will provide the leavening. You will know you have created enough air after this time because when you lift some batter out of the bowl and drop it back down, it retains its shape on top of the mixture and won't sink.
Sift in the flour and cornflour mixture 2 tbsp at a time, very gently folding with a wooden spoon between each addition.
Very gently pour the batter into the prepared pan without levelling the top or tapping the pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the centre cleanly. Try not to open the oven much and don't even test for doneness until after the first 30 minutes. Once cooked, turn the oven off and leave the cake in for 15 minutes before removing the cake to cool completely in the pan.
Once the Italian sponge is completely cool, cut in half through the middle with a bread knife. Whip the double cream with a hand mixer until it starts to thicken, then switch to a hand whisk and whisk until it has firmed up to your liking. The reason we switch to a hand whisk is because double cream has 45% fat content and turns to butter very easily. Once it has started to turn to butter, there is no rescuing it, so it is best to use a hand mixer for the heavy lifting and a hand whisk to finish the whip.
Transfer the yuzu curd to a piping bag and pipe a ring of yuzu on top of the first layer of cake around the edge. Fill the circle of yuzu with 1/3 of the double cream and top gently with the top layer of sponge. Spoon the remaining double cream on top of the sponge cake and add the candied yuzu peel and dried yuzu slices to serve.