One of my favourite ways to eat the softest tang mian sponge is to fill it with whipped cream and adorn it with all kinds of fruit. The tender crumb of the cake is delightful by itself, and lends itself to be filled with juicy fruit.
The best compliment from an Asian auntie about cakes is that “it’s not too sweet”. This is one of those cakes. I used to pine for heavy chocolate fudge cakes from the Cheesecake shop. After all, it’s what all the kids at school have for their birthdays! They were so sweet and rich, and guaranteed to leave us with chocolate smeared mouths.
But over time, my palates changed to that of an Asian auntie. I didn’t want desserts that were tooth-achingly sweet. And so came the genesis of my baking journey and Ultimate Omnoms. To achieve that light sponge that wasn’t too sweet or too dry. I’m very proud of this recipe.
The combination of kiwifruit, strawberries and peaches is a classic combination. I use tinned peaches and fresh kiwis and strawberries if available during summer. Not only do the fruits give a natural sweetness to the vanilla sponge, the bright pops of colour are a natural way to decorate a cake.
It’s easy to layer it traffic lights style between the different layers – just make sure you have enough layers to do so! I made the mistake of slicing my cake into 3 layers before I realised I needed 4 layers of sponge to fit the 3 different fruits. Luckily I used the top of the cake domes I had previously sliced off. As pictured here, you can’t even tell!
Totally optional, but you can create a chocolate lace around the cake, and forage in the garden for blooms to elevate the cake. It’s a promising show-stopper. Here’s the tutorial for creating a chocolate lace. It’s not too technical, just about getting the consistency of the chocolate right!
Give this sponge cake recipe a go! It is easy and will soon become your go-to base for all your fluffy sponge cakes. Read all about the science of tang mian cakes here. My favourite part is that I can make this cake well in advance and it’ll still be moist even after 5 days. If you haven’t already, read my 3 secrets to perfecting the soft and pillowy sponge. You’ll be guaranteed to make the most foolproof sponge cake.
Tag sponge cake creations with @ultimateomnoms on Instagram, I’d love to see it and give you a shoutout.
Classic tang mian sponge cake
Egg yolk mixture
- 65 g oil
- 200 g milk
- 55 g sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 180 g cake flour
- 1 pinch salt
Egg white mixture
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 130 g sugar
- 6 egg whites
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan using low-med heat. Sift in the cake flour and mix
- Add the milk, sugar and mix. Take the saucepan off the heat
- Add the egg yolks in one at a time, whisking between each one
- Add a pinch of salt
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy and add the cream of tartar. Add the sugar in batches and whisk until the egg whites reach stiff peaks
- Preheat the oven to 150ºC and prepare your hot water bath
- Add one third of the egg white to the yolk batter and mix well. Using a spatula, fold the remaining egg white in two batches. Do so gently and thoroughly so no streaks of egg white remain
- Pour the batter into the lined 8” cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Tap the pan against the tabletop to get rid of any large air bubbles
- Put the cake pan into the hot water bath, ensuring that the water height reaches at least a third of the cake pan
- Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour 20min or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean
- Remove from the oven and tap the pan against the tabletop a few times to prevent shrinkage. Transfer to cool on a wire rack pan for 10min before unmoulding