Zia's Italian Sponge Cake
This recipe came from my Aunt, Emily Viano-Marchetti who taught me how to make this cake, which was handed down from her mother. It is fabulous, light and airy, and you can enjoy it plain or top it with anything your heart desires, it’s VERY versatile! My personal favorite – Lina’s Crema di Limoncello macerated strawberries.
Preheat oven to 325°
7 large eggs (separate, room temperature)
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tarter
Lina’s macerated strawberries; mix 1 cup sliced strawberries and 1/2 cup Lina’s Crema di Limoncello, stir, let sit for 10 - 15 minutes then spoon on top of cake, add whipped cream if desired. Optional: Used mix berries.
Note: Pairs well with Lina’s Espresso.
Separate eggs. Beat warm water with egg yolks until stiff. Gradually add sugar (2 tbs. at a time) to egg yolk mixture. When done, you should not be able to feel sugar granules, mixture will be very thick & sticky. Add vanilla, salt, lemon & lemon rind. Add flour gradually to mixture with mixer on low or medium speed.
In separate bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tarter, beat until stiff (forms peaks). Add egg yolk mixture to egg white mixture. FOLD ingredients together gently and put in angel food cake pan with removable bottom. DO NOT GREASE PAN. Insert a spatula in cake mixture about every 2 inches to work out air bubbles.
Bake for 45 - 50 mins. Cake will puff up then settle down. Cake is done when it is brown and springs back when touched. Take out of oven and IMMEDIATELY invert on bottle neck (wine bottle is good) Leave in this position until cake is completely cooled. Use knife to loosen edges.
NOTE: Be sure that beaters are clean and completely DRY before you beat egg whites or whites will not become stiff.