Fanny is adamant that I should learn how to 'treat' my cake tins for perfect bakes. For Fanny, there is only one way to do this. The cake tin should be fitted with a disc of greaseproof paper cut to the correct size, brushed with melted butter, and then covered with a layer of sifted flour. Fanny says that I should roll my buttered cake tin in my flour bin to achieve perfect results, but I don't have a flour bin so just sprinkle some flour in and run it round until it's all covered. Fanny insists that I will see the benefit after baking. I'm not sure with modern tins it's really essential, but of course do it anyway.
For the basic sponge, I whip two eggs with an extra yolk with some icing sugar until it's very thick and creamy. Fanny makes no apology for insisting it's icing sugar I use - she knows it's more pricey than granulated sugar, but insists I use it not because she is a snob, but because she wants me to have a perfect sponge. That seems fair enough. Fanny says I could make a sponge from the crude, coarse granulated stuff but I will not be able to make a perfect, featherweight sponge like hers. The eggs and icing sugar whisk up really well together, doubling in volume and becoming a lovely pale yellow colour. I sift in some flour and very gently fold it in.
The light, fluffy and fatless mixture goes into my perfectly prepared tin for baking for 30 minutes. My sponge comes out slightly darker than Fannys own, but it's certainly springy. Fanny says to leave it in the tin for one minute ONLY before turning it out. This ensures that it contracts very slightly from the sides of the tin.
I was worried about turning the finished sponge out of the tin and onto the cooling rack, there just didn't seem to be much 'substance' to it with so little flour I thought it might just collapse. I should've had more faith in Fanny, it didn't. Fanny includes a picture to show Johnnie peeling the paper off the bottom of her sponge, presumably incase anyone is not sure how to do it. I am doing the same. Once cool, the sponge needs to be sliced in half and spread with jam. It cuts well, and is a splendid yellow colour inside. So, this sponge was indeed easy. Additionally if I pinch it it does jump back. Not sure why I would, but it does. It tastes light and would make a quick, last minute cake for a calorie conscious scoffer. Fanny is ashamed of the photograph of this Fatless Wonder that is included in the partwork, mainly because the layer of jam is almost as thick as the sponge itself. She refuses to name and shame the 'lavish' assistant responsible though - the message merely is 'don't disappoint me by making the same mistake'. I hope I haven't.