Most of the younger bakers, who learned their trade in this country, are using hardly any recipes for real sponge cakes. In general there is now so much cream of tartar and baking powder introduced in the recipes that these cakes are hardly worthy the name any longer. Sponge cake (biscuit) is (or used to be) as a rule one of the finest and most delicate cakes, and widely used for the sick.
Beat fourteen eggs and one pound of fine sugar well in a kettle, then set in a hot water bath and beat until thoroughly heated. Beat cold again, until light and firm; add one tablespoonful of water. Sometimes it may be necessary to beat warm the second time, to get it firm. (It must be somewhat standing up, before setting down smooth, when you take out the batter, before it can be called done.) Stir into this one pound of sifted pastry flour, in which two ounces of cornstarch may be mixed and one tablespoonful of lemon. Bake medium hot, say 360 degrees.
Beat the whites of fifteen eggs very stiff; add by handfuls part of one pound of powdered sugar, then add the remainder of the sugar and the yolks of fifteen eggs, stirring in carefully. Take out the beater and mix in one pound of pastry flour; flavor with lemon. Bake at 360 degrees.
Beat the whites of twenty-eight eggs very stiff (it is best to use it two or three days old); add by handfuls one pound of powdered sugar, then the yolks of twenty-eight eggs, and last one pound of fine cake flour; mix as light as possible; bake quick in deep, square mould. This cake must be raised in a quick heat; if not, it gets dark in color before it is done. When once done raising and half baked, open the dampers or doors, and finish slower. Cut in five cent squares, and dust well with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees.
Beat up well in a bowl the yolks of eighteen eggs with one pound of powdered sugar; beat very stiff the whites of eighteen eggs and add one-fourth of it to the sugar in the bowl, then mix in lightly one pound of sifted pastry flour (one-half pound of cornstarch and one-half pound of flour mixed, is still better), the rest of the whites of egg and lemon or vanilla. Bake slowly and well in large paper-lined tin, at 350 degrees.
Use the first or third recipe for sponge cake, only mix in lightly, after the flour, one-half of a pound of good melted butter.
One pound of powdered sugar and one pound of good dry butter, rubbed to cream; add slowly, one at a time, ten eggs, which you beat a little first, and in warm weather, keep in ice water; then mix in one pound (good weight) of pastry flour, mace and vanilla. It is best to add flour by the handful. Bake in cool oven, about two hours; if not sure of its being done, stick a broomstraw in the center to the bottom, and if it pulls out clean, without dough on it, the cake is done.