The Doris Matheson’s Collection
of Famous Sponge Cake Recipes.
Doris’s Sponge Base
- 3 eggs, separated
- pinch salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup castor sugar
- 2/3 cup Fielders Cornflour
- 1 slightly rounded tablespoon White Wings Plain Flour
- 1 level teaspoon Aunt Mary’s Baking Powder
- If you have a wood stove laying around the kitchen, then it will probably best to use it. However, if you don’t, then you can also use a normal electric or Gas oven, to produce a reasonable result. Simply Pre-heat oven 190 degree C conventional/170 degree fan forced. Beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks form.
- Gradually beat in sugar, a little at a time then continue beating until stiff. Add egg yolks and vanilla essence, beat until combined.
- Sift together 3 times – cornflour, plain flour and baking powder, then add to egg mixture. Carefully and lightly fold mixture through using a wooden spoon or spatula. DO NOT STIR.
- Divide batter between two greased and floured 20 cm round sandwich pans and bake 15 – 20 minutes.
Note: When making a large sponge for a party use one quantity of mixture for each cake and bake in larger tins instead of halving mixture between sandwich pans
Original Fielder’s Cornflour Recipe
Doris in later years admitted in later years the a substantial component of her sponge recipe may have relied upon a recipe printed on either the side of a Fielder’s Cornflour Packet or from a Fielder’s Recipe she had obtained sometime in the 1950’s.
Fielder’s Cornflour like many other iconic Australian Brand Name,s may have long vanished from our supermarket shelves. You can however, still obtain an early copy of the famous 1946-1950 Edition of “The Fielder’s Cornflour Recipe Book”, as shown below from the link provided.
Click HERE to Download you copy of Fielders Recipe Book [PDF File – 3.4M ]
Doris’s Secret to known as being a good cook …
Way back in the 1980’s, I asked Doris what was her secret to becoming known as a good cook and she told that she always did the following:
- Make sure to serve only what is freshly baked …
- Use lots of fresh cream or mocked cream …
- Garnish with a dollop of jam, fruit and/or dust with icing sugar – appearance is everything.
- Never ever serve before your guest have had the opportunity – to become truly hungry.
Doris’s Butterfly Cakes
Use Sponge recipe as listed above.
- Preheat oven to 190°C. Line 2 x 12 cup muffin tins with patty pans and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy.
- Add eggs in one at a time.
- Fold in half the flour and then half the milk and then repeat.
- Beat with the electric mixer for just enough time for ingredients to be combined.
- Divide mixture into patty pans and bake for 13-15 minutes.
- When the cakes are cool, whip the cream with the icing sugar until its thick.
- Using a sharp knife, slice out a round disc from the top of the cake.
- Place a teaspoon of jam in each divot and spread with the back of a spoon. Top with a big scoop of cream.
- Slice the disc you cut out into two and then sit them in the cream. Add 1/4 tsp of jam in the centre.
Boil the kettle. You will need a cup of tea to test these out!
This recipe seems like a monster batch but Doris advises that she never seen these last more than an hour especially at family functions – (thank God for hungry relatives).
This recipe also makes 24-26 cakes which is a perfect amount for your children or grandchildren to take to school on their birthday.
Doris’s Peach Blossoms
Use Sponge Base as described above and cook in as small spherical balls in a cast “gem iron” tray
The Gem Iron
Also referred to as a “Gem Scone Tin” or a “Gem Scone Tray”. These are very solid metal baking trays, with hemispherical indents for baking little cakes in. The older ones are made of cast iron. They are heavy! More “modern” ones are made of cast aluminium. They are still quite heavy!
Looking after a gem scone iron
The first thing to know is, don’t drop it on your foot. It will hurt – a lot !
The second thing to know is that cast iron, although very strong, could be a little brittle, so a really sharp fall could break the iron.
How do I know?
I managed it! There’s not much chance of that though, I think I am just gifted in that area.
The third thing to know is, if your iron is made of iron, don’t let it rust. After a good wash, get it totally dry (I usually pop it back in the warm oven to bet bone dry before putting away). You could also put a really thin smear of oil on the iron.
Baking with a gem scone iron
Preheat your oven, and while you make your mix, put the scone iron into the oven. Greased but empty. It will get VERY hot. This really is old technology designed originally for wood fuelled stoves. However a modern gas or electric stove will work just as well – as many a South Port church fete where we made and sold hundreds of peach blossoms at a bake stall, will attest. Just make sure regardless of the oven you use – be careful you don’t burn yourself.
I do think in days past, when we cooked on wood stoves frequently, we were just more aware of the risk being burnt when working with cast iron.
Just as the mix is ready to go, pull out the scone iron, fill it very quickly, and pop it right back. The iron will be so hot that the base of the scones will be cooked almost immediately.
On a good day, your little cakes will be baked in minutes, and will pop out, almost spherical!
Now a good Gem Iron tray can be fairly hard to track down these days – however I did recently track down one kitchenware retailer who still was able to order them in for me. While being a smidge smaller than the traditional size cast iron tray they are refreshing also smaller than the gigantic orbs of cake produced in the modern spherical muffin tray style which is the only other remaining modern alternative.
Oh, and here’s a note – “gem” scones are nothing like “scones”. “Gem scones” are a little round cake; scones are cut from a rolled out dough. Also lovely.
… but now – back to “Peach Blossoms”
- Make up the sponge base mix as described above.
- Cook in either coddle iron, muffin pans, or tart pans. (The coddle iron if available will give you more “rounded” peach blossoms). Don’t use paper liners, just spray with Non-stick spray.
- When cool, freeze the cupcakes.
- Make up the 2 packs of Jelly using 2 cups of boiling water. Use a jug to do this, as it makes it easier to “dip” the cakes.
- Put in the fridge, (stir every 10-15 minutes) and when it is the consistency of egg whites, you are ready to BLOSSOM.
- Put the coconut in a baking tray, take out the frozen cakes.
- Using a fork, dip the frozen cupcakes in the jelly, let the excess drip off, and then roll in coconut.
- Keep in the fridge, and when ready to serve, make a slice in the blossom, and pipe in whipped cream or mock cream (See Doris’s Recipe below).
- Put a tiny bit of raspberry jam on the cream.
- Serve with pride!
Doris’s Mock Cream as filling for all Sponge Recipes
This filling is only used to extend the shelf life of certain products. Mock cream was very popular during the second world war when dairy products were strictly rationed. I seem to recall Edmonds used to have a recipe for it.
While in today’s “Age of Fresh Products” we often tend to forget that in days gone gone, country cooking did not always enjoy much of our modern access to ingredients or even some cases simple processes such as refrigeration.
Mock Cream prolonged the shelf and serving life of such baked items. Mocked Cream (as it’s name implies) is NOT Fresh cream and as such as a unique taste and texture all of it’s own.
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 4 tbsp Caster Sugar
- 4 tbsp Boiling Water
- 4 tbsp Milk
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract Or Vanilla Essence
The following method will provide consistant result:
- Using electric beaters cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Whilst continually beating, slowly add the boiling water alternatively with the milk until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract and any colours or flavourings you desire.
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