Italian sponge cake (Pan di Spagna) is ideal for layered cakes. The medium density of this classic Pan di Spagna makes it versatile for different usages.
It is perfect with custard cream or chocolate.
This is a recipe of Master Pastry Chef Iginio Massari. I included it here for convenience but if you want to see the Master at work check the original video on YouTube.
The ingredients referred to here are for a 22 cm (8.7 in) pastry ring, whereas the original recipe of Maestro Iginio Massari is for two Pan di Spagna approx 18-20 cm (7 – 7.9 in).
Italian Sponge Cake (Pan di Spagna)
- 100 g eggs 3.5 oz
- 75 g egg yolks 2.6 oz
- 95 g sugar 3.35 oz
- 42 g flour 1.5 oz
- 42 g potato starch 1.5 oz
- powdered vanilla bourbon, the tip of a tsp. (or vanilla extract)
- In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment beat the eggs (but not the yolks yet) together with the sugar at high speed for a few minutes.
- When they become fluffy add the egg yolks and the vanilla. Beat at high speed for 13-15, depending on the temperature of the eggs (the colder the eggs the longer the time).
- Sift the flour and cornstarch together twice. Preheat the oven at 180° C (355° F).
- After 15 minutes the mixture will be very airy and fluffy. Add half of the sifted flours and pulse at high speed for a few seconds. Add the rest of the flours and pulse again.
- Grease and flour the inside of the pastry ring. Place the ring on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Pour the mixture inside the ring, distributing it evenly with a spatula.
- Bake the Pan di Spagna at 180° C (355° F) for approx 25 minutes with the open valve. If your oven, like mine, doesn't have the valve just leave the oven door slightly open using a wooden spoon or a ball made of aluminum foil. Maestro Massari says to bake it for 20 minutes but for my oven it took a bit longer.You can understand if the cake is ready by pressing the top and releasing. If the cake comes back up then it is ready.Sprinkle the top with sugar and turn it upside down on a sheet of parchment paper. Remove the parchment paper from the top and let it cool off completely before cutting it.