Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sponge Kisses

When I was a little girl, I always thought being a tom boy was pretty cool. I loved to climb trees, not wear dresses and had a bucket of Lego instead of a Barbie. I grew up with a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and often spent my holidays playing shoot'em up games with my father.

I often think my dad secretly wanted a son and raised me accordingly. I learned how to use all the tools in his garage, followed him around while he fixed things around the house and, in turn, learned many things an average girl of my age won't know. I can proudly say that I can change my own tyres, change my own brake pads and change the oil in my car!

Pipe the mixture in small rounds onto a tray
While I still love my Lego and video games, I slowly stopped being such a  tomboy. Much to my mother's delight, I finally learned to embrace my girly side (about when I got my first boyfriend) and took up things like drinking tea and baking.

Light and puffy, straight out of the oven
One of my favourite girly things to do is having high tea. There's not much I love more than having dainty sandwiches, macarons and and slices brought to me on beautiful plates while enjoying a lovely cup of tea. The problem I have with most places that serve high tea is that they're too damn expensive so high tea trips are only reserved for special occasions.

Layer with jam
However, just because it is expensive, there is nothing stopping you from enjoying high tea in your very own home! I recently came across a recipe for Sponge Kisses in "A Second Helping" by Alexa Johnston and knew immediately that I had to try it out!

I used Barkers Strawberry Jam and Passionfruit Curd in my Sponge Kisses
They were surprisingly easy for something that tastes so delicious and the perfect addition to a high tea platter. I highly recommend you give these cute things a go and invite your friends over for a cup of tea.


Sponge Kisses (Makes approximately 22)
From A Second Helping by Alexa Johnston

2 eggs
1/2 cups caster sugar
1/2 + 1 Tablespoon plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 Tablespoon caster sugar + extra for sprinkling

1 cup cream
3-4 Tablespoon jam
Icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 215°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper (this is important because you'll be sifting sugar over the sponges before they go into the oven and no one wants a melty mess!)
2. Beat the eggs until pale and add the caster sugar in 4 even lots, beating steadily until the mixture is thick and falls in ribbons when you lift the beaters out.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt onto the mixture and fold through gently.
4. Pipe small rounds on the lined trays and try to keep them the same size. I usually do about 5cm diameter rounds. 
5. Sift caster sugar over the tops of the sponge halves and bake for 5-6 minutes until risen and lightly coloured, but not brown.
6. Leave on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack. At this stage, you can store them in an airtight container until you're ready to serve.
7. About 3-5 hours before serving, pair up the sponges and stick them together with a little jam and lots of yummy whipped cream.
8. Sift some icing sugar onto a sheet of baking paper, place the finished drops on top and dust the tops with some more icing sugar. Set aside in a cool place to soften.
9. Serve with a nice hot cup of milky tea :)