A sponge cake without butter or any other fat is the all-purpose Jewish cake, made every week to be eaten for tea or after supper with fruit salad or compote. So many people have told me of their mothers' biscuit tin from which the wonderfully ever-so-light cake (it is called “plava” in Britain) came out, and how you could never stop eating. It is thought that the origin of the cake is the Sephardi “pan d'Espanya.”
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1¼ cups (250 g) superfine sugar
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup (175 g) all purpose flour
Beat the egg yolks with about half the sugar, till thick and very pale, then stir in the lemon zest.
Beat the egg whites stiff with the salt. Add the remaining suger and beat to a very stiff, shiny meringue. Then fold in the yolk mixture. Sprinkle the flour on top and very gently fold in as lightly as possible.
Turn into a deep, oiled, nonstick spring form cake pan about 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter and bake at 350°F (180°C) for about 1hour, until browned on top.
You may add 2 or 3 drops of vanilla extract to the yolk mixture.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.