Sometimes I get a real craving for that pink iced sponge (known to my mother and I as 'pink cake') that Broomfields bakery used to sell - or perhaps they still do. Just a plain sponge with a pink glace icing. The sponge was moist and dense, and the icing was crispy on the outside but a bit soft underneath. Heaven.
I usually try to resist these sorts of cravings but yesterday was not a day for resistance so I baked. And on a whim I threw in a carton of yoghurt. And you know what, I don't know if it was the yoghurt or what, but I think it's the best sponge I've ever made, which of course means that even if I replicate the recipe to the letter, I will probably never achieve such perfection again.
I always measure in ounces when I make sponges, and I would say that if you do make this and convert to grammes, do it accurately and don't work on the 1oz = 25g round down. It just isn't the same.
7oz butter (I used a mix of salted and unsalted coz that's what I had)
6.5oz caster sugar
a good glug (probably 2tsp) vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
150g yoghurt (I used a carton of Lidl's probiotic vanilla but it probably doesn't matter)
8oz self raising flour
4oz ground almonds
Preheat the oven to 175 C (which for my uncooperative fan oven means about 150C), and line a 17 x 27cm (or thereabouts) baking tin with parchment.
Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together til pale and creamy. Add an egg and a spoonful of flour and beat in, then repeat the process with the other three eggs. Add in the yoghurt and the rest of the flour and beat until thoroughly combined.
Tip into the baking tin and spread out to fill the corners. Bake for around 30-40 minutes and test with a warmed skewer before taking out (cake mix on the skewer means it's not cooked yet, a clean skewer or a few crumbs means it's done).
Mine cooled in the tin for about 15 minutes before I took it out (due to an emergency nappy change) and was left to cool completely on a wire rack.
The sponge had risen quite high when it came out of the oven, and then sank again which had me worrying about nasty solid bits in the middle but it was all fine when I cut it.
The glace icing was a bit of an ad hoc mix, and colour-free (but only because I don't have any food colouring). I used about half a box of icing sugar (so around 250g) and perhaps a couple fo tablespoons of water (or you can use lemon juice).
The tricks to getting a good glace icing seems to be 1. you always need more sugar than you think, 2. you always need less water than you think, 3. use water just off the boil, you get a better set (and hence that crispy soft toothsomeness that makes a perfect Bloomfields pink cake) and aim for a paste - if it's runny it just won't set.