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Why does my sponge not rise?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've been trying to make a good sponge cake. At first I didn't know how to beat the egg whites properly. But many many eggs later I've got it. But when I fold the egg whites into the flour mixture, the 2 don't mix well and I'm afraid of folding too much and knocking the air out of the whites! And then when I bake it, it seems successful but the batter rises only a wee bit. What am I doing wrong please?

post #2 of 8
If you're blending egg whites with a dry mixture, you should sift the dry ovr the whites as you fold. If you add the whites to the dry, you'll end up with powdery lumps.
I assume you're making an angel cake, since you don't mention additional ingredients. With other types of cakes, where the flour has already been incorporated with fats and liquids, you would fold your whites into that mixture.
post #3 of 8
Try sacrificing some of your egg whites. Take a small amount of egg whites, mix with the flour, the air will leave these egg whites, as you know. Then, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites with the flour/sacrificed egg white mixture. This seems to work for me.
post #4 of 8
whats your recipe?
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

It must be my folding

Thanks for the feedback. I've realised that whether it's folding dry ingredients into the egg whites, or folding the whites into liquid mixtures, I'm still getting the same results. The former would be for sponge and angels cakes while the latter is in the chiffon recipes I have. So it must be my folding method? How does one fold lightly and quickly? I do it the way I was taught in school - writing and "8" figure with the metal spoon but sometimes I don't get much mixed when I do it too lightly, and when I go deeper I feel as if I'm being too aggressive! Any suggestions?

Baker-wannabe :chef:
post #6 of 8
As long as you're gentle and thorough, it really doesn't matter what the pattern is. Are you sure you're whipping your whites fully? There is also the possibility that they're over whipped. Are you sure this is a decent recipe to begin with?
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've not encountered this problem with only ONE recipe but several, at first thinking that it could be the recipe too. How would I know if I've not whipped enough or too much? I know the eggs separate when I've overwhipped - been there, done that. But the not whipping enough... well, I normally finish whipping by hand so as to control the texture.

Here's the simplest recipe I've tried -
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
4 eggs, separated
2/3 cup castor sugar

This one calls for the egg yolks to be added to whites after the latter's been beaten to stiff peaks. Then the flour is folded in "quickly & lightly" - which is where i seem to have the problem! Results so far - cake bakes but does not rise, and there is uneven err.. wet pockets in the cake.

post #8 of 8
try using cake flour instead-not sure why there'd even be self rising flour in the recipe. If not available cut with corn flour(starch) to lighten. triple sift your flour to aerate.

Are you whipping both egg whites and yolks then folding together? I don't seperate the eggs any more-takes too much time to clean the bowl and then whip the other-i'm also lazy ;). I put the whole eggs in the mixer with the sugar and whip to full volume/ribbon stage (ya can't overwhip em like that), then fold in your dry. Don't worry about getting all the little lumps out, as long as most is incorporated you're good to go-just make sure you are going to the bottom of your bowl where the dry sinks to. Use a plastic pastry scaper to fold in instead of a spoon-just roll up your sleeves first :).

A basic no fail ratio i use is 1lg egg:1oz sugar:1oz cake flour by weight. Never failed me, just make sure ya got a scale-don't go by volume.

hth, danny
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