The winsome Nigella, if winsome is the word, has never been high on my list of favourite cookery writers. Perfectly formed and polished to a high shine she glides like an iceberg, only the top third of her ever visible, through the culinary burlesque that is cookery on TV. What lies beneath? The plimsoll line of the screen guards this secret, but such is the seduction created by her come hither eyes luring us to delightful gluttony from under long lashed fluttering lids and by the sensual licking of cream or chocolate from perfectly manicured fingers, that one would assume that the ability to fellate well would be the very cornerstone of a good square meal. Oral sex is jolly good, but it’s nice to have a change. The upshot of this very unfair diatribe is that my last internet search for “what to do with a surfeit of egg yolks” revealed a brilliant, fat free, egg yolk driven sponge cake recipe written by none other than Nigella. As I have no clear memory of having made a sponge cake before or even of having previously especially enjoyed one, I can only assume the power of the Siren, Nigella, drew me inexorably onto the Scylla and Charybdis of sponge cake and raspberry jam, for which I am eternally grateful. I was so intent on cutting a slice to eat that I forgot to add the whipped, there had to be a sexual overtone, cream. I won’t make that mistake again.
Nigella Lawson’s Egg Yolk Sponge Cake
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons hot water (not boiling)
1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar / 112 gms
1/2 cup self raising flour, sifted/ 75 gms
pinch salt, optional (i don’t usually put in)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 180°C- if your oven is quite hot try 170°C.
Beat egg yolks and hot water till creamy then gradually add the sugar and beat till thick and pale. Add salt and vanilla.
Fold in the flour and milk alternately till combined. Pour into a greased and lined 20cm round tin and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
Split cake in half then fill with jam and whipped cream then dust with icing sugar. Turn the oven down a bit if it’s browning too fast.
Beat the egg yolks and hot water over a saucepan of hot water. Not doing this makes for a very thin cake indeed. It might be better to make two cakes – I think I will next time, which will be very soon.