In my house, March 8th is synonymous with mimosa cake. It is probably an obvious choice, but we like it a lot so there is no better way to celebrate something than treating yourself to a dessert you like!
For the sponge cake I always use the recipe of my grandmother Emma, my paternal grandmother. I jealously guard her recipe book, indeed, her recipe diary – because obviously her recipes were written on an old bank diary … which is something common to quite a lot of italian grandmothers.
If I have to tell the truth, I’ve never seen her prepare her “famous” sponge cake herself. I remember seeing my grandmother several times using ready-made sponge cake discs (the ones you can find at the supermarket), but this has always been the to-go recipe in my house!
FOR THE SPONGE CAKE (you need 2 cakes, then double the doses)
4 whole eggs
6 tablespoons of boiling water
250 g sugar
140 g potato starch
160 g white flour
2 level teaspoons of yeast
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
FOR THE ALCOHOLIC SYRUP:
100 g sugar
200 ml water
1 small glass of liqueur
FOR THE PASTRY CREAM:
2 whole eggs
4 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of flour
500 ml milk
250 ml fresh whipping cream
Powdered sugar to taste
For the cream, heat the milk in a saucepan with the lemon zest. In a bowl, mix well together the flour and sugar (to avoid lumps), then add the eggs and mix well. Add the juice of half a lemon. Dilute the cream with a ladle of hot milk, mix well then pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent the cream from sticking. Count 1 minute from boiling, then turn off the stove, remove the lemon zest and transfer the cream to a deep plate. Cover it with food film in contact to prevent the crust from forming on top. Let it cool to room temperature then transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
To prepare the base of the cake and the cubes, you will need 2 doses of sponge cake. Turn on the oven at 180 ° C. Grease and flour a 24 cm wide and 5 cm high cake pan. In a bowl, whip the egg yolks with the boiling water, slowly mix in thesugar and vanilla. Aside, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gently mix it with the yolks then sift over the two flours and the yeast, incorporate them very gently, then pour the mixture into the pan. Immediately put in a hot oven to cook for about 40 minutes – do the toothpick test because it could take a few more minutes of cooking. Remove the cake from the oven, unmold it when it is warm and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Then prepare another cake in the same way (you can do it right away and use a large rectangular pan instead of 2 round molds).
Whip the fresh cream until stiff, sweeten to taste with powdered sugar then add it to the previously prepared custard, stirring slowly from bottom to top.
Prepare the syrup: put the water and sugar in a saucepan and heat over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, let it cool a bit, then add the liqueur: I used my saffron liqueur, prepared with the recipe you find here.
Take one of the sponge cakes, remove all the crust and cut it into 3 discs.
Put the first disc on a serving plate, with a kitchen brush moisten the surface of the disc with the syrup, then spread with about 1/3 of the cream. Cover with the second disc of sponge cake, wet with the syrup and put another layer of cream. Cover with the last disc of dough, wet the surface with the syrup and spread the remaining cream over the entire surface of the cake, including the edges: it will be used to make the cubes stick.
Take the second sponge cake, remove the crust, cut it into slices and then into cubes: I advise you not to cut it all at once, proceed with the cubes as you need them. What is left over you can freeze it and use it for another recipe, such as a trifle or even for a tiramisu!
Start applying the sponge cake cubes all over the cake, then put the cake to harden in the refrigerator for about a couple of hours. Before serving, you can add a sprinkling of icing sugar to your mimosa cake.
You can prepare the sponge cake and the cream the day before: however, add the whipped cream only just before filling the cake.
Born in Romagna, now living in Piacenza. I am the owner and co-founder with my husband of Zafferano Emiliano. Follow our site to get the latest news about our Saffron cultivation – and some recipes as well!