Sponge Cake With Citrus Salad Dessert Recipe

To learn more about this recipe, see our related feature, Best Pastry Chefs 2012


TT Tip: Crescents of fresh citrus, aka supremes, are the crowning glory of this cake. To make them, thinly slice off the top and bottom from the citrus to expose the fruit and then slice from top to bottom in pieces to remove the rind and pith. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl and hold the fruit over the sieve while slicing between the membranes to release the segments. After removing all of the segments, squeeze the membrane over the sieve to release even more citrus juice. Woodman likes to finish the cake with mint oil; to get the mint oil bonus recipe, visit Tasting Table's Facebook page

Recipe adapted from Heidi Woodman, Shefzilla: Conquering Haute Cuisine from Home (Borealis Books)

Sponge Cake With Citrus Salad
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Sponge Cake with Citrus Salad from Heidi Woodman, Shefzilla: Conquering Haute Cuisine from Home (Borealis Books)
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 1 hour
  • Cake
  • 1 tablespoon / ½ ounce / 15 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup / 4 ounces / 110 grams cake flour plus 1 tablespoon / ½ ounce / 15 grams for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon / ¼ ounce / 5 grams baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon / 1.5 grams salt
  • 3 large / 5 ¼ ounces / 150 grams eggs, separated
  • 1 cup/ 7 ounces / 200 grams sugar
  • 1 teaspoon / ¼ ounce / 5 grams vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup / 2 ounces / 57 grams whole milk
  • Citrus
  • 2 oranges, segmented, juices reserved (see TT Tip above)
  • 1 grapefruit, segmented, juices reserved
  • 1 lemon, segmented, juices reserved
  • 1 lime, segmented, juices reserved
  • 2 tablespoons / 1 ounce / 30 grams brown sugar
  • Sabayon
  • 4 large / 3 ounces / 200 grams egg yolks
  • ¼ cup/ 1.75 ounces/ 50 grams sugar
  • ¼ cup/ 2 ounces / 57 grams dessert wine
  • 1 cup /8 ounces / 227 heavy cream
  • Finely chopped fresh mint leaves, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch-square or round cake pan with the butter and then coat with 1 tablespoon of the flour. In a medium bowl, sift together the remaining 1 cup of the cake flour, the baking powder and salt. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a standing mixer and add the sugar and vanilla. Whisk at medium speed until fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the milk. Return the mixer to medium-low speed and add about one-third of the flour mixture, mixing until combined, about 30 seconds. Repeat twice more with the remaining flour mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl between each addition.
  2. Beat the egg whites to medium-stiff peaks. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the cake is light brown and the center springs when lightly pressed, 30 to 35 minutes. Place the cake pan on a rack and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and set aside to cool completely.
  3. Make the citrus soaking liquid: Place the orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime segments and reserved juices in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the sugar, cover with plastic wrap and chill.
  4. Make the sabayon: Set an ice-water bath on your counter. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. In a medium heatproof bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and set over the simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water). Whisk the egg-yolk mixture constantly until it becomes pale and thick, about 3 minutes. While whisking, slowly pour in the wine until the mixture nearly triples in volume, 3 to 4 minutes more. Set the bowl in the ice-water bath and whisk until cool.
  5. Whip the cream until medium peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the sabayon.
  6. To serve, slice the cake into 8 slices and place on plates. Top each slice with a few citrus segments and some of the citrus juice. Add a generous dollop of sabayon and finish with chopped mint.
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