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I'm new to bakery and I can bake chiffon and angel food cake alright, but everytime(3 times) I bake chocolate sponge, I always end up with something with good moisture but super stiff. What could I have done wrong and how can I make the cake more tender in texture? Thanks!

My recipe: 3 eggs, 40g butter, 40g(in egg white)+20g(in yolk) sugar, 60g flour, 20g cocoa powder for a 8-inch square baking pan. 170°C, 10min.

And what I did:

Separate the egg white and yolk, whip the white until there's a curly spike when I pick up the wisk. During the whipping process, pour in the 40g of sugar.

Add 20g sugar to the yolk and stir until the mixture gets a bit pale.

Add 40g of melted butter into the mixture and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour 1/3 of the egg white foam into the yolk-butter mixture. Mix carefully as not to deflate the egg white. When mixed well, pour in the other 2/3 of egg white and mix.

Add in the flour & cocoa powder. Bake in preheated oven.

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Did you forget to mention the leavening in the recipe only, or did you forget to add it to the cake too? –  rumtscho Feb 3 at 15:15
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Also, what method are you using to make the cake. Method is as important as ingredients. –  GdD Feb 3 at 15:28
    
@rumtscho the recipe says the beaten egg whites will act as the sole leavening in sponge cake. Should I add some baking soda(because I've never used baking soda except for pound cake)? –  Alex Su Feb 3 at 15:39
    
@GdD added above...I'm kind of worried that I'm stirring the flour mixture wrong but my other cakes are all fine xD –  Alex Su Feb 3 at 15:42
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@AlexSu I haven't seen a sponge cake leavened solely on eggs. The fat deflates the protein foam of the egg whites. What is your recipe source? If a recipe fails consistently, it is much easier to find another, working, recipe, than to try to troubleshoot the bad one. The Internet is full of great recipes for free. –  rumtscho Feb 3 at 16:06

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Sponge and pound cakes contain fat. Therefore, they are not usually made with pure egg leavening. Egg leavening relies on a protein-based foam (whipped eggwhites), and fat deflates protein-based foams and/or prevents them from "curing" at high temperatures.

If you found a sponge cake recipe without chemical leavening, this is a sign for a bad recipe. The best would be to search for a better recipe, especially if you are a beginner baker. Troubleshooting baking recipes is an advanced skill which requires both experience and theoretical knowledge - certainly attainable for the average home baker, but unnecessarily hard for beginners. With the tons of recipes available at your fingertips for free, it makes more sense to search for a better one. It will give you correct ratios and temperatures and save you failures and frustration.

And a small pedantic part: what you are making here is not a sponge cake, but a pound cake. They have the same ingredients, but sponge cakes are made using the creaming method, while pound cakes use melted butter. The upside: both of them are tasty :)

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seems that there's some serious problem with the recipe I'm using now. got to find a better one –  Alex Su Feb 6 at 4:30

try using a recipe without flour. or you could be over mixing the batter activating the gluten. or try another recipe!

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I wouldn't suggest a recipe without flour, they are much trickier than the ones with flour. –  rumtscho Feb 3 at 17:58

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