Excuse me blowing my own trumpet for a moment here, but I consider myself to be a pretty decent cook. Nowhere near my Mum, of course, but then again few people are as good as my Mum. Gravy does not frighten me. Nor does a rich creamy hollandaise sauce or a real mayonnaise. I make my own salad dressings, jams and chutneys. I bake pies using my own pastry and make my Thai currys from scratch. I turn out a mean chocolate cake and a to die for pavlova.
There is, however, one thing that has managed to elude me. Merely a mixture of eggs, sugar, flour and air, the sponge cake has become my nemesis.
As an Australian country housewife, I fail if I cannot make a sponge.
I do not want to be a failed housewife. Ergo, I must conquer the sponge.
I started my Battle with the Sponge last Wednesday. Wednesdays are good for a great sponge battle because my homegroup can eat the results.
Only last Wednesday's effort was even too bad for the homegroup boys - the ones whose wives never cook. That bad even. So bad that I couldn't even bring myself to take a photo to show you girls. Jemimah and her Daddy and I had a piece each and the rest was consigned to the rubbish bin. It tasted pretty good, in fact, but even a dish sponge filled with lemon curd and whipped cream and dusted with icing sugar would taste okay. My result was similar - in texture, if not in the pretty green colour.
Tonight's effort is up above. It looks rather respectable when coated with passionfruit icing and filled with cream, but you can tell how bad it was really when I relate to you the fact that one of the homeschool ladies asked whether I had cooked the cake in a ring tin!! Nope, I had to admit - that's why it is failure number two. The homegroup boys judged it a success. So did my gracious husband. Jemimah's piece went into the bin. Mine should have but I am too miserly to throw away good food.
I will make Great Sponge Battle Attempt Number Three next Wednesday. I will report on the outcome shortly thereafter.
Wish me success - I do so want to be a good Australian country housewife. I might even be invited to join the CWA.
I doubt it though - I can't sew.
Hmmm. Is the plural of nemesis 'nemeses' or 'nemesi'?