Review Detail

Vegan Sponge Cake Recipes
by Mattie    

Worth the trouble, albeit a lot of trouble

Oh, Mattie.
I was intrigued when I came across this recipe, having loved the flavor of rosemary all my adult life and having wanted to make a semolina pudding cake for months but not finding the right recipe. Though this clearly isn't a pudding cake, it really fit the bill. I made a few augmentations, listed:
1. I infused the olive oil with the rosemary a few days ahead of Baking Day to enable a cooling off (10 minutes wouldn't do and I didn't want to kill the yeast with the hot oil)
2. I skinned and pulverized three Valencia oranges--I wanted to use mineolas for flavor, but my market was out--to make the juice a day ahead. As I included some pith, the orange juice sort of gelled to my surprise. I think the pith contains a degree of pectin. It tasted bitter out of the VitaMix, but the sugar in the cake batter ameliorated that, as I expected it would.
3. Because I used a pureed orange, I decided not to use lemon zest.
I otherwise followed your instructions as closely as I could. Without a mixer handy, I used a large whisk to stir. The dough's first rise was 8 hours and despite the punctures in the saran wrap, it rose too much and spilled out of the large pyrex bowl. The second rise lasted 2 1/2 hours--also nearly overflowed. The cake itself *just* finished baking, and it looks like it shrank in the oven: The sides against the bundt pan are taller and brown, and the paler cake has a slight rise but is still not as high as the dough originally was during its rise in the pan. I'm sure when I invert the cooled pan, the disparity in the height of the sides v. the middle won't show. It smells divine, and I'll post my success with the icing under the icing recipe. The thought of this cake has inspired me to curate a breakfast party and menu. Thank you for this fabulous experiment! Can you advise what might have happened regarding the first rise? Too much sugar? Not enough salt? Maybe pureed oranges have too much sugar? Maybe I should've added the warmed oil to kill off some of the yeast?

Owner's reply

Thanks for your detailed review savvyamy! I just updated the recipe to allow the olive oil to be cooled to room temperature before adding it to the batter. Thanks for letting me know about that! That's interesting that it rose so much for you. For me it just rose slightly. It may have to do with temperature differences in our kitchens. I know that since you added three oranges, there was probably a little bit more sugar for the yeast to eat which may have slightly contributed to the more aggressive rise. The salt and oil are not supposed to reduce the yeast action in any way in this particular recipe. If I get more reports of the rising getting out of hand I'll consider reducing the yeast slightly. Thanks again!

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