Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Savoy Cake (Gâteau de Savoie)

Posted by bakinghistory on July 13, 2008

A tender sponge cake ideal to serve with tea, preserves or custard

An old-fashioned cake—it dates back to the time of Louis XIV— that is always pleasant to have. Its texture is spongy and light, yet sturdy enough to spread with jam, or to line a mold to make a trifle. It does not contain any milk , butter, or leavening—it’s important to beat the batter well so that it can incorporate enough air for the cake to have a tender crumb.

From the original recipe by Sara Van Buren

In: “Good-living: A Practical Cookery-book for Town and Country”, 1890—USA

Ingredients:

1 cup (4 oz—113 g) unsifted powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar) + extra to sprinkle on the cake

1/4 cup  + 2 tbsp (1-1/2 oz—42 g) AP flour (sifted) + extra for the cake pan

scant 1/4 cup (1 oz—28 g)  cornstarch

3 large eggs, divided

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or to taste)

vegetable oil to grease the pan

Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)

Sift together flour and cornstarch.

Beat the yolks at high speed until very light and pale yellow, add the vanilla and then the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time, sifting it through a fine strainer. Beat until light.

Add the flour-cornstarch mixture, sifting it through a fine strainer,  mixing by hand or at the lowest speed, and only until just incorporated.

Beat the egg whites until stiff but still moist (do not overbeat).

Add 1/4 of the egg whites to the yolks and flours mixture, folding them in until well mixed.

Add the remaining egg whites, folding them in gently so that they do not deflate. Pour the batter in the prepared pan, place in the oven, and immediately lower the temperature to 325°F (160°C).

Bake for 40-45 minutes, and do not open the oven door before 40 minutes have passed or the cake will fall.

A cake tester will come out dry and clean once the cake is ready, and the cake will shrink slightly from the sides of the pan.

Place the mold on a rack for five minutes, then delicately unmold the cake and let it cool on a rack.

Once the cake is completely cold sift confectioners’ sugar on top and sides

6 Responses to “Savoy Cake (Gâteau de Savoie)”

  1. Louise said

    Hi Manuela,

    This cake looks absolutely heavenly! It’s a bit complicated for me because I’m not much of a baker but my morning coffee sure could use a piece about now. The trifle idea sounds intriguing.

  2. Jeri said

    That would be delicious with lemon curd.

  3. bakinghistory said

    @ Jeri: hi! thanks for visiting. Absolutely, this cake is wonderful with lemon curd, especially homemade.

    @ Louise: Thanks! it is not very difficult, really.

  4. Simona said

    Lovely. The photo really gives a sense of lightness. The list of ingredients reminds me of savoiardi, which I made once.

  5. bakinghistory said

    @ Simona: Ciao! This batter can be definitely used to make savoiardi.

  6. Aparna said

    Looks great, can’t believe there’s no fat in that cake.

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