Steamed Coffee Sponge

Steamed Coffee Sponge

I have been eyeing this recipe from my “1000 Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World” cookbook for MONTHS now. Before leaving for Ohio I copied down all the dessert recipes I’ve been wanting to make for a long time and brought them with me. Jake and I don’t like dessert all that much. Give us a bag of tortilla chips or a bowl of salty popcorn vs. a big chocolate cake and we’d choose the salty food every time. So it doesn’t make a bit of sense to make an entire cake for the two of us. Luckily at home in Ohio we have my parents to help us eat it and a bunch of friends and relatives we can count on to munch away at it too. I made this on New Years Eve Day for a few reasons. Jake and I love coffee, but my parents…not so much. However they were having two guests over to the house for New Years Eve so I knew if they didn’t like the cake there would be others to help demolish it. Jake and I were going to spend New Years Eve quite happily by first taking my dear grandmother to a very early (4pm) dinner at the Mexican restaurant in town and then drive up to Findlay Ohio to see my brother, eat some late-night sushi as a snack and go to a TERRIBLE Ohio dive bar to ring in the New Year. My brother and Jake are two of the most important men in my life, so to me it seemed like the most fun New Years ever.
This sponge ended up being so small and adorable that it was like having a puppy on a plate in the kitchen. I actually DID squeal when I popped this out of the pan and saw how cute and tiny it was. This is the PERFECT size for two people. It makes a perfect two servings, or four smaller servings. The sauce ended up tasting a lot like chocolate pudding. In fact, Mom and I were talking and thought that if you really felt like cutting down the time on this recipe you could skip the sauce altogether and buy one of those chocolate pudding snack packs and ice the cake with one of those at room temperature. I however, think I would have preferred simply melting some chocolate and drizzling it over the top of this sponge. This was not my favorite dessert. It was very much not stellar, in my opinion. Steaming it gave it the consistency of a mushy cake…almost like a pudding. I hate pudding. Rather, I hate the texture of pudding, so this was a failure of a recipe with me. It made me wonder about who would like it. I’m not sure. I’m glad I at least tried this or I always would’ve wondered about it. No more. Anyway, here’s the recipe if you feel like giving it a whirl yourself.

Steamed Coffee Sponge
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 eggs
5 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon coffee extract

1 1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1. Lightly grease a 2 1/2 cup heatproof bowl.
2. Cream the margarine and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs.
3. Spoon the mixture into the bowl and cover with a pleated piece of baking parchment and then a pleated piece of foil, securing around the bowl with tightly tied string.
4. Place the bowl in a steamer or large pan half full of boiling water.
5. Cover and steam for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or till the sponge is cooked through.
6. To make the sauce, put the milk, sugar and unsweetened cocoa in a pan and heat until the sugar dissolves.
7. Blend the cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of water to a paste and stir into the pan.
8. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring till thickened. Cook 1 minute.
9. Turn the sponge out onto a warmed serving plate and spoon the sauce over the top. Serve immediately.


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