This month's recipe for the Avid Baker's Challenge is the Mile-High Vanilla Sponge Cake which was one of the cakes that Abby Dodge, author of the "Weekend Baker," fondly remembers eating often during her childhood. I also have a lot of fond memories of eating this cake when I was a child as my grandmother would bake this every so often and serve it to her weekly mah-jong group along with whipped cream and fresh fruits. She would even turn the leftovers into other confections which we often snacked on in the afternoons like toasted mamon which is just slices of sponge cake sprinkled with sugar then toasted until crunchy through and through. The adults would eat this together with their many cups of coffee while us kids enjoyed dunking them in our own tiny mugs of hot chocolate. On certain occasions, my grandmother would also use untoasted sponge cake crumbs to coat her famous silvanas which everyone in our family loved especially my sister and I who would occasionally sneak in the kitchen to get a few pieces for ourselves LOL.
Determined to free up some much needed space inside my fridge, I decided to forgo a trip to the supermarket and use what I already had on hand namely a tub of Greek yogurt that's been sitting in my fridge for close to a month as well as a few pints of blackberries that were in my freezer for much longer. What I ended up making to pair with the sponge cake were honey-sweetened Greek yogurt and brandied blackberry sauce which I made by cooking pureed blackberries in a saucepan along with brandy and other ingredients until it thickened (both recipes are below). Cooking the sauce definitely enhanced the flavor of the blackberries even more.
The yogurt and the blackberry sauce were a match made in heaven and I would definitely make this again if ever I find myself in a mood for a yogurt-y dessert. I don't know if the yogurt really paired well with the sponge cake given its very tart flavors but hey, I still ate 2 huge slices so it wasn't that bad!
Honey-Sweetened Greek yogurt
2 cups Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a large bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, honey, and lemon juice. Stir with a wire whisk until combined. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks. Fold into the yogurt mixture until well-combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Brandied Blackberry Sauce
2 cups Blackberries, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon brandy
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoon sugar
If using frozen blackberries, place them in a small bowl to defrost. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl of the food processor and pulse until liquid. Place the mixture in a small saucepan and heat gently until thick and syrupy. Bring to room temperature before serving.
If you would like to join ABC or just check out my fellow ABC bakers' take on this month's recipe, head on over to the ABC blog!