Food & dining

Recipe: A grandmother’s favorite Passover sponge cake

Karoline Boehm Goodnick for the Boston Globe

Makes one 10-inch cake

¼cup sifted potato starch
¾cup sifted matzo cake meal
10large eggs, at room temperature
cups sugar
cup fresh lemon juice
1packed tablespoon grated lemon rind
Pinch of salt
Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling, optional)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

2. Sift together the potato starch and the matzo cake meal into a bowl three times to aerate. If you don’t have a sifter, you can use a fine-mesh strainer. Set aside.

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3. Separate the eggs, placing the whites and yolks in separate large bowls. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Using a standing or hand mixer, beat the egg yolks on medium-high speed. Gradually add the rest of the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. When all of the sugar is incorporated, beat for 5 minutes or until the yolks look pale and thick. Gradually add the lemon juice and beat for 4 minutes more. Add the rind and beat 1 minute or until blended.

4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the potato starch mixture into the egg yolks, at a time, folding it in quickly but gently until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.

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5. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons of sugar to the egg whites. Using a clean bowl and very clean beaters, beat the whites on medium speed until very foamy (about 1 minute), then add the salt. Increase speed to medium-high and continue beating until the whites have increased in volume, about a minute. Turn speed to high and beat a little longer. Be careful not to overbeat. They should have firm peaks but not be dry.

6. Stir ¼ of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, until completely incorporated. Fold gently, being careful not to deflate the batter.

7. Pour the batter into a straight-sided 10-inch tube pan, preferably one with a removable bottom.

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8. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the cake top is brown and springs back when touched. Remove from the oven. Invert the pan and cool the cake in the pan. Using a sharp, thin knife, separate the edges of the cake from the edges of the pan and remove. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if you like, and serve with fruit compote or fresh fruit. Adapted from “The Gefilte Manifesto”

Follow Gabriella Gershenson on Twitter @gabiwrites.
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