Italian Sponge Cake, was made for the first time by Giobatta Carbona, from Genoa, at mid-eighteenth century. It is amongst the best-known and most used base pastry recipes. It is a soft and smooth cake: with some cake syrup it is perfect to be stuffed according to your taste. There are countless possible stuffing: you should choose also according to the syrup you’ce used to soak it (simple, flavored with cocoa, almond or different flavors).
Following, the most used stuffing for Italian Sponge Cake, together with some new entries.
The most classical stuffing for Sponge Cake is Pastry Cream. You can make it by boiling some milk with a bean of vanilla. Meanwhile whisk yolks and sugar. Take the vanilla off the milk, and slowly pour it into the eggs, while stirring. Then move the mixture onto the gas and let simmer until it will have thickened. If you prefer a lighter and softer custard, you can make a Crème Légère (here in Southern Italy, we call it crema chantilly, Chantilly cream), just adding to cold pastry cream some whipped cream, in a quantity variable from 30% to 70% compared to pastry cream, depending on on your personal taste and on the purpose why you’re making it. Similarly, you can make a yummy Chocolate Pastry Cream, by adding to hot pastry cream some chopped dark chocolate.
To stuff your cake you can also use Coffee Custard: let simmer some milk with a vanilla bean. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar, then add some sifted potato starch into the mixture. Take the vanilla off the milk, and slowly combine the egg mixture with the milk and some expresso coffee, while stirring. Then move the mixture onto the gas and let simmer until it will have thickened. Vanilla Custard is also a great alternative. To make it, let simmer some fresh cream with a vanilla bean inside, then take off vanilla and let cool till tepid. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar, then add some sifted potato starch into this mixture. Slowly add the cream inside, then let simmer until it will have thickened. Once cold, stir in some mascarpone cheese.
In pastry making they also use Lemon Custard a lot. Whisk yolks and sugar, then add in this mixture some sifted potato starch, while keep whisking. Then move the mixture onto the gas, ad a lemon zest, and let simmer until it will have thickened. Finally, stir in some lemon juice. If you’d like a stronger lemon taste, you could make Lemon Curd: grate organic lemon zest, the squeeze the lemons, and put zest and juice aside. Melt some butter in a bain-marie. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and sugar, then add them into the butter, finally add zest and juice too. Keep cooking for about 10 minutes. If you prefer it thicker, add in a spoon of potato starch. Similarly, you can also make Orange Curd: of course you need to substitute lemons with oranges.
You can make Mascarpone Cream just whisking super-fresh yolks with sugar, and then adding mascarpone cheese inside. Aside, whip some sugared cream, and stir it into the mascarpone mixture. If you want a super-yummy stuffing, you should make Rocher Custard: slightly whip some cream, abd combine it with some Nutella. Then add some crumbled hazelnut wafers, some crushed hazelnut and some maraschino. Cover with some plastic wrap, and refrigerate till the right moment. A mousse could be a quick alternative stuffing. For example, Nutella Mousse, for which you just have to whip some cream with icing sugar, slightly warm up some Nutella in a bain-marie, and combine. Whereas, to make Coffee Mousse, you need to whip some cream, combine some expresso coffee with some condensed milk, and then stir this mixture into the whipped cream.
For a fruity stuffing, you can make Lemon Mousse: let soak some gelatin sheets in water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar, then add lemon juice and zest inside. Move this mixture onto the gas and let simmer until it will start to thicken, then squeeze the gelatin and add it into the saucepan, and dissolve it completely. Let cool down. Now, make a meringue: boil some water and sugar for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites until stiff, then slowly add the boiling syrup inside, while still whisking. Finally, combine the meringue with the yolks mixture and with some sugared whipped cream. Refrigerate till nicely cold.