Sponge Cake in Italian is called Pan di Spagna, Spanish bread. They use to say that the author of Italian Sponge Cake original recipe was a young pastry chef from Genoa, Giobatta Cabona, who, at mid-eighteenth century, in Spain with the marquise Domenico Pallavicini, created this sweet, soft cake base. So, it is called Pan di Spagna, in honor of the Country who so generously praised it.
Sponge Cake is numered among classic recipes of Italian cuisine. It is the standard base, in pastry-making, for stuffed cakes, as it has a soft, light consistency and is really versatile, as you can flavor it in any way you like.
Of course, there are countless recipes, techniques and possible variants, but the base ingredients always are the same, simple and genuine: flour (or, at most, potato starch), sugar and eggs. Then, of course, after cooking, you need to layer it, soak it with some syrup and stuff it with some custard. You can choose the syrup and custard according to your taste.
Fun fact: the original recipe only use the air incorporated into the egg mixture, relying on egg proteins and air thermal expansion to provide the rising leavening Contrariamente a quanto si potrebbe pensare, il pan di Spagna non necessita dell’ utilizzo del lievito, il segreto per un pan di Spagna alto e soffice infatti, sta nella quantità di bolle d’ aria che riusciremo ad incamerare nell’ impasto, in base a quanto tempo lo lavoreremo.
With time, more recipes have added to Italian Sponge Cake, such as: