Sponge cakes are foam cakes, held up by the delicate foam of beaten eggs or egg whites.
Even better for lowcarbers, sponge cakes are often made with nuts and little or no
starch. Unfortunately, regular nut cake recipes contain a considerable amount
of sugar, which is there not just for sweetness, but for the texture of the cake.
That's where ThickenThin not/Sugar thickener can play an important role in replacing the
function of sugar in a nut sponge cake.
In fact, not/Sugar actually makes lowcarb sponge cakes easier to produce than
high carb ones. That's because it is better at stabilizing egg foams than sugar.
This cake doesn't require the careful handling of the high-carb kind.
In fact, as the result of a badly-timed power failure, we found that the batter
can hold for quite a while before baking, and even can go in and out of the r
efrigerator without noticeable loss of volume.
This cake is so delicious and moist that it doesn't need as many yolks
as high-carb sponge cakes. You are welcome to use them, but it's more work
than using JustWhites plus whole eggs.
Sponge cakes are traditionally baked in an ungreased pan, to give the
sides something to grip. This cake is sturdy enough that I prefer to bake it in a greased
pan to avoid the I-can't-get-it-out-of-the-pan disasters I have experienced. (OTOH, I
don't know how it works in an ungreased pan.)
This recipe is made with one of my favorite nuts, hazelnuts or filberts. Feel free to
use other nuts and/or different extracts or even liqueurs, but you may want to add
additional sweetenr for less sweet-tasting nuts like walnuts.
glaze, or sauce.
Also, this recipe is not very sweet. Since there is no need to use a lot of sugar
for texture, I reduced the sweetening by half, compared to traditional cakes. If you
prefer it sweeter, feel free to add more sweetener, or top it with a sweet icing.
A classic trick -- for those who can afford the carbs -- is to sprinkle a tiny amount
of sugar (yup, the real thing) on top to give the crust a nice crunchy texture.
Coarsely chopped nuts (as opposed to ground) also give a nice crunch, but the flavor
and texture would be different.