Genoise Sponge

Serves 8

150g caster sugar
4 eggs
75g ground almonds
75g gluten-free plain flour
40g dairy-free margarine, melted and cooled

This sponge can be used for gateaux, trifle or any dessert that calls for a light sponge base. It goes well with poached fruits and a little of the syrup. It is made in the same way as swiss roll with the addition of melted dairy-free margarine to help it stay moist.

Preheat the oven to 190°c / 170°c fan oven / 375°f / gas mark 5.
Grease and line 2 x 20cm / 8in round cake tins.

Melt the dairy-free margarine in the microwave on a low setting.

If you are using a food mixer – place the caster sugar and eggs into the machine bowl, fit the whisk attachment and whisk on a fast speed for 8 – 10 minutes. It is whisked enough when you lift up the whisk it leaves a trail on the top of the mixture for a second. This is called a sabayon.
If you are using a hand whisk or electric hand whisk – find a large saucepan and a large heatproof bowl that will sit on top.
Fill the saucepan with 1 inch of water. Bring the water to the boil. Take off the heat.
Place the caster sugar and eggs into the bowl and whisk together.
Place on top of the saucepan and whisk for 10 minutes until when you lift up the whisk it leaves a trail on top of the mixture.
Using the pan of hot water speeds up this process. The thick mixture is called a sabayon.

Sift together the ground almonds and cornflour. Use a spoon to add the flour and melted dairy-free margarine to the sabayon and fold in carefully. You want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible so try not to bang the bowl!

Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until firm to touch.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling wire.

To make a chocolate genoise sponge, replace 25g gluten-free flour with 25g cocoa powder. Sift together with the flour and ground almonds before folding into the sabayon.

Genoise sponge is a very light sponge used in layered cakes and gateaux.