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How Do I Make The Birthday Custard Sponge By Hand?

Asked by suesteele. Answered on 6th December 2021

Full question

I want to make Birthday Custard Sponge the long way round, not in a food processor, can you help with this please? Also can I use skimmed milk? Many thanks!

Birthday Custard Sponge
Photo by James Merrell
Birthday Custard Sponge
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

Nigella's Birthday Custard Sponge (from FEAST) is a sponge layer cake that includes custard powder. This helps to give the sponge its vanilla flavour and a golden colour. Nigella makes the cake using a food processor, but it is possible to make the cake with a hand-held or stand mixer or even a bowl, a wooden spoon and some elbow grease. You can use skimmed milk, but increase the butter by 5g (1 teaspoon).

To make the sponge, be sure to have all of the ingredients at room temperature and reduce the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to 1/4 teaspoon. Sift or whisk together the flour, custard powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and caster (superfine) sugar until pale and looking slightly fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoonful of the flour mixture with each egg. Fold in the remaining flour mixture, then mix in the milk, a tablespoonful at a time, until the batter has a soft dropping consistency. For the filling, sift together the icing (confectioners') sugar and custard powder. Beat the butter until soft then beat in the icing sugar mixture a little at a time. Finally, beat in the boiling water, a teaspoonful at a time, until you have a light, spreadable buttercream.

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