Junior's Sponge Cake Crust

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No one really knows just whose idea it was to use a sponge cake crust for , but it worked... and that same recipe continues to work today.


Junior's Sponge Cake Crust

For one 9-inch cake crust:

1⁄3 cup sifted cake flour
3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 extra-large eggs, separated
1⁄3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 drops pure lemon extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For one 8-inch cake crust:

1/4 cup sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 extra-large eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 drops pure lemon extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Makes one 8- or 9-inch crust

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and generously butter the bottom and sides of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan (preferably a nonstick one). Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.

2. In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.

3. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and beat until thick light yellow ribbons form, about 5 minutes more. Beat in the extracts.

4. Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand, just until no more white flecks appear. Now, blend in the melted butter.

5. Now, wash the mixing bowl and beaters really well (if even a little fat is left, this can cause the egg whites not to whip). Put the egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl and beat with the mixer on high until frothy. Gradually add the remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites will stand up and look glossy, not dry). Fold about one-third of the whites into the batter, then the remaining whites. Don't worry if you still see a few white specks, as they'll disappear during baking.

6. Gently spread out the batter over the bottom of the pan, and bake just until set and golden (not wet or sticky), about 10 minutes. Touch the cake gently in the center. If it springs back, it's done. Watch carefully and don't let the top brown. Leave the crust in the pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Leave the oven on while you prepare the batter.


Dark Chocolate Sponge Cake Crust
Slice into some of Junior's cakes, especially the chocolaty ones, and you'll find a chocolate sponge cake on the bottom, instead of a golden sponge. The recipe and mixing techniques are the same, except you stir in 2 ounces of melted and slightly cooled bittersweet chocolate when you add the extracts.


The Junior's Way
Bake the cheesecake crust in the same springform pan you're using for the cheesecake. Watch the crust closely; since it's so thin, it needs only 10 to 12 minutes to bake.


Recipes reprinted with permission from "Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook" by Alan Rosen and Beth Allen (The Taunton Press)
© 2007 by Junior's Cheesecake, Inc
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