A classic Australian ginger fluff sponge cake is an absolute thing of beauty. Light as air, it is wedged with whipped cream and served in fat slices. It is perfect for morning or afternoon tea. I called her Ginger of course :)
Even the name ginger fluff reveals much about the texture of this lovely cake and it was when I saw fresh duck eggs at the market that I knew that I wanted to make this. The cake has a gorgeous spiced cocoa flavour to it and a generous amount of golden syrup sweetened whipped cream. I enjoyed slicing off a piece of this every day for a period of a week. It also kept well in the fridge stored in an airtight container.
A friend of mine Girl Next Door told me something interesting recently. "I figured out from a fairly young age that everyone feels like they're an imposter," she said over a lunch of cheese, pasta and pizza (the holy trinity of a girls' lunch). Imposter syndrome is when successful individuals or high achievers feel like they're frauds and put down their success to luck rather than skill or ability. I also feel like it may be prevalent in countries like Australia where we tend to downplay achievements rather than blow our own trumpet.
I also think that with social media it has also gotten worse. Sometimes just going on Instagram can be a depressing experience that fills one with feelings of inadequacy. Everyone presents their best side on it but is it the real you? It's especially common with women and a psychologist Valerie Young categorised people with imposter syndrome in 5 ways:
- The Perfectionist - one who sets impossible, perfectionist goals (can also be a control freak). Hello me!
- The Superwoman/man - one who sacrifices other things to work harder and harder
- The Natural Genius - ones that feel that others are naturally gifted and they have to work hard at things so they must not be cut out for it. They need to get things right on the first try. Another hello me!
- The Rugged Individualist - ones that never ask for help and feel like they have to do things on their own.
- The Expert - those that fear being exposed as inexperienced or inexpert. They never feel like they know enough.
I know that I definitely have a bit of this, especially 1 and 3 and I find myself disappointed if I can't pick up a new skill within the first minute. I also suffer from another syndrome, where inside me lies another woman, a scone baking CWA white woman who lives in the country and loves baking sponges, finger buns and custard tarts. But that's another sort of issue I think! ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have imposter syndrome and which one applies to you? If not, do you know anyone that does? Do you have another personality inside you? How do you feel about social media? Do you have a favourite one and least favourite and why?
Ginger Fluff Sponge Cake
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 5 eggs (use duck eggs for a super high one like this or chicken eggs for a more regular sized one), separated
- 1 cup caster or superfine sugar, divided in two
- 3/4 cup cornflour or fine cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons plain all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup, warmed slightly
- 300ml/10.6flozs. cream
- 3 tablespoons golden syrup
- Whipped cream to decorate and chocolate shavings
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line 2x 20cm/8inch round tins on the base and sides. Whip the egg whites until foamy and soft peaks form. Then add half of the sugar and whip until glossy and firm. Then add the yolks and the rest of the sugar and whip until triple the size and very light and airy.
Step 2 - Sift in the cornflour, flour, baking powder and spices in three lots. Fold this into the egg mixture making sure that it is well incorporated - I often find little streaks of flour hiding at the bottom and folding the flour in takes time. Add the tablespoon of golden syrup. Divide evenly among the two tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the centre springs back when touched. Cool and remove from tin. You can make these the day before and wrap them or you can freeze the cooled cakes too.
Step 3 - Whip the cream with the golden syrup until you get a thick, spreadable, billowy whipped cream filling. Sandwich the two cakes together with the cream and pipe some on top. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and serve.