You see sponge cake in the bakery at the grocery store every time you’re there, right? I sure thought I had. Walking confidently up to the table of baked goods, I measured up the round, spongy looking things, and as I examined the price labels, $4.99 per cake, I glimpsed at the words the labels read. “Angel Food Cake,” they said. I stared suspiciously at this $4.99 baked good. Angel food cake? “Is that the same as sponge cake?” I thought. When you come to a fork in the road like that, there’s really nothing to do except bop on the smart phone.
“Difference between sponge cake and angel food cake” was easy to search for, and what was immediately apparent was that there was a clear difference. Angel food cake uses just the whites of the eggs. Sponge cake uses the whole egg. Sponge cake is also not technically a pound cake, something that was also widely available in the grocery store’s bakery. A pound cake is more buttery rich and heavier because it’s made to retain far less air.
With my crash course in the finer points of sponge cake now complete, I took my new knowledge over to the bakers to find out if they had a sponge cake supply in the back that had just not been put out yet. When I asked, though, do you know what they both said to me? Almost in unison, they both said, “Angel food cake?” So, what choice did I have? I had to get all pretensious on them.
“Well, there’s a difference, you know?” I said, like I grew up in a sponge cakery. To their frozen looks, I continued, “Yeah, one uses just the egg whites.”
“Well, which one is which?” The more female of the two asked.
“Angel food is the one with just egg whites,” I said simply with the guy trying to finish my sentence like he already knew that. Isnt it just so great when you get to wheel out information that you just acquired, like you’ve known it forever? Isn’t that half of why we learn stuff in the first place? To show other people that we know something? So, it looked like it was going to be home-made dessert again, and I still can’ bake. But, wait!
No, no, no, wait! Because just before I turned to go, and right after I went to look at the mini-short cakes, another option the bakers apparently thought might be what I had meant by sponge cake, I breezed past the bread aisle, and do you know what I found? Well, stop skimming ahead! That’s right, though! My Florida Publix sure ’nuff carries a few boxes of TastyKake Krimpets, a Philadelphia gas station tradition! Of course, it wasn’t completely delicious, but it was sponge cake, by definition. And some days, days like the one I had today, just getting by can feel like you’re batting 1,000.
See you Friday for National Peach Pie Day.