Friday, June 08, 2007

Anisette Sponge Cake

When my husband came back from the U.S., he brought a package of Stella D'oro Anisette Sponge with him on the plane for snacking. He also brought back a bottle of anise extract. He has always liked Anisette toast and sponge cookies but you can't get them in Japan. This is very likely because they smell of licorice and, in my experience, Japanese people aren't keen on licorice.

I decided to try to create something similar to the anisette sponge cookies he brought back with him and I think I've come as close as I'm going to with a third experimental recipe based on a biscotti recipe. It's probably closer to cake than to cookie but it's definitely not as delicate as cake can be and can be easily eaten with fingers alone (and does not drop a lot of crumbs).

Anisette Sponge Recipe:
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup Canola oil (scant)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. anise extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • dash vanilla essence
  • dash lemon essence
  • dash almond essence
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup white flour
  • dash salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C.) Whisk the egg, egg yolk, milk, oil, anise extract, and all essences together. Whisk in the sugar and salt. Sift in the baking powder and flour. Stir until smooth. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer in the center comes out clean. Allow to rest in the pan for 5-10 minutes and gently turn out onto a cooling rack. Slice when thoroughly cooled.

I recommend you allow the cake to cool completely and wait several hours before eating it because the anise flavor seems to need time to develop and is very subtle when consumed in warm cakes or cookies.

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