As white as cream, as red as raspberries and as black as chocolate! But the colourful “Snow White Cake” is not only a feast for the eyes. Because fluffy crème, fruity berries and fine chocolate sponge cake form an ensemble that melts in your mouth.Jump to Recipe
The base of this fairy tale cake was, admittedly, not created in Italy. Pan di Spagna is the name of the sponge cake used, and its recipe dates back to the 17th century. This foundation of Italian cake art is attributed to the personal pastry chef of an Italian ambassador in Madrid, the Ligurian, Giovan Battista Cabona, better known as Giobatté. He took his inspiration for the sponge cake from the Savoiardi, the traditional sponge fingers used in tiramisu. The “Spanish bread” is still very popular in Spain and Italy today.
Of course you can prepare Torta Biancaneve “Snow White Cake” at any time of the year. But all berries simply taste better fresh than frozen. Raspberries and redcurrants are now in high season. Berries can lose their flavour when washed. If you have a reliable source of berries that is free of spraying agents, it is better not to wash them. Otherwise, dab the berries dry with kitchen roll. For the torta, the berries should have a certain sourness. It is the contrast between the sweet crème, the berries and the fluffy chocolaty sponge cake that makes this cake so special.
Snow White Cake
Pan di Spagna (cocoa sponge)
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 160 g sugar
- 65 g flour
- 65 g cornstarch
- 30 g cocoa
- 125 ml water
- 100 g sugar
- 2 tbsp rum
- 750 ml whipping cream
- 70 g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 7 sheets gelatin
- 500 g raspberries and/or redcurrants, fresh, as well as a few to decorate
For the sponge cake, pre-heat the oven (upper and lower heat) to 180°C. Grease the spring form baking tin with butter and dust with flour. Beat the egg white with the sugar until stiff (approx. 10 minutes). Now add the egg yolks one after the other. Mix the dry ingredients and sieve. Then carefully fold into the egg whites with a whisk. Spread the dough into the spring form tin. Bake the cake base in the pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes.
You can check whether the sponge cake is fully baked by lightly pressing it with two fingers. If you see a pressure mark, extend the baking time. Sprinkle the surface with sugar and turn the sponge cake over onto baking paper. Thanks to the sugar, the cake will not stick to the paper.
For the syrup Pour water into a pot. Add the sugar and mix gently. Heat the mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Let it cool down and flavour with 2 tablespoons of rum.
For the crème Soak the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes. Half beat the whipping cream with the sugar and vanilla extract. Gently squeeze the gelatin and warm it up in a small pot for a few seconds. Gelatin should not boil as otherwise it loses its ability to form a gel. As soon as the gelatin melts slightly, remove from the heat and stir vigorously until it is liquid. Continue beating the whipping cream immediately and at the same time slowly pour in the gelatin. Continue beating until the mixture is creamy and firm.
Now layer by layer we will soon have our Torta Biancaneve. As soon as the sponge cake has cooled down, cut into three slices of about the same thickness. Moisten the surface of the first sponge cake layer with some syrup, spread with the crème and garnish with a third of the raspberries. Now repeat in layers: sponge cake on top of the raspberries, followed by syrup, crème and raspberries. Moisten the third slice of the sponge cake with the syrup and decorate as desired with cream and fresh raspberries and/or redcurrants. Keep the cake in the refrigerator.