It is bewildering to me why people—even good cooks—shy away from cake baking. Everyone seems to have a fear of the cake falling or being too dry, or of what is perceived as strict scientific method. I seldom refer to a recipe when I bake cakes, because I know one good, basic formula that is infinitely variable. It’s a variation on a European sponge cake, and it relies on no artificial leavening, just air beaten into eggs.
Different flours, cocoa, bread or cake crumbs, or ground nuts