05 May 2017

The Sponge cake was born in Italy

The sponge cake is omnipresent, on our tables, when it comes to sweets and cakes to garnish.
Birthdays, ceremonies, weddings and special occasions always deserve a personalized cake and, in the vast majority of cases, the base from which everything originates is just this soft component.

But where does this ancient traditional recipe originate from?

Origins and history

Despite the name you seem to point to anything else, the roots of the original recipe of the sponge cake sink in our Italy. Myths and legends are told in quantity, but we will rely on the most truthful and realistic theory.

We are in the first half of the eighteenth century, in the Republic of Genoa.

The ambassador of the Republic, the Marquis Domenico Pallavicini, scion of a wealthy family, was sent to the court of the King of Paris, for commercial reasons. Here he stayed there for about two years, returning home, later, with a bevy of diplomatic advisors and, important for our story, the home service staff, including a young pastry chef: Giobatta Cabona.

Nobody could imagine that all this would have led, then, to the realization of a new cake that would have become known worldwide, handed down from generation to generation for centuries, coming up to us.

On the occasion of a reception at the Spanish court, the Marquis commissioned to the pastry chef a particular sweet, able to impress the guests.

The mission managed to perfection: the landlord and guests were pleasantly surprised by the light consistency of the sweet that had such a delicate and yet so strong flavor.

The Pà¢te à  génoise (Pasta Genovese) was born, named in this way to give homage to those who had conceived it.

So where does the current name derive from?

Pà¢te à  génoise and sponge cake

The name “sponge cake” was coined later, to honor the Spanish court which had appreciated its taste right from the start; this name, however, was joined to a slightly modified and simplified creation of the sweet. While the original recipe, in fact, provides a hot preparation, for the sponge cake the dough can be made cold.

The result is, in any case, identifying, unique and delicious. So much so that, a century after his invention, it even became an “exam test” for the boys who were studying to become pastry chefs of the Berlin school!