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Schraderpuffer (Sponge Cushion)

This is a speciality of Schleswig-Holstein, the most northerly point of Germany almost on the Danish border. The method of preparation and baking is quite unusual and gives a not too sweet, light and airy cake that is ideal for tea or coffee time.

ingredients

75 g (3 oz) butter
75 g (3 oz) plain flour, sifted
75 g (3 oz) raisins
5 g (1 tsp) lemon zest
4 eggs, separated
75 g (3 oz) caster sugar

method

1. Cut the butter into the flour and rub to a fine crumb texture. Toss in the raisins and lemon zest, making sure that they are well coated with flour. Set aside.

2. Whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl until they stand in firm, snowy peaks and beat in half the sugar until the mixture is firm and glossy. Using a large metal spoon fold in the rest of the sugar and lightly beaten egg yolks.

3. Very carefully and lightly, fold in the flour and butter mixture in three portions. Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 22 cm (8 1/2 in) ring or savarin mould.

4. Level out and bake immediately in the preheated oven at 240°C (475°F) Gas 9 for a total of 45 minutes, reducing the temperature after the first five minutes to 220°C (425°F) Gas 7 and then again after a further ten minutes to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

5. The cake puffs up high and turns a rich, golden brown.

6. Lift out of the oven and turn out on a wire rack after 10 minutes to cool. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

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