14 June 2008

Happy Fathers Day with a Sponge Cake with Mascarpone Cream and Strawberries

Dad and Me
Happy Fathers day to all the fathers, brothers, uncles and sons out there or any combination of the above!!!!! Today is a day when we can tell you how much we appreciate all that you have done over the years and for being the loving and caring people that you are. I know that we should tell you more often each and every day, but today is a day set aside just for you in your Hallmark moment.

Walk a little slower daddy
said a little child so small,
I'm following your footsteps
and I don't want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast
sometimes they are hard to see,
so walk a little slower daddy,
For you are leading me.

Someday when I'm all grown up
you are what I want to be,
then I will have a little child
who will want to follow me.

I would want to lead just right
and know that I was true,
so walk a little slower daddy,
For I must follow you!


My own dad grew up in northern England and emigrated to Canada in 1957 with my mom and oldest brother. Being first generation Canadians they started out alone and forged a new life in the province of Ontario like many new Canadian citizens.

"A father carries pictures where his money used to be".


Dad was in the British army for 8 years during his early days living in Germany and Malaysia and has a passion for skiing. I talk to my mom and dad every morning on the Internet, but in the winter months my dad is usually skiing. My brothers and sisters and I all had skiis strapped to our feet from an early age. When I was very young dad would take us to the golf course and to Churchill Park to learn to walk uphill with our skiis. It was important to have this knowledge because in those days your means of transportation at Chicopee to get to the top of the hill was a rope tow. At the young age of 5 it was very hard to hold onto the rope, keep your feet in the grooves and not fall. If you fell, which was inevitable you held up the line and it took everyone that much longer to reach the summit. You can see why it might be a good idea to learn to climb under your own steam. When everyone else is cursing shovelling their driveways dad has a secret grin because he knows he will be out skiing and he is now 80. This puts me to shame!!!

In the summer we spent many years on vacation at the many beaches in Ontario. Dad is an avid photographer so we have many photos and movies to document our time together as a family. Wasaga Beach, Sauble Beach, Port Perry...we were there....You should see the elaborate sand castles that we made. I have plenty of photos of them as well. For a time we had a cottage at Lake Eugenia which is a little south of Collingwood and the Blue Mountain Ski area. We planted a large garden and spent many hours sitting around the campfire enjoying the warm summer nights...far enough south not to be bothered by blackflies who would chew huge chunks out of any part of you they could find!!!!

Since this is a food blog I have to tell you that my Dad has always been a vegetarian, even before it was a movement. I would have to say though that he is a pseudo vegetarian because he eats fish as well as dairy and eggs. In fact fish 'n chips are his favourite meal. I remember as a child travelling miles in the car for good fish 'n chips, the kind that were wrapped in newspaper and served with malt vinegar. It wasn't until I was a little older that I knew that white vinegar even existed. Dad makes the best potato fritters and french fries and homemade bread and buns too!!! I remember the smell permeating the entire house and waiting by the oven door to watch the bread rise in anticipation. One of my favourite treats as a child was to slather this freshly baked bread with peanut butter and savour every tender mouthful.

For years mom and dad have been on the Fit For Life diet which means they eat nothing but fruit until noon. It cleanses the system. Both of my parents are certainly doing something right because they are both in great shape!!!!!!! Then at lunch dad has his porridge and sometimes fried tomatoes and toast (or maybe a pikelet)which was always his breakfast foods of choice for years that I remember growing up.

I remember my childhood being very happy without a care in the world just as a kids life should be. Our family always did things together. He made my brother a go cart that looked like a jeep because dad is talented that way and can do everything he sets his mind to. When I was living in Calgary he visited and decided that he wanted to take up making stained glass. My friend at the time was making lamps and windows for a local company. Well I have some beautiful lamps and one of a kind windows that he made with his steady hand that are truly amazing. Both of my brothers took it up as well. Some of his windows he even taught himself to etch glass so that the thatched roof of the cottage looks real. He also taught himself to paint in oils. If I sound like I am bragging I am!!!

Dad has learned to fly a plane and taught himself to excel at the computer....as I said my dad can do anything!!!! I sound like a little child who is confronted with her playmates, "My dad is better than yours". The bottom line is ultimately I am very proud of my dad and all that he has accomplished in his life. Today is a good day to tell him that because he doesn't hear it from me often enough, or maybe not at all.

F - Faithful, Funloving
A - Amazing, Artistic, Always There
T - True-blue, Trustworthy
H - Honoring
E - Energetic, Ever-Loving
R- Remarkable, Righteous
S - Supportive.

"I never had a chance to choose the man to be my Dad - 
But I sure thank my lucky stars for the taste my Mother had."


My mom makes my dad a traditional sponge cake when they are looking for a special treat. I'd have to say this is his favourite dessert along with apple turnovers and apple or rhubarb pie. Sponge cake geta its rise, not from baking powder, but solely from the air whipped into the eggs. The eggs need to be at room temperature and the egg yolks and sugar are beaten until thick, light, and fluffy which can take as long as five minutes. This long beating time is necessary for it not only gives the baked cake its full volume, it also gives the cake its nice open grain. Be careful when folding the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture to ensure that the batter does not deflate too much. A few quick strokes with a rubber spatula or large balloon whisk are all that is needed. You can serve this cake plain with just a dusting of powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar or with fresh fruit and softly whipped cream or as I have in this case with a less sweet mascarpone cheese and strawberries or strawberry jam.

**Sponge Cake with Mascarpone Cream and Strawberries**

6 large eggs, separated
1 large egg yolk
pinch of salt
1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cold water
finely grated zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and grease and flour a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the pinch of salt. Beat whites until foamy. Increase mixer speed to medium and continue beating the whites while gradually adding 1 cup of the sugar. You want the whites to beat into soft peaks (don’t overbeat). Set aside.In a clean bowl, beat the egg yolks with remaining 1/3 cup sugar, the flour, the baking powder, the vanilla and almond extracts and the cold water until smooth. Add the orange zest. The mixture might appear stiff or very thick but don’t worry.
Gently fold in the egg whites until you have a well mixed batter.

Spoon the batter into the springform pan and bake in the middle of the oven for about 35 minutes. The top of the cake will be golden and it will spring back when pressed.

Remove the cake to a wire rack and cool completely before releasing the cake from the springform pan.
Carefully divide the cake into two equal layers. Set the bottom layer on your cake tray or serving plate. Spread the filling over the cake bottom. If it’s a bit loose, refrigerate the cake bottom for about 10 minutes to firm up the filing. Top the filling with the second layer of the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Just before serving, dust the cake with icing sugar.

**Mascarpone Filling**

8 oz (225 g) raspberries or strawberries
3-4 tablespoons soft set strawberry or raspberry jam
1 x 250 g tub mascarpone
1 x 200 ml tub fromage frais (I used Greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling, combine the mascarpone and fromage frais in a bowl; a balloon whisk will amalgamate them quicker. Add the level tablespoon of sugar and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Now spread one tablespoon of jam over one of the sponge cakes, follow this with half the cream mixture then scatter the raspberries or strawberries all over that. Now add the remaining cream mixture and drizzle it with the rest of the jam. Place the second sponge cake on top. Press very lightly to sandwich everything together, then lightly dust the cake with icing sugar before serving.

Note: Cream of tartar is used when whipping egg whites to stabilize them, and to prevent over beating and the whites drying out.

This is the cake mom baked Dad for Father's Day
Best Blogger Tips


  1. AnonymousJune 14, 2008

    What a beautiful post about your father. I love hearing all these stories, just beautiful Val.

  2. Your dad sounds like a terrific guy. And I love sponge cake! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Those are great pics of your father.

  4. What a great tribute to your father! I just love reading about other people's interesting lives :)

    Sponge cake w/ berries seems appropriate for a summer-like Father's Day!

  5. Fantastic father, photos, cake and childhood!

  6. AnonymousJune 14, 2008

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos and stories. You've given me an idea for a dessert to make for Father's Day.

  7. you have a pretty amazing dad, i think! and what about you - fit for life diet eating fruit till noon? nice idea - but i fall into temptation with my morning coffee!!

  8. What a lovely post Val...great to hear about your dad and childhood...sounds very eventful. And I think the cake is a lovely tribute for him...thank you for sharing.

  9. AnonymousJune 14, 2008

    What a wonderful post about your dad! You are very very lucky indeed! I enjoyed the pictures and the history of your family :)

  10. AnonymousJune 14, 2008

    A lovely post to read...and I enjoyed seeing the photographs.
    Have a wonderful weekend Bellini V.

    CHarlotte and Freddie

  11. My father is not in my life but this really struck a chord with me, your dad looks so nice and reminds me of my grandad who was lovely. Have a great fathers day with him

  12. That sponge cake with strawberry mascarpone filling sounds really good!

  13. Aww, sweet pic of you with your pops. Call him 1st thing tomorrow, and let him know you'll see him soon...your dad will light up...just ask mom!

  14. AnonymousJune 14, 2008

    i love your blog. Very wonderful recipes.



  15. A beautiful post with nice pictures! A great father...



  16. What a nice tribute to your dad!

  17. This is a lovely tribute to your father and it's nice to let them know how you feel. You dad is a terrific father judging from what a wonderful person you are.

  18. this is a lovely homage to your pop! also lovely is any combination of cake, cream, and strawberries. :)

  19. What a beautiful father's day post. Sounds like you have an awesome father!

  20. What a lovely post and what a handsome fellow Dad is!! Now you have to follow in his footsteps and come to Malaysia to visit...!

  21. How touching this post is Val...I can smell the fritters too. What a beautiful tribute to your DAD. One day I shall cut-over to their Fit for Life diet...would love to (if 1 cuppa coffe can be adjusted somewhere within). The sponge with cream & strawberries sounds just right too...*BOW* to you lady; this is a lovely post!!

  22. Great to read all about your father Valli, and what a fabulous dessert to make!

  23. Your father sounds amazing and your cake is one of my all time favorites also. Wondeful stories and photos too.

  24. A totally heartwarming tribute to your dad. So many time I wish I could have my dad her for "just one more day" and when I read your post, it reminds me of how very special dads are. Thanks for such a beautiful post.

  25. Beautiful post! Thanks for that! I'm sure your Dad is proud to have you as his daughter.

  26. What a wonderful tribute to your Dad!!! He must be so proud!

  27. AnonymousJune 15, 2008

    Wonderful moving post and gorgeous cake!

  28. AnonymousJune 15, 2008

    excellent father's day post and great pictures!

  29. Hi Val,
    This is a lovely tribute to your dad. I love the pics too. He certainly is very talented!

    Your sponge cake recipe sounds delish, would like to try it. I don't often make sponge cakes, but I do like them a lot.

    take care,

  30. I really enjoyed reading your about your dad's life. It makes me miss my family in Quebec.

  31. AnonymousJune 15, 2008

    What a wonderful tribute to your dad. I love all the old photographs!

  32. Thanks for sharing such nice stories. Great post!

  33. Lovely childhood memories. I love the poem at the top of your post. A fitting post and cake to honour your father.

  34. I'm sure you made your Dad's day by writing this beautiful post about him. What great memories of your childhood you have, what more could one ask for!

  35. Your father must be so proud of you too :D.
    What a beautiful post, Val! And you forgot to say that he was so handsome too!!!!
    We do celebrate father's day but on the 19th of March.
    Reading your story makes me think of my own... amazing how similar!!!!

  36. and i forgot to mention - your dad does look mediterranean!

  37. What a lovely post Val! Your dad sounds great and I think he and your mum are on to a great thing with their diet. I am sure he enjoyed the sponge cake!

  38. What a lovely post, Val. I always love it when bloggers I enjoy reading open up. The cake looks so good and you know I love anything with mascarpone!

  39. this is a really sweet post, i especially like the quotes :D.

  40. I love your post Val, and love when you talk about your father and I have to say he is so handsome
    I tell you the other time, I love the pictures Vall!! and the Sponge Cake look wonderful!! xxxGloria

  41. Good words.

  42. What a sweet sweet post (in many ways!) The Mascarpone Filling sounds to. die. for.


Welcome to my home. Thank you for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your support, comments, suggestions,and daily encouragement.


This blog uses comment moderation therefore SPAMMERS, SELF-PROMOTERS and ADVERTISERS will be deleted.