Pantespani is a traditional light sponge cake, soaked in a light syrup. It can be served as is, with toppings such as whipped cream and strawberries (similar to strawberry shortcake), with some toasted almonds, or other toppings of your choice, and without the syrup as any other sponge cake. The tastes of orange, cloves, and cinnamon give it a lovely taste and fabulous aroma. Adapted from a recipe by Nancy Gaifyllia. Time to make doesn't include syrup cooling time. ZWT 4.
FOR THE CAKE
- 6 eggs, separated
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 3 tablespoons of grated orange peel
- 2⁄3 cup water
FOR THE BAKING PAN
- margarine or cooking spray
FOR THE SYRUP
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 -4 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1 large orange, juice of
- In a saucepan, combine all syrup ingredients except the orange juice and orange flower water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 7-8 minutes. Stir in orange juice and prange flower water, remove from heat, and allow to cool.
- Preheat oven to 340°F (170°C)
- Beat egg whites, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the salt to stiff peak stage.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar, and slowly beat in all remaining ingredients.
- Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, and when all ingredients have mixed in, beat for 3-4 minutes.
- With a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites until well blended.
- Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 15 3/4 X 12 inch (or equivalent) pan with the margarine, dust with flour, and transfer cake batter to the pan.
- Bake at 340°F (170°C) for 55-60 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle comes out dry. The top should be a dark gold color.
- As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, cut into squares or diamonds. Discard the cloves and cinnamon stick and pour the cooled syrup evenly over the top. Allow to cool and absorb the syrup before serving.
- Note: Do not open the oven during baking except to test for doneness.
- (Greek pan cakes are baked in pans that are often larger than baking pans used in other countries. The 15 3/4 X 12 inch pan may be available in your market as a roasting pan.).