Genoese Sponge

I have been a chronic insomniac for my entire adult life. There are times of my life that I can remember not getting any sleep for nights on end. And then finally collapsing into such a deep slumber. I would never wake refreshed from these sleeps and it took me years to find a solution for my insomnia. Personally, I find that lavender cream rubbed onto my hands just before I turn off the light, works like a charm. A mug of warm milk before bed, with a pinch of cinnamon helps make me drowsy. And for nights when I just can’t fall asleep no matter what, an antihistamine will knock me out. But I am loathe to take them as I wake up feeling groggy and dry mouthed the next day. Sleeping tablets are a no-no and so I have turned to my need for routine to help me sleep. I suffer from both lying awake after lights out insomnia, and early wakening sleeplessness, and so, routine is key. We used to get up from watching TV at 10pm, and then head for bed where we would read until 10.30pm. However, with waking up at 5h45 I found I was exhausted every morning. And so, the routine has been pushed so that we get an extra 30 minutes of shut eye. And this has made a difference to how I feel each morning. Part of this routine is making sure the lights go out at 10pm and if I wake up during the night, I turn my pillow over. Not sure why this works in me getting back to sleep, but it does. Another part of my nightly routine is dessert. I am a sucker for something sweet after dinner and rather than deprive myself, I have one slice of cake, a piece of chocolate or a poached guava half after dinner. I made Genoese sponge for my Lamingtons and this treat lasted us several evenings.

Do you suffer from insomnia?

Genoese Sponge
Genoese Sponge
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Genoese Sponge

Each sponge has its own unique qualities and this one will stand up to being filled and topped with ease.
Recipe Category: Baking
Makes enough for: 1 sponge
All Rights Reserved: Adapted From Larousse Gastronomique


  • 138 g fructose
  • 12.5 mls vanilla fructose
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 pinch fine salt
  • 115 g flour, sifted
  • 10 g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 63 g butter, melted


  • Preheat the oven to 200° Celsius
  • Place the fructose, eggs and salt into a stand mixer bowl
  • Over a bain-marie, whisk until thick and pale
  • Do not short cut this stage as you want a light and airy sponge
  • Try and get the volume to double at least
  • Remove from the heat and using a balloon whisk, whisk until completely cooled down
  • Place the flour and cocoa into a jug and mix
  • Pour a third down the side of the bowl and gently fold in until all the flour is incorporated
  • Repeat until you have folded in all of the flour
  • Place the butter into a jug and slowly pour down the side of the bowl
  • Mix gently until completely incorporated
  • Pour the batter into a lined square baking tin
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Turn out immediately and leave to cool

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What I blogged July 23:

Lavender and Lime Signature

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35 thoughts on “Genoese Sponge

  1. I go through fits and starts of insomnia – all around the full moon mostly.
    Love a good sponge.
    Have a super day Tandy.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  2. I also looooove something sweet after dinner. Must be dreadful to permanently suffer from insomnia. I go through periods where I can’t sleep ~ mostly when I am very stressed. Have a happy day!

  3. Interesting post. Funny enough one of the 2 friends that came visiting suffers from the same condition. Which made the whole time quite exhausting for her. Sadly she did not want to share the bed with my other friend fearing she may have prevent her to sleep too. She preferred to stay on the sofa, which although comfortable, I can imagine is not the greatest sleeping experience, especially if you sufferer already from insomnia. She also does not want to take sleeping pills, but has yet to find what works for her. It is a pretty new thing, as it started to become a ‘problem’ only about 12 months ago.
    I will share your post with her, you never know 🙂

  4. Hi Tandy,
    Sorry to hear about your insomnia! I don’t suffer from insomnia, but I love to get up at 4 AM to have some time to myself before my husband and kids wake up. Funny, when I was a fresh college grad in my first professional my supervisor said she would get out of bed at 5 so she could read for an hour. At the time I thought she was crazy. Now I get it! Because I wake so early, I essentially pass out by 9 every night. I guess that is my routine. Your Genoese Sponge is beautiful! If it were in my house I would be secretly consuming at 4 AM right when I roll out of bed! – Cali

  5. 5 stars
    That sponge that you made looks so fluffy and decadent! Lovely recipe, Tandy!

  6. Yes, I am a dreadful sleeper some nights only get 4 hours – interestingly my three brothers don’t sleep well either!

  7. 5 stars
    Yes, I suffer with insomnia as well. I didn’t before my years in the Cult, but afterwards, yes. Turning my pillow over in the night helps me too. 🙂 How funny that it works for both of us!

  8. I battle with hayfever if I miss just one night’s dose of antihistamine. And despite my single daily tablet of Allergex I often still battle with insomnia. I will try the lavender cream idea. I find Rooibos tea around suppertime occasionally helps me to sleep better. xx

  9. Maybe you associate something sweet with nighttime and so your body just automatically gets into sleep mode when you eat it? The sponge sounds so tasty!

  10. 5 stars
    Hi Tandy, I have problems sleeping as well, I have also found that having a routine is very helpful. Love this genoese sponge cake, sounds wonderful!

  11. 5 stars
    Maybe all that lack of sleep and extra time is what allows you the time to post 5 days a week. You poor thing, you are really burning the candle at both ends… I bet with of these little Genoese sponge cakes with a little warm milk will sort you out. Take care of yourself!

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