Genoese Sponge Coloured With Cocoa Powder

I have been a chronic insomniac for my entire adult life. I can remember not getting any sleep for nights on end, and then 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. 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 cannot fall asleep no matter what, an anti-histamine 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
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

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
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:

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