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  1. A frothy, GELATIN-based dessert that has been lightened by the addition of beaten egg whites. Sometimes whipped cream is added, though it makes the dessert richer and not as airy. Sponges may be variously flavored, usually with fruit purees.
  2. A light bread-dough mixture made by combining the yeast with some of the flour and liquid called for in a recipe. The thick, batterlike mixture is covered and set aside until it bubbles and becomes foamy, which, depending on the combination of ingredients, can take up to 8 hours. During this time, the sponge develops a tangy flavor. The remaining ingredients are added to this sponge and the bread is kneaded and baked as usual. Using a sponge also makes the final loaf slightly denser.
  3. Sponge cake is a cake based on flour (usually wheat flour), sugar, and eggs, sometimes leavened with baking powder, that derives its structure from an egg foam into which the other ingredients are folded. In addition to being eaten on its own, it lends itself to incorporation in a vast variety of recipes in which pre-made sponge cake serves as the base. The sponge cake is thought to be one of the first of the non-yeasted cakes, and the earliest recorded sponge cake recipe in English is attested to the 1615 book of English poet and author Gervase Markham entitled; The English Huswife, Containing the Inward and Outward Virtues Which Ought to Be in a Complete Woman.

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