Ever so often, I get asked by readers, "What is Ovalette?" This is Ovalette, also known as Sponge Cake Stabiliser.
It appears to me that mainly Singaporeans and Malaysians know what Ovalette is. They are always sold in clear, tacky plastic containers and can be purchased very cheaply (about S$3 to 4 a tub). It is commonly used in sponge cakes because it helps keep the batter airy. Just a small dollop will give you a very light and cottony soft cake.
If you are wondering what it is made of, these are the ingredients on the label: Monoglyceride, Polyglycerol, Polysorbate, Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol, Tartrazine and Water. In summary, it's an emulsifier.
Please note that I am neither for or against the use of ovalette. The purpose of this post is to provide information to readers who have no idea what this ingredient is, whenever they come across recipes which call for it.
Having said that, I found that condensed milk is a great substitute. If you prefer no additives or chemicals in your food, check out my No Ovalette Moist Sponge Cake recipe here. In my humble opinion, it is possible to achieve a soft, airy spongy cake texture as long as you: 1)beat the eggs sufficiently, ie, until ribbon stage, and 2)fold in the flour correctly. These are the two critical steps in making any sponge cake.