Magic cake. Magic. Cake. What doesn't appeal about this? They had me at the word magic, let alone cake. There are many recipes for this, most of them very similar and it has been across the internet for some time now. I've had it stored up in the back of mind for an occasion when I needed a little magic in my week.
The magic about this cake is that from a single batter, you get three distinct layers. The bottom of a firmer layer of custard, the middle a softer (and more wobbly) custard and the top is sponge. You could also call this cake Magic Custard Cake if you prefer but I kind of like the anonymity of leaving out the word custard until you're actually tucking into a slice. Of the many recipes that I could try for this, I decided to work with the one from Cinnamon and Toast and it's very straightforward.
There a few key stages to making this cake a success. The eggs need to be at room temperature. You will need to separate them and will whip the whites to soft peak before adding them. You will need to gently warm the milk so that the butter doesn't start to solidify again when you add it. Folding the soft peak egg whites into what is a liquid batter isn't the easiest but once mixed in, the batter is ready for the cake tin. It also takes 50 mins to an hour to bake in the oven and needs to be cooled completely before attempting to remove it from the tin (I mean, imagine trying to remove a cake with an unset custard middle from the tin and the oozy centre). But if you stick with the instructions below it really does work and you get the most delightful custard cake.
Being custard, it makes a lovely dessert (my boys absolutely adored it) but it would also be lovely for afternoon tea. It's a very light cake and has a fantastic taste of vanilla throughout the custard. A bit like the egg custards I used to eat as a child, minus the pastry.
I will definitely be making this again. I can see it becoming a firm favourite in our house, especially with our boys who are obsessed with custard anyway.
So go on - try it. Bring a little magic into your house :)
- 4 LARGE EGGS, SEPARATED AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
- 150G SUGAR
- 110G BUTTER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
- 95G PLAIN FLOUR
- 470ML LUKEWARM MILK
- 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- ICING SUGAR FOR DUSTING
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees (fan)
- Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch square cake pan and line with parchment paper (you can use other cake pans but as the batter is liquid, springform tins are not advisable!)
- Warm milk in microwave and set aside
- Beat together the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy and pale yellow
- Add butter and mix for approximately 2 minutes on high speed
- Add the flour and mix until fully incorporated
- Turn the speed down on the mixer to low and slowly add the milk and vanilla
- In a separate bowl, mix the egg whites until soft peaks are formed
- Gently fold in egg whites, ⅓ at a time. The batter is liquid and it's tricky to incorporate the egg whites but continue to stir them through until they're mixed in
- Pour into the cake pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until top is lightly golden and firm to the touch (when you remove it from the oven, it may sink a little, but that's okay)
- Let cool completely before removing it from the cake tin
- Dust with icing sugar before serving