Okay…this is the first cake recipe so far that has made me want to get off my butt and bake…instead of going Over the (Mississippi) River and Through the Woods (of the Natchez Trace) to my Mom’s house…
I had to see for myself if the magical transformation of this simple batter transforming itself into three distinct layers was indeed fact or fiction.
According to the articles I read, the Magic Cake batter is simply poured into a cake pan and pulled out of the oven with three distinct layers—
- a dense, moist, pastry-type bottom crust
- a gooey, custard-like layer of cream in the middle
- a fluffy Genoise sponge cake layer on top
The cake only requires seven ingredients—eggs, sugar, flour, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk.
So how does this magic happen?
The magic in this Magic Cake is actually a matter of density, and common sense. The heavier ingredients, such as the egg yolks and milk, sink to the bottom. The lighter ones, namely the egg whites, rise to the top.
- The dense crust at the bottom of the cake results from the egg yolks being beaten with the flour and this bottom layer being cooked at a lower temperature than the other two layers and thus solidifying first.
- The middle custard layer is formed because the milk is less dense than the yolks and flour that are already blended together at the bottom and as a result stops in the middle. this layer bakes after the bottom sponge crust.
- The top Genoise sponge layer is created by the fact that the beaten egg whites are light and airy after being beaten and do not blend with the milk, but actually “float” on top of the cake.
- Leave four eggs out to room temperature.
- Preheat to 325. Prep 8″ baking dish.
2. Make the batter.
- Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
- Beat the egg yolks with 3/4C sugar until light.
- Add ½C melted butter and 1tsp vanilla. Beat for 2min.
- Add ¾C flour until fully incorporated.
- Slowly start adding 2C lukewarm milk.
- Gently fold egg whites, a third at a time, using a spatula.
3. Bake the cake.
- Pour batter into baking dish.
- Bake between 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. (If the cake is not fully baked, it will not hold together; if overcooked, the layer of cream will disappear. The cake should still have a slight wobble, which will set when it is chilled. The upper layer – the Genoise sponge – should be well baked and golden.
4. Taste the cake…(or eat the whole darn thing yourself)…
- Refrigerate cake for at least two hours before turning it out and sprinkling powdered sugar on top before devouring…after all…
Mom was right when she said, “It’ll taste better tomorrow.”