From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I found this cake, quite by chance, while searching for Spanish recipes. The Silver Fox and I will be going to Spain and Morocco in October, and, as is my habit, I search out recipes from the countries we'll be visiting in order to give us a better idea of the food we'll be eating. The cake was featured on a Spanish language blog written by Mabel Mendez, but as I read the translation of her recipe I was surprised to learn that the cake is Romanian and not Spanish. Her version of the cake, which you can see here, was so comely that I decided to make it anyway. The cake is unusual in that a single batter produces a cake with three distinct layers. The bottom layer is dense, the middle layer is custard-like and there is a thin layer of sponge cake on top. If you are a fan of custard desserts I think you'll love this one, but if you do not enjoy vanilla flavoring use rum or lemon instead. The cake is not difficult to make, but it needs time to set, so if you decide to make it you'll want to plan accordingly. Make sure you do not over beat the eggwhites. The batter for this cake is very thin and folding the eggwhites into what is basically a liquid can be tricky. You'll want them to hold their shape but do not beat them dry. I go a bit beyond soft peaks and call it a day. I've found I get better volume with more softly beaten eggwhites. I also suggested you check the cake about ten minutes before you expect it to be done. Mine did not need to bake for a full hour. Let the cake cool to room temperature and then transfer it to the refrigerator to chill. You'll find it much easier to cut when it is cold. Here is how the Magic Cake is made.
Magic Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Mabel Mendez
4 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon juice or distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 stick butter, melted then set aside to cool slightly
1 cup flour
2 cups milk, lukewarm
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 8-inch pan and set aside.
2) Mix egg whites until foamy. Add lemon juice and continue beating just until stiff peaks form.
3) In another bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar, water and vanilla until light. Add melted butter and continue beating for another minute. Add flour and mix it in. Add lukewarm milk and beat until well incorporated. Gently fold in beaten egg whites using a spatula.
4) Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 60 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
5) Cool in pan for at least 3 hours. Serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 8 servings.
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