The magic cake is very popular on the web because with just one cake batter you get three layers with different textures! Find this and many more recipes with pictures on the Giallozafferano App (in English) http://itunes.apple.com/app/giallozafferano-recipes/id384387249?mt=8
Today we'll be making a very special cake recipe, the magic cake, that has been published on many websites and blogs, both Italian and foreign. It's called magic because with just one cake batter you get 3 layers with different textures. We'll make a vanilla cake, but you can flavour it in many different ways... let's get to work!
Ingredients for an 8-inch square baking pan
for 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan
• 1 cup (115 g) of cake flour
• 4 medium eggs, room temperature
• 1 tbsp of ice cold water
• ¾ cup (150 g) of white sugar
• ½ cup (125 g) of cooled, melted butter + as needed, for brushing the pan • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
• 2 cups (500 ml) of warm fresh whole milk
• 1 tsp of lemon juice (or white wine vinegar)
• 1 pinch of salt
• powdered sugar, to taste
Start the recipe by melting the butter, making sure it doesn't brown, then let it cool to room temperature. Then take the eggs, at room temperature too, and separate the yolks from the egg whites. Now combine the egg yolks and the sugar in a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment; beat until the mixture is pale and frothy, then beat in a tablespoon of cold water, the vanilla extract -- you can use vanilla powder or the seeds of a vanilla pod, in this case let them steep in the melted butter -- then add a pinch of salt and finally the butter, which should be cooled by now.
The mixture is well blended, now add the flour, that has been previously sifted; if you want to make a cocoa cake, reduce the amount of flour to ½ cup (65 g) and add just over ½ cup (50 g) of unsweetened cocoa powder. Now turn on the mixer and beat in the milk. Of course, you can do all these steps by hand. Beat for a minute to blend the ingredients, then we're ready.
And here's our mixture, as you can see it's thin and without lumps; if your mixture is a bit lumpy, strain through a fine strainer using the back of a spoon to remove any lumps. Now take the egg whites, at room temperature, place in a bowl -- I'm using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, but you can use an electric beater -- and beat the egg whites, until they turn white, then add a teaspoon of lemon juice or white wine vinegar, to stabilize the foam. Beat until stiff but not dry peaks form, which means that the egg whites should be stiff but still creamy.
Here we are, now fold the egg whites into the previous mixture... then carefully blend them together, using a spatula or, even better, a whisk. When the 2 mixtures are fully incorporated, we're ready to fill the pan.
That's it, now pour the batter into a baking pan, which has to be eight by eight inches, and quite deep. Brush it with butter and line with parchment paper, then fill with the batter, that is pretty thin, and bake the magic cake in a preheated static oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 80 minutes, until golden brown on top. After that, remove the cake from the oven, let it cool completely to room temperature, then cover the baking pan with cling film and place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours. I suggest that because this will make it easier to cut.
As you can see, our magic cake is ready. Now you can notice the 3 different textures: the bottom layer is thick and deep-yellow, the middle layer is creamy, whereas the top layer is spongy like sponge cake. You can sprinkle the top with powdered sugar to taste -- if you used cocoa, sprinkle with unsweetened cocoa powder, of course... then place on a cutting board or a flat plate, without raised edges, and cut into squares. You can wet a long, sharp knife with cold water to keep it from sticking to the cake, otherwise use a fishing line, stretched between your hands. Now all that's left is to enjoy our magic cake... see you next videorecipe!