I have absolutely no idea what I was searching for on Pinterest when I stumbled upon a Magic Custard Cake, but having made it twice in two weeks, I think its safe to say, who really cares anyway!
I saw this Magic Custard Cake, pinned it, talked about it to anyone who would listen, and a week later gave it a go. And it was really quite magical. If you didn't know any better, you would have thought you would need to make three different batters and carefully bake each layer for the perfect amount of time before adding the next complex layer of perfectly baked custard.
Now, I like to cook and I like to bake. But I really don't have the time or patience for finicky baking without a huge reward. So when I read that this is actually just ONE BATTER, that separates itself into the three layers, I knew it had my name all over it. The Magic Custard Cake magically becomes three distinct layers when the oven casts a spell on it for 45 minutes. The bottom layer is almost like a sweet pastry. The middle layer is a thick and creamy custard. And the top layer is almost like a fluffy sponge cake. Density is a wonderful, magical thing!
I won't re-invent the wheel, the recipe I got is from Gluten Free on a Shoestring, and worked perfectly both times. Well, I may have forgotten about the cake the second time I made it, so it was a teeny bit over done, but it just meant there was more of the top cakey layer, and less of the dense custard. So i guess you could alter your cooking times based around which layers you like the most and cook for a little less if you like the custard and a little more if you like the cake.
Anyway, here is the recipe. And I guess it needs a little magic right...
3/4 cup (105 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Glebe)
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch (or try potato starch or arrowroot in its place)
4 eggs (240 g, weighed out of shell, total) at room temperature, separated
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
9 tablespoons (126 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups (16 fluid ounces) warm milk (about 95°F)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease well the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish, and set it aside. In a small bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum and cornstarch, whisk to combine well and set the bowl aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites and lemon juice on medium-high speed until frothy. Add about half of the granulated sugar, and continue to beat on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy (but not dry) peaks form (about 2 minutes). If using a stand mixer, transfer the egg white mixture to another bowl, set the egg whites aside and place the egg yolks, remaining sugar and vanilla in the mixer bowl and beat on medium-high speed with the paddle attachment until well-combined and pale. If using a hand mixer, set the bowl aside, place the egg yolks, remaining sugar and vanilla in a separate, large bowl and beat on medium-high speed until well-combined and pale.
3. To the egg yolk mixture, add the melted butter, and beat to combine well. Add the flour mixture and the warm milk to the bowl in three parts each, beginning and ending with the flour and beating until just combined after each addition. The mixture will be thin.
4. Add the beaten egg whites to the batter in three parts, whisking gently to combine after each addition until no obvious white streaks remain. The final cake batter should be light and fluffy.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the top of the cake is lightly golden brown and springs back when pressed gently in the center (about 50 minutes). The cake will expand quite a lot in size, but will still be a bit jiggly when shaken gently back and forth.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan before slicing into squares with a sharp knife, while the cake is still in the pan. The cake will shrink on all sides as it cools. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Such a fun idea for a cake and a really delicious dessert. Given that it can be easily made Gluten Free too is always a plus, I do love finding some new things to try out. Have you ever tried the Magic Custard Cake?