Le Gâteau Magique à la Vanille de Madagascar

The Magic Cake…. I saw the word magic and of course couldn’t contain myself! Within 24hrs I was savouring the magic and it is a perfect summer’s cake: best served straight from the fridge. How did it get its name? when you slice it, it presents 3 distinct layers: flan at the bottom, custard like in the middle and a sponge at the top. all that from one batter.016

There are a few golden rules to follow for a perfect result which will wow friends and family!

  1. Pan size: ideally no bigger than 22cm {my batter quantity matches that size} too big, the layers will be too thin and too small, you might lose out on the egg whites addition and the sponge will be too thin
  2. Folding in the egg whites: the mix at that stage is very liquid, use a whisk and by hand, incorporate them slowly, breaking them slightly but you must be left with some lumps floating
  3. Baking time: it is what it is but ovens vary. At the end of the baking, the cake must still be slightly wobbly and golden. And yes, it can be done in a fan oven!
  4. Once out, LEAVE IT! to cool down. It will deflate. Once cool enough, again leave it in the pan, refrigerate for a minimum of 2hrs. After that time, it can be turned out
  5. Some flavours might require more time in the fridge…. so it can’t be done last minute!

Ingredients:

  • 500ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod ( straight from Madagascar, thanks to my good friend Caroline)
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 100g caster sugar (mine has vanilla pods infusing it)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 115g plain flour
  • 1 pinch of salt

Preparation:

  • Scrape the seeds from the pod and add it to the milk with the pod
  • Heat up the milk, without boiling it, then remove from heat and set aside for an hour for the vanilla to infuse it completely

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  • Preheat oven at 150º/ fan 140º
  • Ideally, use a standing mixer. Cream the yolks and sugar together with the water until light and fluffy
  • Add the melted butter and flour and beat for a good 3mn

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  • Take the pod out of the milk and pour it slowly, beating at low speed

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  • Leave aside at room temperature
  • Whisk the egg whites up with a pinch of salt until they are stiff
  • Incorporate to the liquid batter, slowly. you must be left with a lumpy mixture

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  • Grease a pan and dust with flour. It can’t be springform or loose bottom: best is actually the dreaded silicon
  • Bake for 50 to 55mn: test for a slight wobble
  • Leave on a wire rack to cool then refrigerate for at least 2hrs for the magic to happen

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♥♥♥ How about coffee flavoured? Already tried and tasted!

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  • Same ingredients but instead of the vanilla pod, infuse the milk with 20g of good espresso powder
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Ma Vanille!

C’est une de mes épices préférées et je l’utilise beaucoup dans mes gâteaux…  Je l’ai sous deux formes:

  • Vanille Moulue:

ground vanilla   obtenue en moulant des gousses de vanille, elle peut être utilisée à la place ou avec (moi: toujours avec!) de l’extrait de vanille. Parfaite pour toutes vos créations culinaires, elle s’adapte mieux mélangées dans de la crème ou du beurre… Attention, elle ne peut pas être dissoute dans du liquide car elle n’est pas soluble!

Voici la mienne: 018   http://lafarandolepicee.wordpress.com/

  • Extrait de Vanille: à mon avis le meilleur, sans aucun doute, pour une saveur beaucoup plus complète et plus riche. Je fais en fait mon propre extrait de vanille après avoir découvert la possibilité dans un de mes livres ( américain celui-là).

023   J’ai placé la bouteille dans la lumière pour la photo mais je la garde toujours à l’abri: mettre 2 ou 3 gousses de bonne qualité dans une bouteille opaque et la remplir d’un alcool blanc (clair comme la vodka ou le gin, j’utilise de l’alcool de fruit). C’est maintenant que l’attente commence: à l’ombre pour 4 à 6 semaines et à secouer de temps en temps…. Après ce délai, il vous suffit juste de remplir la bouteille après chaque utilisation…

 

All about Vanilla

By now, you might have noticed a recurrent spice in my baking: Vanilla, I just love it! I use it in 2 forms:

  •  Pure Ground Vanilla: not to be confused with Vanilla powder (which has added sugar, etc) it is made by grinding pure vanilla pods.

ground vanilla                                                                                                                                       It can be used in combination or as a substitute to vanilla extract. Great for all your baking, it is best when used or folded into cream or butter. Can also be used to flavour your ice cream! Beware, it will not dissolve as it isn’t water soluble.

This is mine: 018    http://lafarandolepicee.wordpress.com/

 

  • Vanilla Extract: for a much fuller and richer flavour rather than plain essence… I actually make my own, after reading the how to in one my baking books, that one from the USA…

023   I had to position the bottle in direct sunlight so you could see the pods inside but the bottle has to be quite opaque for better results: drop 2 or 3 really good vanilla pods in you bottle and fill it up with a clear alcohol. In the UK, I used vodka but after a recent accident I had to start from scratch and in France I bought a fruit alcohol. I added a tablespoon of ground vanilla (not in my “recipe”). You must leave it in the dark for a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks ( I know, such a long time!!!) but shake it from time to time…. After that, I top it up whenever I use it and always store away from sunlight….