(Recipe adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini. Makes 36 cupcakes. Or 1-9×13 cake. Or like I did: 18 cupcakes and 1-9in cake. )
- 1 cup plus 1 tbsp cake flour (if you do not have cake flour around, take a 1-cup measuring cup and put 2 tbsp of corn starch in the bottom, then fill the rest of the way with all purpose flour. It makes a good substitute)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 6 eggs, separated (room temperature)
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (I added it to further stabilize the egg whites)
- 1/4 tsp salt (She asks for a pinch, what is a pinch really?)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup oil
Preheat oven to 340F degrees.
- Prepare souffle cups, if making cupcakes, or ungreased aluminum cake pans. DO NOT use nonstick cake pans. However, if you only have nonstick cake pans, line the edges, just the edges, with aluminum foil. It will give the cake something to grip to which will help with the rising of the cakes. The rise of this cake is quite crucial.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together 3 times, or combine the flour and baking powder in a freezer bag, zip it shut with lots of air inside so it will form a balloon of sorts, and shake the bag vigorously to make the flour fluffy. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, salt, vanilla extract, and 6 tablespoons of the sugar (reserve the rest for later). Whisk for several minutes, until the mixture turns pale yellow and thick ribbons fall from the whisk.
- Stir in the water and the oil, and whisk well between each addition. Fold in the flour mixture and whisk until well blended, but don’t overmix.
- In another large, clean bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and reserved sugar, and beat with a clean whisk until stiff. You may use an electric whisk or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment; make sure neither the bowl nor the whisk have any trace of fat, or the eggs will not rise and cake will be of flat variety and not of sponge decent.
- Fold a third of the beaten egg whites into the batter and mix gently until blended. Fold in the rest of the egg whites, gently lifting the batter up and over the egg whites with a rubber spatula until just blended.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cups, or pans, to about 3/5 of their capacity. Bake until set and golden brown (about 20 minutes for cupcakes and 35-40 minutes for cakes).
- Invert the cups onto a cooling rack so the cakes will not collapse, and let cool completely.
- To unmold, run the blade of a knife around the inside of the cup to loosen, and shake gently until the cake falls out.
Once your cake is cooled, feel free to eat as is, which is absolutely yummy. Or do as I did and decorate with fruit and freshly whipped, slightly sweetened whipped cream. Just use whatever type fruit, or filling, you like. Be creative. Have fun with it.