If I were a better person I wouldn't know what this cake tastes like. I wouldn't have leveled it solely so I could have a bite and I would be horrified if someone told me they'd done so. But I'm not a better person, so I went ahead and leveled it. Worst of all, I'm not horrified with myself. I'm sitting here telling myself I needed to test it before it went out the door, but I know that's not the case.
We've all been there, right? You've just a made something new, and it's a recipe that you've been wanting to make for ages but it's not for you - you're not even going to be in the city when it gets served. So, you sneak a bit.. right? You consider the best way to try it without it being noticeable. In this case, cutting off the bottom worked quite well. It's a bundt cake, I think it's entirely unnecessary to do so, but at least I now know what the cake tastes like and it sits nice and flat on the plate (it was pretty flat before, mind you.)
Needless to say, the cake tastes delicious. I knew it would from the beginning it would. It's everything I like about cakes. The cake itself is incredibly soft, it insides are like a pillow. Oh, how I wish I could show you the insides but cutting a slice is going too far. Just trust me. Or, buy The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri just so you can see a photo of the inside.
This cake requires the eggs to be separated, and then the whites are whipped to peaks and folded into the batter. This technique results in a wonderfully light cake with enough structure to support it during baking.
The cake is flavoured with lemon and raisins, I personally feel it could do with a teaspoon or two more lemon zest but I intend for it to have a lemon syrup when it's served so maybe not.
Viennese raisin coffee cake
(from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri)
Makes one 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 inch) bundt cake
1 2/3 cups flour (spooned into dry measure and leveled off)
2 teaspoons baking powder
225g (8 ounces) butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
160g (1 cup) raisins, tossed with 1 tablespoon flour
Grease and flour one 10 to 12 cup kugelhopf or bundt tin. Set the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 180°C (350°F).
Stir the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
Combine the butter and 3/4 cup of sugar int he bowl of an electric mixer. Beat, with the paddle attachment, on a medium speed until soft and light, about 3 to four minutes.
Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla, followed by two of the egg yolks.
Beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Once combined, stop and scrape down the bowl and beater.
Beat in two more eggs, followed by another half of the remaining flour. Stop and scrape. Repeat using the remaining egg yolks and flour mixture.
Pour the egg whites into a clean, dry mixer bowl. Place on the mixer with the whisk attachment and whip until the egg whites are very white, opaque, and beginning to hold a very soft peak. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip int he remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a slow stream. Continue to whip the egg whites until they hold a soft, glossy peak.
Fold 1/3 of the egg whites unto the cake batter to lighten it, fold in the floured raisins and then the remaining egg whites.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake the cake until well risen and deep golden, and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out dry, 45-50 minutes. If the cake is baked in a shallow bundt tin it may be ready 5 minutes sooner.
Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then on to a rack to cool completely.
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
Juice of one lemon
Combine the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and, over a low heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase heat and boil for 2 minutes. Turn off element and stir in the lemon juice.
Drizzle over cooled cake to serve.