This cake is so tender and buttery with distinct vanilla bean flavors. It can be made as several mini loaves, or a large loaf or bundt cake. It's perfect for freezing and dressing up for last minute company. Try it anytime with a cup of java or soothing vanilla lavender tea. —Bohdanna
sugar, superfine preferred
egg whites, room temperature (about 3 extra large eggs)
half and half
vanilla extract, high quality
butter, unsalted, room temperature
walnuts, toasted, medium chopped
Grand Marnier orange liqueur-optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray mini loaf pans (or large loaf pan or large bundt cake pan) with baking spray and set aside.
Split the vanilla bean diagonally and scrape out the vanilla seeds. Place vanilla seeds with the sugar in a small bowl and mix together with your fingers. Place in food processor and mix until the vanilla seeds are blended with the sugar.
In a separate medium bowl, mix the egg whites, half and half and the vanilla extract until blended and set aside.
In an electric mixer bowl fitted with paddle, beat together the flour, the blended vanilla sugar, salt, and baking powder for about 1/2 minute.
Add in the butter and 1/2 of the egg whites mixuture, and blend. Raise to medium speed and beat for another minute.
Slowly add in little additions the remaining egg white mixture, scrapping bowl from time to time. Batter may look curdled.
Pour into the mini pans or larger pan, sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the batter, and bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until tester comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place on rack to cool.
In a medium pan, heat the orange-mango jam with the water and the optional Grand Marnier until it liquifies and comes to a boil.
Using a pastry brush spread the jam over the warm cake. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream, or with a cup of relaxing vanilla-lavendar tea, or cup of fresh java.