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Author Notes: The surrounding edges and bottom of the cake is a sponge-like cradle, holding up a middle layer of gooey and thick honey custard with a gradually thinning and runny basin of sweet foam in the center. It’s so soft, a lightest touch of a finger will make a dent, and it goes down like a whiff of air. The only left-behind trace of you ever encountering it, is the lingering flower-essence of the honey, and aroma of sweet eggs on your taste buds. More detail photos on: http://www.ladyandpups.com/2014/04/11/the-imploding-honey-custard-cake-eng/ —Mandy @ Lady and pups
Makes one 6" cake
- 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (16 grams) of powdered sugar, optional
- 1/4 cup (87 grams) of high-quality honey
- 4 1/2 tablespoons (35 grams) of cake flour
- NOTE: The flavour of the cake is as good as the quality of the eggs and honey that you use (well, eggs and honey being almost the only 2 ingredients in it…). So none of that bear-bottle stuff, please. Use a pure, floral, dark and fragrant honey that tastes and smells like the flowers it came from. The honey itself will provide enough sweetness for a mildly sweet cake, but for people who wants more sweetness, the optional powdered sugar will do the job. Besides good quality, it’s also important to use room-temperature eggs. The batter should be slightly warm, not cold, before going into the oven. Then, last but not least, even though the flour may seem to take insignificant ratio in the batter, it’s well advised to use cake/low-protein flour VS all-purpose. In my experience, it takes some considerable whisking in order to completely incorporate the flour into the batter without any lumps, and you don’t want the excess gluten in all-purpose flour to ruin the party.
- NOTE 2: The batter will make a taller 6? cake, or a shallower 7? cake. I haven’t tried using rectangular loaf-pan but perhaps that’ll work, too. Whatever pan you’re using, the key to success is: butter and flour the interior of the pan really really, really well. Because this cake’ll stick. It’ll even stick to parchment paper! So if you want to lay a circle-sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of the cake-pan for easy transferring (like I did), butter and flour that parchment as well!
- TO MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven on 355ºF/180ºC. In a stand-mixer bowl with a whisk-attachment (or large bowl with handheld mixer), whisk large egg yolks, large eggs and powdered sugar (optional) just until combined, then pause. Heat up honey in a pot over medium-low heat until it starts to simmer, then continue to let it bubble and simmer for 2 minutes (to heat up the custard and also to reduce the moisture-level slightly). Turn the stand-mixer back on medium-high speed, then slowly pour the hot honey from the side of the bowl into the eggs with the machine running. Keep whisking the eggs and honey mixture on medium-high speed until the it becomes pale and thick, almost doubled in size. The correct texture of the batter is important. You should whisk just until the batter starts to leave obvious “ribbons” behind the whisk. Now, tap the bowl on the counter and use a spatula to fold the batter a few times to get rid of large air-bubbles. Sift the cake flour right into the bowl, then whisk on low-speed until the flour is completely and smoothly incorporated (scrape the bottom of the bowl if need be).
- Butter and flour the interior of the cake-pan then dust off excess flour. Pour the batter into the pan, then gently tap it a few times again to eliminate large air-bubbles. Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 15 ~ 16 min. Even 1 minute will make a big difference (as some people like it runnier than others, see below)! And since every oven is sort of different, you’ll need to judge the baking-time accordingly. How I check is I gently shake the pan, and the center of the cake should wobble! If it doesn’t, it’s already over-baked.
- Let the cake cool inside the pan on a cooling-rack for at least 30 min. The cake will be puffy at first then of course it’ll deflate. Good. As it should. This cake is great while it’s slightly warm, or at room-temperature, or believe it, even when it’s cold (perhaps better…)!