Cloud Cake

By Erin Kanagy-Loux
September 28, 2018
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Author Notes: I got started in pastry, probably when I was about three or four years old, with my grandmother and my father baking pies. I always had a love for getting my hands into what I was doing, and seeing the product from raw ingredients to a final result—and then being able to eat it. This Japanese cloud cake uses a made-from-scratch yogurt (it's easier than you think!) that requires just two ingredients: organic dairy milk and yogurt starter culture. The yogurt adds a gentle tang, while the French meringue gives this light, fluffy cake its signature airy texture. Once it's baked through and chilled (it needs at least four hours in the fridge), top it with your favorite preserve or fresh fruit, and enjoy! Erin Kanagy-Loux

Makes: one 9-inch cake

Ingredients

For the cloud cake:

  • 250 grams hung yogurt (recipe below)
  • 80 grams canola or vegetable oil
  • 120 grams organic dairy milk
  • 120 grams egg yolks
  • 80 grams white sugar, plus 120 grams for the French meringue
  • 40 grams lemon juice
  • 60 grams cornstarch
  • 180 grams egg whites

For the hung yogurt:

  • 1 gallon organic dairy milk
  • 14 ounces yogurt starter culture

Directions

For the cloud cake:

  1. Pre-heat a low-fan convection oven to 300°F. In a bowl, whisk together the hung yogurt, milk, and oil.
  2. Then, whisk in 80 grams of sugar, plus the egg yolks and the lemon juice.
  3. Make the French meringue: In a clean, separate bowl, whip the egg whites on medium speed. Gradually sprinkle in the 120 grams of sugar while whipping the egg whites. Once all sugar has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and whip until firm, but glossy peaks are formed.
  4. Fold the French meringue into the mix. Then, gently fold in the sifted cornstarch.
  5. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Chill the cake for at least four hours prior to serving. Once chilled, serve with fruit compote or fruit puree, if you like.

For the hung yogurt:

  1. In a large pot, heat the milk to 180°F. Once the milk reaches that temperature, cool it in a bowl sitting over ice and reduce the heat to 115°F.
  2. Once the milk reaches 115°F, mix in the starter culture.
  3. Place the mixture in a large container and let stand at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours to ferment. After fermentation, place in the fridge and chill completely, about 4 hours.
  4. Pour the mixture into a cheese cloth and let hang for 6 to 8 hours. Discard the drained liquid.
  5. *Prepare the yogurt at least one day in advance of making the cloud cake.

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