Well, it’s the last week of the month and that means it’s time for me to write about something foody or crafty. It’s this thing that I set up for myself. Just go with it. The 3rd and last week of every month, I’m challenging myself to write about either a recipe or a craft. This will definitely become easier for me as the school year kicks in and I’ll be up to my eye balls in glitter, hot glue gun strings, and loose threads. But for today… my favorite topic… food.
I had been having a bit of a morose few days recently. Don’t get me wrong, I was lucky enough, and very happy indeed, to have seen both Once and Matilda on Broadway last week.
They were both beyond amazing, by the way. I had goosebumps the entire duration of Once, because the music is so exceptional and haunting, and the cast that produces it has more talent in their fingers than I have in my entire body. And of course, being a child of the 90s, I grew up on the movie and book Matilda, so the musical just made me delighted. Milly Shapiro was our Matilda and she just so owned the role. She had such a great ‘tude and was so cute. Of course, the production is full of color, from the costumes to the hazed beams of light. Lori, if we ever open up “The Candy Bar,” I want the lighting and decor to look like everything in Matilda.
Alas, on the flip side of my week, I had been having some rather personal employment conundrums, and I hurt my back, which meant I couldn’t go see the inkredible Justin Willman (see what I did there?) with Lori, and I started breaking out in what I first thought was shingles, but now I think is just an allergic reaction. I don’t know what I’m allergic to now, but I guess I have to go to the allergist to find out.
“Even if you’re little you can do a lot, you musn’t let a little thing like little stop you.” So how do I make myself feel better?
Cake. The answer is cake. The answer is almost always cake. And when it’s not, it’s chocolate. Or cookies. Or ice cream. Duh.
I eat so healthy during the day that I really don’t feel the need to deprive myself of dessert. Life’s short. Too short to be unhappy and too short to drool over baked goods, but never eat them. “And when I grow up, I will eat sweets every day on the way to work, and I will go to bed late every night.” (<–This is a really cute song. Watch it)These kids have it right. Eating sweets should be part of being a grown up.
SO I MADE CAKE. Bam. I made “Magic Cake”. Apparently it’s this incredible batter that’s all watery and lumpy in the pan, and comes out as a 3-layer custard cake. Can it be so? Let’s see.
First, I went to see if anyone wanted to help me out.
So, that’s a no. The Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family was my baking pal for the day, instead. Then I went and set up my ingredients and got started.
My recipe was a hodgepodge of (mostly) this lemon cake batter from Kitchen Nostalgia, tips and some measurements from Boulder Locavore, and my GF flour blend is from Land o’Lakes and King Arthur’s Gluten Free baking mix.
Also, I used Vanilla Bean paste, which is quite concentrated, so I only used half of what was called for. And I used Non-fat Lactaid milk, so I hope that was ok, since we don’t use fatty cow milk in our house.
So it’s a really easy batter to make. You beat the egg whites until they’re stiff. Then you make the custard part of the batter, which is the egg yolks and sugar and vanilla and butter. Then you add the flour. Then you gently, gently, gently fold in the egg whites. That’s pretty much it.
A warning though: This batter is super wet and watery looking. Normal. Totally normal. See, look at mine. Just liquid with some egg white clouds floating by. Next it’s time for the oven!
The hardest part is definitely waiting the full time for it to cool. I don’t listen to rules all of the time… “sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty!” So I’m going to cut into it a little bit early…
And now it’s time for me to put my “tumbly tum to use” and taste this cake.
Yes. I took two slices. Because the first one came out messy, so I had to take a second. You know. Logic.
It doesn’t look like all 3 layers are there, but they are, and they are distinct. It would probably look better if I had used a deeper pan. The bottom layer is a creamy, dense crust cake. I don’t know how to describe it, so that’s it. It’s like a cakey, underbaked pie crust. If that makes sense. It’s good. Just trust me.
The middle is the lemon custard. It’s bright and tangy and smooth. Wonderful. The top layer is a light, melt-in-your-mouth merengue cake. The custard is kind of soaked into it, which makes it even more delicious. I’m sold.
I would make this again, and try more flavors. Definitely. And I will continue to eat more of this cake.
Also, I know that the title of this post was from Pippin and the rest of my references are from Matilda. I don’t care. It’s called “Magic Cake,” so it HAD to have a “Magic to Do” reference. Judge me. Also, the “magic” shows my love for Justin Willman and my sadness for not seeing him.
And no, I couldn’t make Once fit into a post about cake. Except for when I’m browsing Pinterest and see a delectable looking photo and I start to sing “I don’t know you… but I want you…” and then sob. (Please click on that link. It’s Arthur Darvill singing “Falling Slowly” and I love him. As Guy and as Rory. So good) Ok, I don’t usually sob, but my tumbly tum does.