I love to bake. Cook. Whatever. :) Food is my friend.
So over the weekend< I went up to Sur La Table, and purchased, amongst other kitchen gadgetry, the book Heirloom Baking With the Bass Sisters.
The first recipe I made was Esther Pullman and Mary Brinkman's Irish Sponge Cake.
But this is so much more than a sponge cake. So, so much more.
First of all, it contains four ingredients. Yup--four. It is simple to assemble, bakes for 30-35 minutes (I needed 35) and is, hands down, one of the lightest, most scrumptious cakes I have ever tasted. You MUST try this.
1 1/4 c. sugar, divided
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. cake flour (I used King Arthur All-Purpose and that worked fine)
NOTE: I have a KitchenAid artisan stand mixer. It is a godsend for this recipe. I have noted the various beating levels in parentheses when applicable.
1. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Prehear the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-in (mine was 9, also OK) Bundt pan with vegetable spray (my note: do this REALLY well). Dust the sides and the bottom of pan with three (3) tablespoons of the sugar.
2. Beat the egg yolks in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add 1/2 c. of sugar and beat until thick, about 5 minutes.
3. Place egg whites in another bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (If you don't have two bowls, be sure to clean out the bowl VERY WELL and dry it thoroughly before doing this next step) Beat until stiff (level 6). Add 1/2 c. of sugar and beat again (level 4) until sugar is incorporated.
4. Add egg yolks to egg whites. Add vanilla and continue beating with the paddle attachment at medium speed (4) until combined. Fold in the cake flour.
5. Pour batter into pan. Sprinkle remaining tablespoon sugar on top of batter. bake 30 minutes, or until tested inserted in middle comes out clean. Cake should have a nice yellow color. Place on rack to cool. When completely cool, invert onto plate. Slice with sawing motion. Store under cake dome or loosely wrapped in wax paper at room temperature.