Admit it: Most food trends are scary. They usually under-deliver and fall flat taste-wise. So when we discovered the latest Instagram trend was called magic cake, well, we were skeptical. The name conjures up images of cakes adorned with double rainbows and pink unicorns. But the truth is: Magic cakes actually are magical.
When sliced, this cake reveals three different and distinct layers. Folding in whipped egg whites helps the batter separate during the baking process, which creates a rich and dense bottom and a fluffy and cakey top. It's the textured, dessert version of the ombré trend. But what this also means is that you'll never have to make dry cake again.
While there are many different magic cake flavors, this one is a fall-oriented treat. Apple cider is reduced to a honey-like consistency, which adds richness in texture but also an intense tart apple flavor to help balance out the sweetness of the cake. Crème fraîche whipped cream provides the perfect topping. Some might even call it . . . magical.
Apple Cider Magic Cake
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time
Total Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes, plus cooling time
For the Apple Cider Reduction:
6 cups apple cider
For the Magic Cake Batter:
4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup apple cider reduction
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted but cool
1 cup all-purpose flour
1¾ cups milk
For the Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream Topping:
¼ cup crème fraîche
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup confectioners' sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup apple cider reduction
1. In a large saucepan, simmer the apple cider over medium heat until reduced to ¾ cup and the consistency of honey, 30 to 40 minutes. Set aside and let cool completely.
2. Make the batter: Preheat the oven to 325º. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using a whisk attachment, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the whipped egg whites and set aside. In the same stand mixer bowl, add the egg yolks and the sugar, and mix on medium speed until a light yellow color, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the salt, ½ cup of the cooled apple cider reduction and vanilla, and mix for 2 minutes at medium speed. Bring the mixer to a low speed and stream in the melted butter until fully incorporated. Add the flour to the mixture and whisk on medium speed until it comes together. While on low speed, stream in the milk and whisk until the milk has fully emulsified with the butter and other ingredients. Fold in the whipped egg whites with a rubber spatula and pour the cake batter into a buttered cake pan 9 inches in diameter. Bake the cake until it no longer jiggles when gently shaken, 45 to 50 minutes. Allow the cake to fully cool, 1 hour.
3. While the cake is cooling, make the crème fraîche whipped cream: In a clean bowl of a stand mixer, add all of the ingredients, except the apple cider reduction, and whip using a whisk attachment to medium-stiff peaks. When the cake has fully cooled, spread the crème fraîche whip on top and drizzle with the remaining ¼ apple cider reduction. Slice and serve at room temperature.
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