Vanilla "pudding" cake?
One of my favorite desserts is lemon pudding cake, in which, during baking, the batter separates into a souffle-like top layer and a pudding-like bottom layer. Does anyone have a similar recipe for a "vanilla" cake or souffle? Also, any thoughts on what ingredients in the recipe cause the batter to separate into layers like this, so I could try to create recipe for it myself?
Thanks in advance!
I imagine it is the heaviness of the milk/yolk mixture which makes most of the mix sink to the bottom,where it becomes custardy, whilst the egg whites, gently folded into the mix at the last minute, naturally remain at the top because they are lighter, whilst that last minute mixing helps impart a slight lemoniness to them. The low ratio of flour to liquid means there is less flour to 'mop up' the liquid, which pools and sets, forming the custard.
I squizzed the recipes on EPI, since I do not know what recipe you use. I don't think there is a special quality to lemon juice and zest which makes this work - I have seen maple syrup versions of this. The question is, whether the 'custard' at the bottom is really custardy, or whether the lemon distracts you from realizing it's just gooey cake batter. If this is the case, then a vanilla version will be disappointing (since everyone knows what vanilla custard 'should' taste like).
The only way is to try:
I suggest replacing the lemon juice with milk STRONGLY infused with vanilla bean, or extract. I'd also suggest trying an accent to partner the vanilla (like cinnamon), but first try with just vanilla. Then you'll know if the mechanics of the dessert work, and whether the vanilla needs to be stronger/weaker, and whether or not the dessert is just plain bland without the lemon.
The four recipes I saw had a ratio of 1 cup sugar to 1/3cup lemon juice. How tart/sweet is your version? If it is very sweet, you might consider lowering the sugar a bit, but first try as is, and then adjust for further cakes.
I have always loved chiffon cake with vanilla custard! Maybe serve your cake with strawberries. Please report back...