To Prepare the Cake Pan:
Smear inside bottom and sides lightly with softened butter. Cut a sheet of wax paper to fit bottom exactly, press it in place, and butter it. Pour 1/4 cup cake flour into pan, shake and turn in all directions to cover surface completely, turn pan upside down, and bang out exces flour.
The simple system: the the butter and pour the clear yellow liquid off the milky residue.
The professional, long-keeping method: bring the buter to the slow boil in a roomy saucepan and boil until its crackling and bubbling almost cease; pour the clear yellow butter through a tea strainer into a jar, where it will keep for months in the refrigeratoro or freezer.
About6 cups of batter to make either 1 round 9-by-1½-inch cake, or 1 round 8-by-2-inch cake (can also make enough for 16 cupcakes, or a 12-by-16-inch sponge sheet)
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Mealdinner, lunch, tea
Taste and Texturebuttery, light, sweet
Type of Dishsponge cake
- ½ cup plus 1/3 cup plain bleached cake flour (sifted and measured)
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup warm clarified butter (see Note)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F, slide rack onto the lower-middle level, and prepare your pan (see Note). Sift the flour with the 1 tablespoon sugar and salt and reserve the clarified butter in a 2-quart bowl. Beat the eggs in your mixer bowl with the remaining sugar and the vanilla until you have “formed the ribbon.’ At once, rapidly sift on and fold in a quarter of the flour, then half the rest of the flour, and finally the last of it. Fold a large plop of this cake batter into the clarified butter, then fold the butter-batter back into the remaining batter. Turn batter into prepared pan, filling it to no more than ¼ inch of the rim. Bang lightly on work surface to deflate bubbles, and bake 30 to 35 minutes, until puffed, lightly browned, and showing a faint line of shrinkage from sides of pan. Let cool 20 minutes before unmolding onto a rack. Let cool completely before filling and icing.
2000 Julia Child