Guys, I try not to hyperbolize…wait, who am I kidding right now? I went through a phase last year when I would say things like, “Your shoes! I’m dying!” So don’t mind me.
But guys, this cake actually is really wonderful. The Huffington Post informed me that Norway declared it the world’s best cake. I haven’t eaten all the cakes in the world (I imagine that would turn out like this), so I can’t confirm, but I really enjoyed it. Like many European cakes, this isn’t your fancy, frilled buttercream creation, decked to the nines with fondant and jewels. It does have layers, but only because you cut the cake-tangle (new word-cake that is rectangular) in half, spoon on some lightly whipped vanilla cream and stack it.
The first layer is a moist yellow cake made with egg yolks. Before baking, the remaining egg whites are whipped into a meringue and sprinkled with sliced almonds, which creates a lovely soft and crispity top layer to the cake. After sitting in the fridge for an hour or two, the whole thing melds together like a freestanding trifle or a meringue cake. The flavors are so simple, but sooooo addicting. Much addict. Many addict. Maybe it is the texture combination that does it. Either way, this is my most favorite cake that I’ve done in an age.
Word to the wise, though, don’t underbake it. It’s kind of hard to tell with the meringue layer on top, but I definitely underbaked mine and had cake batter oozing out the sides, which I promptly scooped up and ate with a spoon
because cake batter so it would still look pretty. Bake it according to the directions and let it cool in the pan, and you likely won’t have the same problem.
Other tip: when slicing, use a sharp, serrated knife, letting the weight of the knife slice the cake rather than pressing down too hard and making the whipped cream squish out.
This World’s Best Cake, Apparently
Adapted slightly from Sweet Paul Eat and Make
I cut this into 16 small pieces, but you’d be safer with 12.
10 1/2 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack in the middle position. Line an 9-x-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Beat the butter and 2/3 cup of the sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and baking powder and mix well on low speed. Mix in the egg yolks and milk. Scrape the batter into the baking pan.
In a large clean bowl, beat the egg whites and the remaining 1 cup sugar to soft peaks. Spread on top of the cake layer. Sprinkle with the almond slices. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown and puffed. Cool on a wire rack in the pan. Transfer to a cutting board.
When the cake is cool, put the cream in a medium bowl. Beat to soft peaks with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes, beating in the vanilla at the end.
Gently cut the cake in half down the middle with a serrated knife. Place one half of the cake on a serving tray and cover with the cream. Place the other half, meringue side up, on top. Let the cake sit for 1 hour in the fridge before serving.