29 January 2012

Sand cake - 'Sandkuchen'

The ‘special’ ingredient in this recipe is not sand but corn flour, giving this cake its specific ‘sandy’ texture. To be honest (and as can be seen on the picture) this cake is nothing special, but the most basic of cakes. The Sandkuchen, however, is a very old and traditional recipe and the process of making the batter is quite different from other basic sponge cakes. The addition of corn flour, as well as whipped egg whites and melted butter, make it particularly fine and light. Its flavour is buttery with a subtle hint of lemon. It keeps for at least a week if stored in a tin and it tastes good with a cup of coffee or tea.

I mentioned another one of my attempts at making sand cake in my previous post. It all went wrong, because I filled too much batter in the cake tin and it ended up flooding my entire oven. Beware – this recipe contains very little baking powder, but it rises like crazy. Don’t be tempted to overfill the tin – about half full is enough. Instead of filling all the batter into my large loaf tin, this time I baked one large and one small loaf. This was just about right and there was no need to scrub the oven afterwards.

4 eggs and 2 additional egg yolks
300 g sugar
Finely grated zest from one organic lemon
2 egg whites
200 g flour
150 g corn flour
1 level tsp baking powder
320 g melted butter

Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and the sugar in a food processor or with an electric whisk for at least 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Whisk the egg whites to firm peaks and carefully fold into the egg mixture. Mix the flour, corn flour and baking powder and also fold into the egg mixture in stages (with about 4 additions). Make sure all the flour has been mixed in well. Finally, stir the melted butter (this can be slightly warm, but should not be hot) into the batter and combine well.

Pour the batter into greased and floured baking tin (do not overfill!) and bake for about 1 hour in the preheated oven at about 175 degrees. Prick with a match or wooden skewer to ensure the cake is baked all the way through.

Leave to rest in the tin for about 10 minutes then turn out of the tin and cool on a wire rack. When the cake is cold dust with icing sugar or decorate with chocolate (recommended). Wrap well in foil or store in a tin and this will keep for at least a week.

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