A little Mallorcan trick to prevent the sponge from sinking is to drop the tin on the floor when you take it out the oven to knock the cake into line!
The cakes consist of a simple sponge (coca de quart) filled with a cured egg yolk custard (or sugared yolks), that are then enveloped in Italian meringue! They're heavenly and fluffy.
- 10 free-range eggs, separated
- 100 g (3½ oz) cornflour (cornstarch) or potato flour, plus extra for dusting
- 400 g (14 oz) pure icing (confectioners’) sugar
- 100 g (3½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 260 g (9 oz) dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), finely chopped
- 120 g (4½ oz) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
- 3 tbsp corn syrup
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Makes 6 single-serve cakes.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) fan-forced. Lightly grease a lined 24 x 17 cm (9½ x 6¾ in) cake tin with butter and lightly dust with flour.
- Place six egg yolks, the cornflour and 100 g (3½ oz) of the icing sugar in a large bowl and whisk to create a well-combined batter. Set aside.
- Place the six egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium–low speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until evenly mixed through. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and drop the cake tin flat on a hard-surfaced floor to help prevent it sinking. Set aside on a wire rack to completely cool, then turn the cake out and slice horizontally in half.
- Heat the caster sugar and 100 ml (3½ fl oz) of water in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool completely, then stir through the remaining egg yolks. Return to a low heat and stir continuously for 6–10 minutes, until the mixture thickens to a custard and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.
- Heat the remaining icing sugar and 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes or until the sugar reaches the soft-ball stage (110°C/230°F on a kitchen thermometer).
- Meanwhile, beat the remaining egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to whisk until soft peaks form. With the mixer set to medium–high speed, slowly and carefully pour in the hot sugar syrup in a thin, steady stream. Keep beating until you have stiff and glossy peaks.
- Spread the custard over one of the cut sponge halves and top with the other half. Cut into six even rectangles.
- To make the chocolate glaze, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir through the melted butter and corn syrup and transfer to a jug for easy pouring.
- Using a spatula, coat the cakes in the meringue evenly on all sides. Transfer to serving plates, pour the chocolate glaze over the top and serve.
Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99