I've made this hot milk sponge cake, from Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri, more than a dozen times. It's easy. It's moist. And I figured that it would be a great way to show off the unusual flavor of the tonka bean. [Click hereto read more about these illicit legumes.]
8 T butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 C milk
1-1/2 C white whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
3 large eggs
1/2 t pink Himalaya salt
1 C organic granulated sugar
1/2 t almond extract
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
half of one tonka bean, grated finely
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine milk, butter, and grated tonka beans in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the butter is completely melted. Remove from the heat. Stir together the flour and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs to break them up, whisk in the salt, whisk in the sugar, and continue whisking till the mixture has lightened in color. Mix in the extracts, then the milk mixture. Gently incorporate the flour mixture, whisking till smooth.
Pour into a parchment-lined baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or till the cake is well-risen, smooth, a deep golden brown, and firm to the touch. Loosen the cake from the pan and invert onto a cooling rack.
I had meant to serve this cake in small, amuse bouche sized squares topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a marzipan mushroom. But Jake cut and served the pieces. When I told him I had intended smaller pieces, Jake and Brian both informed me that "'dessert' and 'amuse bouche sized' do not go together."