Yields one 12-inch cake. Serves 20.
All ingredients at room temperature.
Recipe has two parts: cake and imbibing syrup.
For the cake:
Beurre noisette, 5 ounces
vanilla, 2 teaspoons
sugar, 7 ounces
cake flour, 3.5 ounces, sifted
cornstarch, 3.5 ounces, sifted
Grease the bottom of a 12-inch baking pan with butter. Line with parchment. Grease again and flour. Soak MagiCake strip in warm water.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
1. In medium bowl over simmering water, warm beurre noisette to 110 F. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and keep warm.
2. In large mixing bowl over simmering water, heat eggs and sugar until lukewarm, stirring constantly (prevents curdling). Scrape egg mixture into bowl of standing mixer and beat at high speed until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. While eggs are beating, sift together flour and cornstarch. Set aside in sifter.
3. Remove 1 cup of beaten eggs and thoroughly whisk into beurre noisette.
4. Sift half flour mixture onto remaining eggs and rapidly fold until nearly all flour has been incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour mixture until it has disappeared completely. Fold in butter mixture.
5. Immediately pour batter into prepared pan. Fasten MagiCake strip around pan. Bake about 45 minutes. Finished cake is golden brown and begins to pull away from pan edge.
6. Loosen cake from pan with thin metal spatula. Unmold at once onto greased wire rack. Remove parchment from bottom and reinvert until cool.
To store, wrap in plastic, then in foil. Unimbibed, cake keeps 2 days at room temperature, 5 days refrigerated, 2 months frozen.
For the imbibing syrup
sugar, 4 ounces
water, 8 ounces
flavoring of choice, 2 ounces
In small saucepan with tight-fitting lid, bring sugar and water to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Cover immediately, remove from heat, and cool completely. Add flavoring. Add water to bring to 1 1/2 cups. Keeps 1 month refrigerated in airtight container.
Imbibe thawed cake 24 hours before serving.
With thanks to Rose Levy Berenbaum.