Though simple, this classic Alpine cake from the Savoie is a true delight. It's feather light with a hint of citrus and a lovely crust that begs to be smothered in cream and cherries. This would make an excellent dessert as well as an indulgent teatime treat.
6 UK large/US extra-large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
200 g/1 1⁄2 cups minus 1 tablespoon icing/confectioners’ sugar, plus extra to dust
60 ml/1⁄4 cup boiling water
1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
175 g/1 1⁄3 cups plain/all-purpose flour
100 g/3⁄4 cup chopped mixed/candied peel
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
icing/confectioners’ sugar, to dust
a jar of cherries in kirsch
25-cm/10-in. bundt pan, greased with butter and dusted with icing/confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) Gas 2.
Whisk the egg yolks, vanilla extract and icing/confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric hand whisk, until very thick, creamy and beautifully pale. As you whisk, very slowly dribble in the boiling water, a tiny bit at a time. Once all the water is added, keep whisking until you have a thick, glossy mixture that holds its shape.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they form stiff peaks.
Sift the flour over the egg yolk mixture, folding in as you go. Fold in the peel and lemon zest. Mix a large dollop of the egg white into the mixture to loosen it a little, then carefully fold in the rest, trying not to knock out too much air.
Scrape into the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes–1 hour until golden and a skewer pushed into the centre comes away clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with icing/confectioners’ sugar and serve with the kirsch soaked cherries and lots of whipped cream.