Munavalgekook: Estonian Egg-white Cake

July 16, 2009


So tell me friends – which camp do you belong to? Egg white or egg yolk?

Me? I’m all for the sunny side yolks. Oh how I drool over recipes for custards, brulées and eggy-rich tarts and clearly it’s what I love baking the most. The downside? All the leftover egg whites! I literally have a whole freezer worth of whites in storage and it’s been a continuous battle over what to do with them as more are added to the collection! It’s getting to be a real problem as a majority of recipes I use involve using more yolks than whites and never the other way round. And *gasp* I’ve even resorted to throwing whites away recently as my fridge and freezer are full to capacity.

A lot of people think I’m nuts that I’m complaining over an abundance of egg whites. And before you suggest it, please know that I don’t like meringues and I don’t get overly excited over macarons (ok, I’m terrified of making them). Oh and I’m sick and tired of Angel Cake.

Dilemma.

And then Estonia came to the rescue and gave me Munavalgekook. This tongue twister of a cake has given me endless joy in mistyping it a thousand times and even had The Captain resorting to calling it the “Gobbledegook” cake. I’m just glad I don’t have to try and pronounce to you.


This Estonian egg white cake bears a striking resemblance to the Angel Cake. But don’t let the halo and heavenly glow fool you. Unlike the Angel Cake, this Estonian beauty comes with added butter and vanilla, making it a richer and naughtier version of its angelic counterpart. In any case it’s a gorgeously soft, spongy cake that is still moist and buttery…unlike the powdery dry sponge cakes you usually find. Of course Munavalgekook doesn’t have to remain as is. It is amazing with the addition of vanilla bean or extract or for a more exotic flavour, a teaspoon or so of orange blossom water and grated orange rind (garnish the cake with a drizzle of orange syrup for pure hedonistic pleasure). I like to eat it plain but feel free to add any sweet garnishes or icings if the mood takes you. 
Now if the powers that be figure out a way to sell egg yolks and whites separately, I’d be eternally grateful! 


Munavalgekook: Estonian Egg-white Cake

Ingredients

6 large egg whites
250 g caster sugar
160 g plain flour
1 heaped Tbl cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
100g melted butter – slightly cooled
1 tsp of vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean (halved and beans scraped)

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a bundt or ring cake tin.

Whisk the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of the sugar until it’s thick, pale and foamy.

Mix the remaining sugar with the plain flour, cornflour and baking powder and then sift into the egg mixture and fold in gently.

Gently fold in the cooled, melted butter and vanilla extract (or beans). If you’re adding orange water and/or rind, mix it into the butter before adding to the egg mixture.

Bake for around 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

Remove bundt cake from the oven and rest for five minutes before turning it out to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from the lovely Nami-Nami with thanks.