Biscuit fin au Beurre

One of the easier French cakes to make, Biscuit fin au Beurre (bees-kwee fan oh bur) is a fine, light sponge cake which may be served plain, dusted with icing sugar or split into two layers, filled with a buttercream and iced.

10-

1 oz. plus tablespoon butter, melted

1 oz. plus

2 tablespoons flour eggs, separated

4 oz. castor sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Lightly grease a round cake tin, 10-inches in diameter and 2- inches deep, with ½ tablespoon butter. Sprinkle the tin with flour, knocking out any excess. Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is pale yellow and thick.

In another mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with a wire whisk or rotary beater until they stand in firm peaks.

Using a metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the egg-yolk-and-sugar mix-ture, sifting the flour in at the same time. Then quickly mix in the butter and vanilla essence.

Turn the mixture into the cake tin. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake has risen and is lightly browned.

Remove the cake from the oven and leave it in the tin for 6 to 8 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge of the tin and reverse the cake on to a wire cake rack, giving the tin a light tap on the bottom.

If the cake is not to be iced, immediat-ely turn it over so that the puffed side is uppermost. Leave to cool for about 1 hour before icing or serving.

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