What I Ate: Magic Custard Cake

So, what is magic custard cake? I found this recipe through the White On Rice Couple. I happened upon it a few weeks ago, I think through Smitten Kitchen, and I kept going back to look at the post because I was so intrigued by this "magic" cake and finally decided that I should just make it.
This cake really is magical. I brought it to a family party and everyone kept asking, "How did you make this? Did you layer a bunch of different batters?" It's a relatively simple recipe, though it took quite a few mixing bowls, but the outcome is quite rewarding.

I made the recipe just as written except instead of vinegar to stabilize the egg whites, I used cream of tartar.

I started by melting the butter.
Then I used the butter wrapper to grease the pan.
But I decided that wasn't greasy enough so I used a little coconut oil spray for a little extra grease insurance.
I whisked the dry ingredients together. I also added a little pinch of salt. I always add a little bit of salt to my sweet dishes. Salt has this magic way of enhancing other flavors. This was probably my least favorite part of making this recipe because cocoa powder is just so annoying to work with! It always poofs up and makes me cough for ages.
I separated four eggs.
The egg whites were beat to soft peaks, a pinch of cream of tartar was added, and then the beating continued to stiff peaks.
The yolks, on the other hand, were beat with powdered sugar and vanilla until they went from a rich yellow to a pale yellow to almost a beige cream color. Then, the melted butter and coffee were drizzled in.
Then, the dry ingredients were poured into the yolk mixture and whisked together. After that, the milk was drizzled in and carefully whisked together. The last step of this batter is to fold in the whipped egg whites. It's sort of a lumpy mess but it is what it is and what it is is delicious. As long as the lumps aren't overwhelming, the end result will still be okay.
This is what my batter looked like.
Just as an experiment, I also buttered up two shallow ramekins and made some mini cakes. You'll see later that this wasn't 100% successful. The dishes were too shallow to allow a substantial custardy layer to form, though, it was still delicious.
The rest of the batter was poured into my 8"x8" dish.
The mini cakes took about 30 minutes in a 325F oven. The larger cake took about 55 minutes.
The larger cake also ended up with a crack in the center but it was no biggie, especially since the cake ended up dusted in powdered sugar; no one knew it was there.
I decorated the smaller cakes with a powdered sugar heart.
Cute, huh?
A little raspberry in the center finished it off.
As far as the big cake goes, I waited until it cooled completely before flipping it out of the pan. The crack grew as it cooled, but imperfection adds charm so I wasn't overly concerned.
I cut the cake into 16 pieces.
And then dusted it with lots of powdered sugar.
And topped each piece with a raspberry.
You can clearly see the layers once you slice up the cake. I would love to know the science behind how this happens, wouldn't you? I'm looking into it.
Go make one today! You won't regret it. And if you're not a fan of chocolate, White on Rice has a non-chocolate version as well.