Savannah Cream Cake


From Savannah Seasons: Food and Stories from Elizabeth on 37th by Elizabeth Terry

The Sherry Custard:
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup warm water, plus 2 tablespoons tap water
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup good dry sherry
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
angel food cake (from recipe below), cut into 1-inch cubes

Nutmeg Angel Food Cake:
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Frosting and Berries:
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 pint fresh berries

1. To make the custard: In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the warm water, and set aside.

2. In a mixer, beat the egg yolks until pale, then stir in the sherry, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the 2 tablespoons of water, and pour into a medium saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until large bubbles appear on the surface and the custard is thick, about 4 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the gelatin mixture, and continue to whisk vigorously until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Place the pan over a bowl filled with ice, and stir until the mixture is cool but the gelatin has not set.

4. In a separate bowl, whip the cream, the remaining sugar, and the vanilla. Fold into the cooled custard.

5. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375°F.

6. In a bowl, sift together the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the nutmeg, and set aside.

7. In a mixer bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, then add the cream of tarter and salt. Beat again until stiff peaks form. With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time. Fold in the vanilla and the cake flour mixture.

8. Bake in an ungreased 9-inch tube pan for 30 minutes, until golden on top. Invert on a rack to cool, then remove from the pan.

9. In a large bowl, fold the custard into the cut-up cake pieces. Spoon the cake into an 8-inch springform pan, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set.

10. To top the cake: Remove the sides of the springform, and invert the cake onto a serving plate. “Frost” with the whipped cream, and serve with the berries.

Serves 8 to 10.