45g neutral-flavoured oil (I used sunflower oil)
¼ tsp salt
100g egg yolks (or yolks from 5 eggs)
65g all-purpose flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
150-170g egg whites (or whites from 5 eggs)
65g castor sugar
½ tsp lemon juice
- Place the rack at the second-lowest (slightly below the middle) position and preheat the oven at 160°C. Set the other rack at the lowest position.
- Place all the ingredients in A in a small mixing bowl. Mix well and separate the batter into 3 equal portions/bowls. Mix the cocoa powder and hot water (from C) together, making sure there are no lumps. Mix it into one portion of the batter and set aside. Repeat for D and another third of the batter. Finally, add milk into the final third of the batter and set aside. You should now have three bowls of batter in 3 different shades – yellow, light brown and brown.
- Place all the ingredients in B into another mixing bowl, and using your handheld or stand mixer, beat until you get stiff peaks. Divide the meringue into three equal portions and fold each third into each of the three bowls of batter, making sure to fold gently until all the meringue has been incorporated.
- Starting with the darkest batter, pour it into a lined square pan (I used a 7″ square pan). Next, pour in the light brown batter followed by the yellow batter. Lightly tap the pan against the counter to remove any air bubbles.
- If you have two racks, place a tray of water on the lowest rack, and place your cake on the second-lowest rack to bake. If you only have one rack, you can place your cake into the tray of water and bake on the second-lowest rack or you can use small tart moulds or microwave safe bowls filled with water at the side of the pan to bake.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes at 160°C, or until a cake skewer comes out clean. Remove the cake and allow it to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before inverting it and removing the pan and liner. This is to ensure that the bottom does not deflate and that moisture does not collect on the liner, making the bottom of the cake wet and sticky. Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack before consuming.
- Taste: I love the sweetness of the cake, which means that it probably is not sweet enough for most people. For the chocolate variation, I would recommend using at least 70g of castor sugar or more.
- Texture: I love the texture. It makes the cake very light and very addictive! And the texture of the refrigerated cake is equally yummy!
- Modifications: For a normal chocolate cake, just replace ingredients from C, D, E with 10-15g of cocoa powder and 25g of hot water. Use 10g for a less intense chocolatey cake and use 15g for a more chocolatey cake. You can also slice the cake in half to add cream if you don’t want a plain cake. Also, as I have not used 6 eggs as most other recipes have recommended, my cake will not be as high should you choose to use a 8″ square pan.
- Storage: As the cake has a high moisture content, do try to consume it within 2 days for the best texture. Otherwise, it would be best to keep the cake refrigerated. It can keep in the fridge for a week or more.
- Would I make this again?: Definitely! I have gone on to make this a couple more times, but without the tricolour effect and with other flavour variations. This is essentially a sponge cake with endless possibilities!