When a Viennese cake starts with a mixture of creamed butter and sugar, it is called a “sand cake,” easily recognizable as a relation of the English pound cake, the batter of which is made from one-pound weights of eggs, flour, butter, and sugar. In this recipe from the revered Hofzuckerbäckerei Demel, the weight of each ingredient is reduced to 250 grams (9 ounces). Notice that Demel has such confidence in the quality of their ingredients that the cake has no added flavorings, but you may add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or the grated zest of 1 lemon or orange, if you wish. The cornstarch is important, as it cuts the amount of gluten in the batter and does a good job of reducing the cracked top of flour-only pound cakes. It bakes best in an 8-inch Gugelhupf pan, rather than the larger pan used in other recipes in this book.
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