You start making this cake the night before, put it in a hot oven, immediately turn the oven off and the cake bakes overnight as the oven cools — hence the name.
Don't open the oven door until it's done baking!
UPDATE: If your oven has a fan that goes on automatically when you turn the oven off, this recipe won't work. Big thanks to reader Shelley — who supplied me with this recipe, BTW — for pointing out the potential problem.
1971 recipe from old Wrigley's advertising
1. About 2 hours before the overnight baking, place 6 egg whites in a large bowl and let stand to reach room temperature.
2. Start heating oven to 450˚. Butter only the bottom of a 9" tube pan.
3. Add 1/2 tsp. cream or tartar and 1/2 tsp. salt to egg whites. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until egg whites are foamy. Gradually add 1 1/2 cup sugar, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp. almond extract and a few drops of red food coloring. Continue beating until meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks. Spread mixture evenly in tube pan.
5. Place pan in oven. Turn off heat immediately. Let stand overnight. Next morning, loosen edge of torte with a sharp, thin knife and turn torte onto serving platter. Cake will settle a bit.
6. To serve, frost cake with 1 cup heavy cream that's been whipped. Top with 1 package of defrosted raspberries or strawberries. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
You can try, but it'll be hard to look as awesome as this retro babe waiting for her cake to bake.
Don't know which I envy more, her gorgeous black cat or her gorgeous turquoise oven.
Recipe via Shelley's mom
Image via Memories