Makes one 8-inch cake
1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (175 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted and warm
1/3 cup heavy cream, lukewarm
Optional flavorings (see note)
Line the bottom of an 8-inch round pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
Preheat the oven to 375° F with a rack in the lower third. Whisk the flour and baking powder together thoroughly. Set aside.
In a large bowl, with a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla on high speed until it is thick and pale, 3 to 4 minutes.
Beat in the melted butter, then add the flour mixture and fold and stir until blended.
Stir in the cream and any add-ins.
Scrape into the pan.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Set the pan on a rack to cool. After at least 10 minutes (but you can wait as long as you like), slide a slim knife or spatula around the edges of the cake to detach it from the pan.
Invert the cake onto the rack and peel off the paper liner. Turn the cake right side up to cool completely on the rack before using or storing.
Cake keeps at room temperature, wrapped airtight, for about 3 days, or in the freezer up to 3 months.
Notes: Some guidelines for adding flavors:
Seeds: 1 teaspoon or less of aromatic seeds such as caraway, fennel or anise, or as much as 3 to 4 tablespoons poppy seeds or toasted sesame seeds.
Citrus: Grate the zest of a medium orange or large lemon directly into the bowl to catch the spray of fragrant oil as well as zest; you can add 1 teaspoon orange flower water with the orange zest, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract with the lemon zest.
Cardamom: Crushed seeds from 3 or 4 pods or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom