With time and age I find myself filtering more and more what are the things, events, people, that are worthy of my time and energy investment. I have experimented all my life… now it’s time to use the lessons I’ve learned.
All the experimenting and growing and filtering has been applied to every aspect of my day-to-day living…including cooking, and baking. Many have been the celebrations and I have used several different recipes through the years for baking the celebratory cake. But now my list of cake recipes was reduced by elimination and filtered down to the three best!… a white, a chocolate and a strawberry cake.
Today I’ll share the recipe of the white one, baked in several layers, at least three, always baked for my daughters’ celebrations upon her request. In the pictures, the same recipe used in different celebrations, with some decor/assembly variations.
Vanilla Almond Cake
1-1/2 cup (360 ml) whole milk, at room temperature…
7 large egg whites (210 g), at room temperature
1 whole egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) almond extract
3-3/4 cups (430 g) cake flour, sifted
2-1/4 cups (450 g) sugar
1-3/4 tablespoons (25 g) baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (8 g)
1-1/2 sticks (170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
6 tablespoons (85 g) vegetable shortening
For the Whipped Vanilla Frosting:
2-1/2 cups (5 sticks)(575 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
5-1/4 cups (600 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-1/2 tablespoons (70 ml) milk
1-1/2 tablespoons (23 ml) pure vanilla extract
pinch or two of salt
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease, line with parchment and flour three round 9-inch pans. Use Parchment Paper Circles for ease.
In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir 1/2 cup of the milk, stir the egg whites, whole egg, vanilla and the almond extract. Set aside.
Sift cake flour twice. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients, including the sugar, together on low-speed for 30 seconds.
Add the butter and shortening, blending on low-speed for about 30 seconds, then add remaining 1 cup of milk, and mix on low-speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 -1/2 minutes (90 seconds), but no more.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg/milk/extract mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.
Pour your batter into each prepared pan spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife.
Bake cake layers in center of oven and 2″ apart for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not over-bake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.
For the Whipped Vanilla Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy.
Add remaining ingredients and mix on low-speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.
Assemble the cake. Decorate. Enjoy.
One, Two, Three! (…to be continued with the cake Two, and Three…)