Friday, April 29, 2011

White Cake (with Whipped Cream & Strawberries)

This is the cake I made for Easter, that I mentioned in this blog post. I got the recipe from my mom, who had made it a few weeks earlier for a co-worker's birthday. I figured it would be a perfect Easter/spring cake and called her for the recipe and her tips on it. She said the original recipe had a different filling, but she just to use just whipped cream and strawberries. She suggested I incorporate the strawberries into the whipped cream, in the hopes that it would sit and set up better. She had done: cake/whipped cream/sliced strawberries/whipped cream/cake, etc., and it was a bit slippery. The way I did it worked well, but I didn't need nearly as much whipped cream and strawberries as she suggested, so ... just a note.

Also, another note: follow the recipe exactly. And use parchment paper. It just makes life easier. The cakes turned out perfectly and my confidence level for cake making rose about 50 points after this baking episode.

White Cake (warning, you will be licking the bowl, it is so tasty!)
2 1/4 c. cake flour
1 c. whole milk, room temperature [a tip for getting things to room temperature: set containers in bottom of sink, filled with hot water, leave for 10 or so minutes, just make sure to check periodically]
6 large egg whites (3/4 c.), room temperature
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
12 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Either cut parchment paper to lay on the bottom of round pans or grease and flour pans.
3. Pour milk, egg white, extracts into 2 c. glass measuring cake and stir with fork until blended.
4. Add cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and beat in mixer on low speed until all mixed up.
5. Add butter, beat on slow speed until resembles coarse crumbs.
6. Add all but 1/2 c. milk mixture, and beat on medium speed 1 1/2 minutes.
7. Add remaining milk mixture, beat 30 seconds on medium speed.
8. Scrape sides of bowl, beat another 20 seconds on medium.
9. Divide batter evenly into pans.
10. Bake on middle rack 23 - 25 minutes. Make sure the middle isn't wobbling; if the cake starts to sink when it's pulled out of the oven, it's not cooked enough.
11. Rest for 3 minutes in pans after pulling out of oven.
12. Loosen sides with a knife around the edges.
13. Turn over onto cooling rack; turnover again so top is facing up (use parchment, if desired).
14. Let cool 1 1/2 hours.

Whipped Cream
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 lb. strawberries, cut and diced into small pieces
powdered sugar
almond extract (opt.)
vanilla extract (opt.)

1. Beat whipping cream until thick.
2. Add powdered sugar (sorry I don't have an estimate, just until it is sweet enough; don't add sugar to the strawberries because they'll 'leak', so allow the cream to get sweet enough to compensate for the berries) until sweet.
3. If desired, add in some vanilla and/or almond extract. Just eyeball it.
4. Once thick, remove from mixer and incorporate strawberries in by hand.
5. Spread whipping cream between cake layers, on top and on sides if there is enough. It's also good just by itself!

a beautiful golden cake

complete with filling; this cake is very dense and rich
care for a slice?

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