Mom would make a big dinner and either I went over early to help with cooking and baking, or I brought the dessert. Dessert changed seasonally from fruit pies, cakes, bread pudding, etc. and even though I'm not usually a cake person, I do like to surprise the family every now and again. Chocolate would be my choice, but yesterday I went with a White Cake since I had been accumulating egg whites this past week. I didn't have enough for Angel Food Cake, which is one of my hubby's favorites, but I did have enough to make my favorite white cake. Of course, I had to elevate the flavor and split the layers to spread some homemade strawberry jam on and to top it off, I shaved bittersweet chocolate on the top. I've discovered a fantastic white icing from King Arthur's Sift magazine and it was a perfect ending to our Sunday dinner.
White Cake with Fluffy White Buttercream Frosting
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large egg whites
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Spray 2--8 or 9-inch cakes pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again with a baking spray.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy--about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract. Mix once again.
Mix the dry ingredients together. Whisk the egg whites and milk together to combine. Add the flour mixture and milk mixture alternatively, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat one minute more.
Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven 28 to 32 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched with your fingers and the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and cool about 5 minutes, then invert onto parchment-lined racks to cool completely.
Fluffy White Buttercream Frosting
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup meringue powder
1 T vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar and salt into the boiling water. Cool to room temperature. Add the meringue powder and use to mixer to beat on slow speed for several minutes, until the powder is dissolved and the mixture is foamy. Increase the speed and beat until soft peaks form.
Beat in vanilla, then the confectioners' sugar. Add the soften butter a few tablespoons at a time, berating well after each addition.
Once the cake was cooled completely, I split the layers with a serrated knife. I piped a border around the first layer so the strawberry jam would not ooze out and mix with the frosting. Then, I set the top layer on and spread the buttercream frosting on it. I repeated the jam between the second layer as I did with the bottom one. Finally, I frosted the entire cake and even had enough to add some decorative borders. I had a bar of bittersweet chocolate that I had soften slightly in the microwave (only about 7-10 seconds), then I used peeler to shave some chocolate on top.