(All the following recipes are from The Cake Bible but I’m posting them as I made them and not how they are listed.)
White Velvet Butter Cake (made in 2 9in round pans, greased and floured)
- 5 egg whites
- 1 cup milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In small bowl lightly combine egg whites, 1/4 cup milk and vanilla.
- In mixer bowl, combine ALL dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the softened butter and remaining milk. Mix on low speed until moistened and then increase speed to medium for 2 minutes.
- Scrape down sides and gradually add egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition; scraping sides to ensure complete incorporation.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pans and smooth surface with spatula.
- Bake for 25-35minutes… even though it took me closer to 45minutes to complete.
- Allow cakes to cool in pans on racks for 10minutes, loosen sides and invert onto greased wire racks. Reinvert so taps are up and cool completely to prevent splitting.
- Wrap airtight and place in fridge overnight.
Final Review: This cake is so very lovely and delicate. The vanilla flavor really comes through. If it is to be consumed within the first day or two of baking, I would say there is no need to moisten with a syrup (equal parts water and sugar). However, if you want it to keep for several days, I would suggest a liberal dousing with the syrup on either layer. As non-selfrising cake flour is impossible to find here, I used the allpurpose flour/cornstarch substitute recommended by the book’s author. However, if you have it available to you, just use 3 cups cake flour instead.
Strawberry Puree (makes 1 1/4 cups unsweetened)
- 20 ounces frozen strawberries
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar, optional
- Thaw the strawberries in a colander over a bowl. When defrosted, press strawberries so they release their juice. It should total 1 1/4 cups worth.
- Boil strawberry juice in a medium saucepan until it has reduced to a 1/4 cup.
- Put strawberries in a food processor and puree. It should be 1 cup total.
- Pour in strawberry syrup and lemon juice, mixing thoroughly.
- Blend in sugar if you wish for it to be sweetened, which for the ensuing buttercream, it should be. I would recommend putting the sugar in the hot strawberry syrup for the best dissolution of the crystals.
Final Review: This puree was a thick treat when sweetened and all on it’s own. I had to keep myself from eating it all. Because the strawberries were still kind of frosty, the resulting mixture even after all the boiled down syrup was still rather cool to the touch. However, to use in the buttercream, I left it in the fridge overnight.
Strawberry Mousseline Buttercream (this single batch was more than enough to frost the whole cake. I would have had enough to pipe some edges, but I opted to let the family eat the leftover after coating the whole cake.)
- 4 sticks (one pound) softened but still cool butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 5 large egg whites
- 1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup sweetened strawberry puree
- Beat butter until smooth and creamy. Set aside in a cool place.
- In a small heavy saucepan heat 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Turn to low if using a gas stove, turn off if your stove is electric.
- In mixing bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
- Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar SLOWLY while still beating until firm peaks form.
- Increase heat on sugar syrup and bring to a boil until it reaches hard ball stage. I measure this as the temperature where dipping a fork into the sugar and raising it allows beads to form on the tips of the tines but do not fall off.
- Pour sugar syrup in a steady stream into the eggs on medium speed being careful not to pour over the beater. Allow to beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.
- If mixture is not cool, beat at low speed until it is. It took me about 15-min to reach this stage. Don’t be afraid to just let it mix. It’s very important this NOT be hot in the slightest. If in doubt, let it beat a while longer. I check by sticking my finger in the very center of it, all the way to the bottom of the bowl and seeing how it feels.
- Add butter a tablespoon at a time, beating at medium speed, ensuring butter is incorporated before next addition. The mixture will appear to puddle for the first stick or two but by the third and forth, it should begin to form a cohesive smooth and firm buttercream.
- Mix in the strawberry puree until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides. The mixture will be a soft pink with flecks of red and black from the strawberries. If you plan to store this for several days, add a few drops of coloring to help it remain it’s lovely shade.
Final Review: OMG is this thing delicious! At first, the butteriness sort of hits you but if you allow it to mellow together, like frosting your cake in the morning and serving it at night, the strawberry flavor really comes through. I placed the buttercream in the fridge while I cut up the layers and then frosted my cake thoroughly. It held up beautifully, even with the thick layer of cake on top of it. The specks of strawberry do not allow this to fully smooth out when icing the cake but it’s part of the charm. When in the fridge, the buttercream tends to firm up too much, so I would recommend letting the cake set out on the counter at least 15min before serving to give the buttercream a chance to soften up. There are other versions of this buttercream in the book, some using yolks but I find the yolk takes longer to cool down and has too much margin for error on that front. I prefer this egg white version and according to The Cake Bible it’s the most stable of buttercreams when made. The key is in the butter temperature. It MUST be fully soft but still COOL for it to really come together.