Whaaaaa!!! Boo Hoo! I was so very excited to make this white cake. I LOVE a good white cake and I have strived for years to find and make an awesome, fluffy, moist white cake from scratch. I really thought today was the day.......but it wasn't. Sigh. This cake was not so good. I found this recipe on the blog http://www.crumblycookie.net/. The recipe is originally from Cooks Illustrated. You must check out the post about this cake. She's a wonderful writer and takes striking photos of her work. Gosh, I was fascinated with her experimentation of white cakes. (she also has a similar post about red velvet cake recipes). She made 3 different white cake recipes. She experimented with all of them and tweaked them a bit and came up with her favorite. Her 2 favorite recipes were Cooks Illustrated and Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake. I've made the Perfect Party Cake before and I remember it being pretty good but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. Today I made the Cooks Illustrated recipe. I spent so much time on it. I was going to ice it with chocolate frosting and I actually made a whole bowl of chocolate frosting and it just didn't work out...but that's a whole other story of failure. Today is just not my day for baking. And now I feel full from stuffing my face with icing and cake all day and I'm tired and I have a zit on my face. Not my best day. I guess it just doesn't matter that these photographs were taken in bad light because I'm not even going to bother taking "good" photos of this wreck in tomorrow's daylight. (Can you tell I'm in a crappy mood?)
But don't think that I'm saying this recipe is no good. I'm sure this is somehow my fault. I DID follow this recipe to the last detail (except for like the Cookie Crumble blog I added only vanilla as the flavoring) but maybe I mixed too long or....I'm not sure what else it could have been. My cake wasn't dry but the texture turned out to be kind of tough and almost.....poundcake like. No fluffiness or lightness. How disappointing, ya know.
I'm going to stop ranting now. Tomorrow's post will be some pretty heart shaped, purple sprinkled spritz cookies that I'm making for a promotional gift for a friend's beauty salon in downtown Seattle. Just wait and see!
Classic White Layer Cake (from Cooks Illustrated)
Found on the blog "The Way the Cookie Crumbles"
CI note: If you have forgotten to bring the milk and egg white mixture to room temperature, set the bottom of the glass measure containing it in a sink of hot water and stir until the mixture feels cool rather than cold, around 65 degrees. Cake layers can be wrapped and stored for one day.
Nonstick cooking spray
2¼ cups cake flour (9 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (¾ cup), at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¾ cups granulated sugar (12¼ ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened but still cool
1. For the Cake: Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
2. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
3. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
4. Add all but ½ cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1½ minutes. Add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
5. Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
6. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1½ hours.