Something that I really want to focus on here at i am baker is recipe quality. I have spent a year getting my feet wet in decorating, and now I want to stick my toes into the recipe pool.
Gross. Feet and recipes? Not my best analogy.
So my goal is to start with the basics. To find a great basic recipe then to tweak it to fit my needs, or if it is amazing, leave as is and bow to the feet of the creator.
What is with me and feet today?
My first trial is with is with white cake.
I love white cake and love it when it is soft and light and airy (but not spongy). However, the thing I like best about white cake is that it lends itself so easily to other flavors. You can pair it with a fantastic chocolate frosting or a super sweet strawberry sauce. (say that 3 times fast)
Or in this case, the soft elegance of coconut.
Traditionally, a coconut cake is accompanied by coconut filling and frosting.
But I am weird and only like a hint of coconut… hence a white cake with coconut topping.
Or, after it was all said and done, white cake, chocolate cake, and coconut frosting with decorative coconut flakes.
So, after all that confusion, I will get back to the point. White cake.
Basic White Cake (adapted from Joy of Baking-great site!)
2 large eggs separated
1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract*
1/2 cup milk
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
*I love the addition of almond extract, but you can certainly leave this out for a more pure vanilla flavor. The original recipe does not call for it.
Separate the eggs, placing the whites into one container and the yolks into another. Let come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8in (I used 9in) pans. Normally I use PAM, but this recipe really calls for the butter and flour method. Just trust me on this one.
Put sifted flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
Using an electric mixer ( I love that this recipe calls for an electric mixer as I do not even own a KitchenAid Mixer), beat the butter until soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of sugar (reserving the rest) and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Now add egg yolks, one at a time, until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and almond extract until combined, about 30 seconds.
Now you are going to add your flour mixture and milk. Starting with the flour, add 1/3 of the mixture and mix until incorporated. Now add 1/2 milk mixture, mix until combined. Add half the remaining flour, combine. Now add the rest of your milk and combine. Add remaining 1/3 of your flour mixture, and go ahead and mix until combined. This whole process should take less then 2 minutes, as you do not want to over beat the batter.
In a separate clean bowl with clean whisk attachment, whip eggs whites until foamy then add the cream of tartar. (I did this on medium speed) Beat until soft peaks occur, and then gradually add in your remaining sugar. You will want stiff peaks, which took me about 3 minutes. Now, take your rubber spatula and fold your eggs whites into your cake batter. Make sure they are fully incorporated, but do not over stir the batter, as you do not want to eggs to deflate.
Put batter into prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Cakes are done when an inserted tooth pick comes out clean or with very few crumbs. At this point I place the cakes directly into the freezer and leave them there for at least an hour. This locks in moisture and also makes it easier to frost.
Seven Minute Coconut Frosting
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup water
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp coconut extract
(I did not have enough frosting to cover the outside of my cake and had to improvise, but I also added another entire cake to the interior, so I believe if you are making the white cake alone you will not have the same problem.)
In a double broiler (or a stove top safe glass bowl over the top of a pot of boiling water) combine sugar, water, egg whites, and cream of tartar with electric mixer and whisk attachment until combined, about 30 seconds. Place bowl on top of pan of boiling water (water should only be about 1-2 inches deep) and beat with electric whisk attachment for seven minutes until soft peaks occur. Remove from heat and add coconut extract. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes or more until frosting is spreading consistency.
Since I was covering this cake in coconut, I used a majority of the frosting on the internal structure, alternating between each layer of white and chocolate.
The addition of this type of frosting to the interior left this cake beyond moist.
The final result was delicious.
Like, I am going to start making this for peoples birthdays as a special treat delicious.
The white cake was distinctive and delectable, and can easily stand on its own!