Friday, July 3, 2020

White vanilla cake with berries, cream cheese frosting and whipped cream

The keen desire for a pastry such as this got stuck in my head while I was having waffles the previous morning. The lightbulb moment wasn't a minor flicker, but burned from the the moment I consumed breakfast the others left behind. Mounds of berries and giant puffs of fresh cream that would have left the whole show bereft had they been taken from the scene.

White cake tends to bring about two conflicting views after you've been introduced to it at some point of your life. One would be the flavor is as plain as vanilla, which is precisely what it should be, and, meh, you'd most likely not be the one to fuss for subsequent servings. The second train of thought, and where I'm boarded, looks at splendor from inception, of order of ingredients and egg beating execution. A moist, sponge-in crumb, becomes the target for adulation, stemming from one too many voids in a lifetime. The latter truth may or may not be what I've experienced on quite few counts. 

Thick, tender slices reveal insides similar to a cumulus cloud and  unbelievably light. Cream cheese adds punch and spruces up the fruits. When dressed with whipped cream, an option I favor,  the finished product yields the best, plated, beyond-world experience.

This is the perfect holiday dessert, even if it might never bear allegiance to one.

With as much going on, mouthfeel-wise, a natural question could be whether various formats/ flavors/textures diminish the milder knowns of the whole. Most definitely not. The nuances that spring from a layered cake- dessert transforms it into something beautiful, elements build upon one another, and only intensify the need to grab another piece. Like my older child put it, "it is so WOW!" ( this would be her junior year in college and let's be grateful she' s not an English major).

Moreover, in our current universal situation, where most of what we do involves wearing masks and indulging in takeout, confined within the walls of homes, let's deliberate on the idea that festivities, fireworks, the boardwalk and merriment are a mere few reaches of the kitchen pantry.

In other words, let's party, albeit quarantined and in pandemic's midst, like it's 1999.

Recreate, commemorate, and don't forget to take this cake.

God bless you, America.

White vanilla cake:
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ⅔ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 large egg whites (¾ cup)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Butter and flour 2 8" round pans and line bottoms with parchment.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour in egg whites and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently transfer beaten egg whites to a large bowl.
  • Wipe stand mixer bowl clean and beat butter, in the same bowl, on medium high until pale in color. Add in oil, sugar, vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. 
  • In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add flour and milk, alternatively in three increments into the batter, beginning and ending with flour.
  • Scrape down bowl with spatula often.
  • Using the spatula, gently fold in egg whites into the batter. Scrape down sides and incorporate all the ingredients, using your hand being careful not to overbeat.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans. Smooth tops with spatula.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes. 
  • Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks, remove parchment paper and allow to cool completely.
  • Frost with a double batch of cream cheese frosting.
I like to frost between layers and coat once with cream cheese frosting. A coat of fresh whipped cream frosting is what I like as the final guild. Doesn't it look better that way? It tastes better, no doubt.

Other July Fourth desserts:

"Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours." Isaiah 61:7-8 (NIV)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!

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