Courtesy of Chef Stephany Buswell: www.chefany.com
This is a good, basic vanilla cake. It becomes spectacular with the butter cream recipe that follows.
Stephany says: “This is my favorite butter cream. It is very perishable and should not be made more than a day in advance. If you are looking for a wonderful creamy and not very sweet icing that showcases the vanilla bean, I think you will love this one.
“It is important that you use the freshest unsalted butter. Do not use butter that has been sitting in your refrigerator for days. It picks up flavors and it will impart them to your icing.
“You can choose to use either the vanilla bean or vanilla extract. When using the bean, you will have the tiny seeds in your butter cream so if that is a concern then use the extract. I prefer the bourbon vanilla for its bold flavor. You do not want to taste the butter; you want to taste the vanilla!”Print
White Cake With Butter Cream
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 tablespoons butter
1–1/2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract
6 egg whites
1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 325. Grease and line 2 9-inch cake pans with parchment.
Sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
With a mixer on slow speed, add flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternately with milk. Beat after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
Whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold them into the cake batter gently, making sure not to over mix. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Place cake pans on cooling rack and allow to cool completely before removing from pans.
In a heavy bottom saucepan scald the milk with the vanilla bean split and scraped. Remove from heat and allow mixture to steep for at least 30 minutes.
Mix together sugar and cornstarch. Add eggs and mix well, making sure all lumps are mixed out.
Pour half the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture and stir until incorporated. Pour back into the saucepan and cook until thick enough for a ribbon to stand on top of the custard.
Cool on an ice bath, stirring continuously. When it is at room temperature remove the vanilla bean.
Important: Test the custard with an instant read thermometer and make sure that the temperature difference between the butter and the custard is not more than 5 degrees. Ideally they should be around 65-70 degrees. This is important because if you begin to add the butter and the custard is too hot then you will get soup, not butter cream. If the butter and custard are too cold it will look like cottage cheese.
When the temperatures are correct, put butter into an electric mixing bowl and with the paddle attachment cream and mix on slow speed until it is smooth. Begin adding the custard little by little. Don’t turn the speed of the mixer up or you will beat in too much air. The butter cream will look creamy and smooth when it is ready to ice the cake. If using vanilla extract, add it now. Taste butter cream. If you can still taste butter, then add more vanilla. Keep adding vanilla until you are satisfied that the vanilla is what you taste and not the butter.
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