Classic White Cake
2 tbs solid vegetable shortening
2 heaping tbs of all purpose flour (for flouring the pans)
1 cup of milk, room temperature
3/4 cup egg whites (5-6 eggs), room temperature
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups plain cake flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 lb of unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 tbs milk
pinch of salt
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat bottom and sides of two 9×2 inch round cake pans with 1tablespoon of shortening, each. Sprinkle 1 heaping tablespoon of all purpose flour into each pan, swirl to completely coat the inside, then invert pan to remove excess flour. Knock on the back of the pan to remove excess flour.
2. Mix egg whites, milk and both extracts in a 2 cup measuring glass, with a fork, until blended together.
3. Mix the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if you’re using a hand mixer) and combine on slow speed. Add the butter and continue to beat slowly until the mixture resembles moist crumbs and no powdery ingredients remain.
4. Add all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture to the crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using a hand mixer), for 90 seconds. Add remaining milk and beat for 30 seconds more. Stop mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl and beat for another 20 seconds.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. With a rubber spatula, spread the batter to the pan walls and smooth the top. Place pans in the oven, at least 3 inces apart. Bake until a toothpick or cake needle inserted in the center, comes out clean, 23-25 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and let the cakes rest in the pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from the sides of the pans with a knife (if necessary) and invert both cakes onto (greased) cooling racks. Allow the cakes to cool for at least 90 minutes before frosting.
7. Frosting: Beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl with a handheld mixer), on low speed until the sugar is moistened. Increase speed to medium, stopping twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is creamy and fluffy (approximately 90 seconds.) DO NOT OVER BEAT.
8. Filling: Set aside 3/4 cup of the frosting for decoration. Spread a small dab of frosting in the center of the cake plate to anchor the cake and set down one cake layer. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the remaining frosting with the almonds and spread over the first cake layer. Carefully spread jam over the top, then cover with the second cake layer.
9. Spread frosting over the top and the sides of the assembled cake. Pipe reserve frosting around perimeter of the cake.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated