It is said that if you're going to have dessert, portion-controlled servings are the way to go.
I find that logic almost interesting.
Regardless, I gave it a try. And I believe this clever strategy has the potential to work!
I can't begin to tell you how many of these single-serving cakes I've had this week plus the strong urge to swing from power lines was undeniable.
However, should my body start to block out the sun, I will have to forgo the experts' advice, and resort to baking mini cupcakes instead...
You'll probably think it prosaic to blog about yellow cake, when you consider the endless times I've declared my love for chocolate cake. But this humble classic takes me back to my childhood. And to all the birthdays this type of cake has made its appearance. Light in texture, not overly sweet, buttery and very comfortable sharing the spotlight with just about any buttercream.
These cupcakes were topped with some fantasy-type flowers, which I'll refer to as 'camellias' because who would gainsay me? Who?
In any case, a fancy swirled top would also be pretty. I will be sharing both, my favorite buttercream, and a simple way to pipe flowers, in time for Valentine's Day.
Yellow Butter Cake
4 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2¼ cups sifted cake flour
1½ cups superfine sugar*
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, each stick cut into 8 pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9-inch pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Or, line a standard cupcake pan, with cupcake liners. Whisk together eggs, heavy cream, sour cream and vanilla. Remove 1 cup of this mixture and set aside.
Combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on lowest speed to blend, about 30 seconds. While mixer is still running, add butter, one piece at a time (Make sure to cover mixer bowl with a kitchen towel for the initial mixing, to keep all the ingredients in the bowl instead of your lovely face :).
Mix until butter and flour begin to look pebbly, with pieces about the size of peas, 30 to 40 seconds after all the butter is added. Add reserved 1 cup egg mixture, mixing on lowest speed until until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
Add remaining egg mixture into batter, in slow, steady stream, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat until well combined, 15 seconds longer
Divide batter equally between pans. Pick up each filled pan a few inches off the counter and drop several times to 'belch' any air bubbles to the top, as well as to evenly level the batter in the pans.
Bake until tops are light golden and wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cakes on wire rack 8 to 10 minutes. Run thin metal spatula around pan perimeter to loosen. Invert cake onto parchment-lined wire rack, peel off parchment, and reinvert cake onto parchment paper-lined rack.** Cool completely before frosting. Adapted from The Best Recipe, by Cook's Illustrated.
*To make your own superfine sugar, process granulated sugar in a food processor or blender for about one minute.
**This cake will level off a bit once it comes out of the oven. If the cake still has a dome after a few minutes of cooling, take a piece of parchment paper and lay it over the cake. Rest another cake pan over the warm cake, and press it down, gently. Hold for 15-20 seconds and release the pressure. If cake still has a dome, repeat the process. This is a technique commonly used by cake decorators to level most cakes without the need to slice the tops off.
I hope you'll bake this wonderful cake soon. But I'm warning you, you'll need a shower afterward.
Have a good weekend, my friends.
Designs by Gollum