This is a big “pause” moment for me. Today marks the 800th recipe posted on Rock Recipes. Just writing that seems more than a little odd. On a quiet Saturday afternoon, as I write this recipe, I take a step back to ask the question, “Why the heck am I doing this anyway?”. It is a good question and one I’m often asked, so I’ve stopped to consider what the real answer is.
Endless possibility in anything that you are passionate about is what enriches your life and makes it better. Even in the early days of beginning to cook, I resisted repetition. Why have meatloaf for dinner every Tuesday when there were so many more possibilities ? I think ultimately, that is why I write this blog, to help illuminate the possibilities.Thanks to all who joined along the way. We haven’t exhausted the possibilities yet.
To celebrate I’ve created this terrific layer cake. I always think this cake is even better the next day when the sugar from the frosting has made the berry chunks even more sweet and luscious.
Sift together and set aside:
1 1/2 cups cake and pastry flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Cream together until fluffy:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
Add, one at a time, beating well after every addition;
4 eggs at room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Gently fold in the dry ingredients in three equal portions, alternately with
1 cup undiluted evaporated milk
When adding dry and wet ingredients alternately in any baking recipe, always begin and end with the dry ingredients.
Pour batter evenly into 2 well greased and floured 9 inch cake pans. Bake in a 325 degree F oven for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Watch it carefully, you will not want to over bake this cake, as soon as the toothpick comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and let it rest in the pans for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
8 cups icing sugar (i.e. powdered sugar, confectioners sugar)
2 cups butter
Using an electric mixer on low, mix the butter and icing sugar together until the butter breaks up and get evenly dispersed throughout the sugar in small pieces. The mixture will still appear dry at this point. This stage ensures even distribution and prevents butter lumps in your frosting.
4 tsp vanilla extract
Approximately 6 tbsp milk
Both of these liquid measures can be adjusted. The milk can be adjusted to make a thicker frosting by adding less or a more spreadable frosting by adding a little more. Use you own judgement here. The vanilla extract can be adjusted to your own taste too.
When the icing reaches the desired consistently continue to beat it on high speed for 5 minutes to incorporate more air into the frosting to make it lighter and fluffier. Fold in:
2 cups diced fresh strawberries
Frost the middle and sides evenly with the frosting and chill the cake for several hours before adding the white chocolate ganache glaze.
White Chocolate Ganache Glaze
In a double boiler melt together
1 1/3 cups white chocolate chips( or 8 ounces chopped white chocolate)
1/4 cup whipping cream
Stir this mix constantly and get it off the heat as soon as the chocolate is melted. You do not want this mixture hot but just luke warm; as close to the melting point as possible. Let it cool down if it gets too hot.
Working as quickly as you can, ( a lazy susan is a big help if you have one) pour the ganache directly in the center of the cake, and then using an icing spatula spread it evenly over the top of the cake, letting it drip off the sides. Garnish with chopped white chocolate and fresh strawberries.
For butter and/or shortening based frostings like this, I do store the cake in the refrigerator but take it out at least an hour before serving to let the frosting warm up to room temperature. Cold frosting is too hard and letting the cake warm up allows this frosting to return to the creamy texture it is meant to have.