2 days ago
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
I've been hoarding this particular issue of Southern Living magazine for a year now.
It's moved around my house to various spots on the coffee table, beside my computer, in the spare bedroom and onto my nightstand. The cake on the cover has been taunting me for that long. You see, I've been on the quest for the perfect white cake recipe, one like the cake I had for my wedding. It was the perfect moist, light and delicious homemade vanilla cake made by a friend of my Mom's. I have memories of my hubby and I sharing a leftover piece of it the day after our wedding while sitting at the airport waiting for our honeymoon flight. It was the best-tasting cake ever. The recipe remains top secret, but I hope to find it one day in all of my cake testing.
I was hoping this recipe would be the one. I had been putting off making this particular cake because it involved using only egg whites and beating the egg whites into meringue to fold into the batter. I don't like to waste egg parts, and usually use only recipes involving the whole egg. The only way to get a truly white cake is to avoid using the yolks, so I sacrificed 5 precious yolks in order to make this. The cake turned out to be a fluffy pure white cake with the flavor of a traditional pound cake. I'd say it's a keeper, but unfortunately, my quest for my wedding cake does not stop with this recipe. It is a very tasty cake, though, so you can click HERE for details on the article from Southern Living magazine. The recipe for Mrs. Billett's White Cake can be found at the bottom of this post.
I couldn't stop with just baking a cake and frosting it. I wanted to try my hand at making the snowflakes as well. I had recently started using Wilton Fondant to make some simple flower decorations for my cakes. The pre-made fondant is really easy to use. It is basically edible play-dough, and when mixed with a pinch of Tylose powder, it dries very quickly and can be used in a variety of ways for cake decorating. I used sugar sprinkles and edible glitter to add some sparkles to my snowflakes and love how they turned out:
Mrs. Billett's White Cake as found in Southern Living Magazine:
1 Cup Milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Cup softened butter
2 Cups granulated sugar
3 Cups cake flour (I used Swans Down brand)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
5 egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. I made two small two-layer 6" cakes, but you can also use three 8" round cake pans. I always line the bottom of my pans with parchment paper and spray with vegetable oil spray. If you don't have parchment paper, just grease thoroughly with butter and sprinkle lightly with flour.
2. Stir together milk and vanilla.
3. Beat softened butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together flour and baking powder. Add this flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture, gradually beating into the butter/sugar mixture. Beat at low speed until well-blended.
4. Beat egg whites until stiff-peak stage. You're basically making a meringue. Gently fold this meringue into the batter to keep the cake light and fluffy. Pour batter into prepared pans.
5. Remove cake from pans. (I usually wrap the cakes in plastic wrap while warm and put into the freezer so they can cool and firm up to allow for easier handling and frosting.)