Lily's Rich Vanilla Cake

Friday, November 26, 2010

This be Tante Lily basic cake, a canvas to spice up, decorate, and layer into something better than the sum of its parts. I watched her make this for a Vruchtentaart she made for Mama's birthday, and it was so yummy, yummy, yummy!

I know what you're thinking ... 10 eggs!! Really?? Yes, for that it how most cakes are made back home, rich and hearty. Why you should take a look at recipes for Lapis Surabaya, a classic Indonesian cake, then realize than 10 eggs is rather restrained :D

Whether making vruchtentaart or a birthday cake to layer with chocolate frosting, this rich vanilla cake is sure to push the envelope and impress. You can thank Tante Lily in the comments :)

This recipe makes 3 22cm (9 inch) layers or 2 20cm (8 inch) square layers.

10 eggs, room temperature, separated
2 tsp cream of tartar
50 g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
150 g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
250 g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) butter, at room temperature
4 tsp vanilla extract
200 g (1-2/3 cup) all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder

1. Butter and line 3 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom.
2. Preheat the oven to 175C or 350F.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until it starts to froth.
4. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and continue whisking until soft peaks form.
5. At this stage, start adding the 50 g of sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until the egg whites come to stiff glossy peaks.
6. Transfer this meringue to another clean, large bowl.

7. Replace the whisk with a flat beater and give the bowl a good wipe, then beat together the butter and 150 g of sugar for about 10-15 minutes, till pale and fluffy.
8. While waiting, sift the flour with the baking powder into a medium bowl.

9. To the butter and sugar mixture, add the yolks, one at a time on a slower speed, followed with the vanilla extract.
10. On the slowest speed, add the flour in four additions, mixing just until no visible lumps remain.

11. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and with a wooden spoon or a large spatula, fold a third of the egg whites to the batter.
12. Gently fold the rest of the meringue in.
13. Divide the batter among the cake pans, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
I placed one on the top rack and two on the lower rack, swapping them after they have risen.
14. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before inverting it on a cooling rack to cool completely.

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