Monday, October 17, 2011

The Cake You'll Dream About

        I love eating food, looking at food, and taking pictures of food. I just purchased a new lens for my camera and I'm completely ecstatic. I chose the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. Here's my first impression: it takes beautiful shots. Everything is sharp and stunning, with great focus-- I know this lens will make my food photography experience even more enjoyable. I practically did a happy dance after seeing my first shots with it.
         I didn't waste any time-- the moment I returned home I opened up the package, screwed the lens onto my Canon Rebel XT, and started snapping away like mad. The first food subject I introduced to my new lens was a cake. The Whiteout Cake. 
The Whiteout Cake
        This is quite possibly the best white cake I have ever eaten. It's a denser cake, but it's balanced perfectly with a soft, light, and silky white chocolate frosting. When I say--hold on, write? type?--silky, I mean silky. The frosting is cooked like a pudding and the result is smooth and heavenly wonderfulness. A word of warning, though: don't eat a spoonful of the stuff before you frost the cake. Otherwise, you'll end up like me… it won't be your last spoonful.
        This cake is a dream. I imagined it would be very tasty, but it more than exceeded my expectations-- I adored it. It has definitely qualified for my favorites list. 
        I want another slice of heaven. I want another bowl of silk. 
        I want both of them together.
        More cake, please.

The Whiteout Cake
(adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)
Print This Recipe
Yield: 1 8 or 9-inch 3-layer cake

For the White Cake Layers:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the White Chocolate Frosting:
6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the White Cake Layers:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8 or 9-inch cake round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down bowl, add egg, and beat until just combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture alternating with the ice water in three separate additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape down bowl; mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form, being careful not to overbeat. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in centre of each cake comes out clean. Transfer cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack, remove from pans, and let cool completely. Remove parchment.
For the White Chocolate Frosting:
  1. In a double boiler or microwave, melt the white chocolate and set it aside to cool.
  2. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk sugar and flour together. Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on high speed until cool. Reduce speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase speed to medium high; beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla and white chocolate; continue mixing until combined. If frosting is too firm, set bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.
To Assemble the Whiteout Cake:
  1. Place one cake layer on a serving platter and trim the top if necessary to create a flat surface. Evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups of the frosting on top. Repeat with the next two layers. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. The cake will keep in a cake saver, at room temperature or refrigerated, for up to 3 days. If refrigerating, after removing from refrigerator allow cake to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.
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  1. 'More cake, please' That really sums up my feelings about this cake!

  2. Ooooooh, love white cake.  Must try this.....SOON.  *BUZZ*

  3. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.October 17, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    I usually prefer chocolate cake over white cakes, but this one looks hard to resist!

  4. yes definitely, "more cake, please" for me as well! Have fun with the new lens, great photos!

  5. That is a beautiful cake!  Your new lense does take great pictures (well I should say the person operating the lense does!) I've been looking into lenses for my Cannon Rebel but I'm totally unsure of what to get.  What kind did you purchase?

  6. This cake looks amazing!  I think I would have a hard time putting down the spoon after tasting the frosting and end up with not enough for the cake ;)!  I have always prefered vanilla cake to chocolate and this looks heavenly!

  7. This cake looks beautiful!  And it sounds wonderful!  I've been looking for a really good white cake.  I'll have to give this one a try!  Thanks

  8. Hi, Alyssa. The lens I purchased was the Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II-- the "Nifty Fifty". I love the look of food photos taken using large apertures for that soft, blurred background while the food stays sharp, so I chose this 1.8/f lens. Good luck!

  9. This cake looks really delicious!  I love white chocolate, and that frosting sounds amazing!

  10. The cake looks luscious! beautiful post!

  11. You are so good at what you do. I love your blog and I want this cake for breakfast every day this week!

  12. Just found your blog through foodgawker. I've been looking for a cake to make for my birthday this week, and this is absolutely perfect! Thanks! I can't wait to browse through your blog for more deliciousness!

  13. Positively stunning!  Congrats on the new lens, I've been eyeing that one for some time and I think I just might have a bit of lens envy!!  I'm not a huge cake fan, but when I do have cake the flavors you have here are some of my favorites.  Printed, pinned and bookmarked!!!

  14. This truly does look like what I imagine heaven to be like...  And if heaven has a flavor, I'm sure it's the flavor of this cake.  Amazing, pure amazingness you made here!

  15. Gorgeous cake and have fun with that new lens!

  16. had me at white chocolate frosting. This looks like heaven, and man, could I use a slice...

  17. This cake looks absolutely amazing! That's the lens I do most of my photography with and I love it! I always love getting new camera equipment :) Thanks for sharing this great recipe! I'll definitely have to save it for the next time I need a cake recipe!

  18. So pretty, and your description has me drooling. Cake is my favorite thing. I must try this recipe!

  19. I made the cake yesterday and it is so very good.  Moist and fluffy and most likely dancing about in my dreams tonight.  Don't think about making this cake, just get in your kitchen and go.  

  20. Congratulations on your lens. I 've been eying the same lens for a while now. Loved your photos and this cake. Oh this cake is a piece of heaven. More cake, please!

  21. Hi Nicole, Your The
    Whiteout Cake recipe has been selected to be featured in a Recipe Guessing
    Game. Please share the following link with your friends and fans. To play, go
    here:      Congrats again!! :)

  22. This gorgeous cake is cooling on my windowsill as we speak... I'm a little perplexed though. It's yellow! And my frosting too! Could it be the butter? I'm in New Zealand and our butter is a very definite shade of yellow, as are the fresh eggs I use. Do you think this could be the source of the colour? 

    I really can't wait to eat really, I've already picked little browned pieces off the top.... :)

  23. Hi Stacey!

    Hmm… I'm not quite sure why your cake and frosting turned out yellow, but I'm willing to bet you're right about the butter having something to do with it. I live in Canada and the butter I use is much more white than it is yellow, so it would make sense if your cake turned out more yellow in colour for that reason. I'm sorry I took so long to get back to you, but I hope this helped. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed the cake! :)

  24. I really want to try this cake, but do you think making it into cupcakes would work well? Thanks!

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  26. I made the cake part of the Whiteout cake tonight. It smelled wonderful and the crumbs tasted heavenly. My problem? The cake layers are so tender that they tried to fall apart. In fact one layer fell into pieces! I followed the recipe exactly. Did you have any problems with this happening ?

  27. Super late response -- very sorry, I haven't checked the blog in a long time! I didn't have that problem... I actually found that it held together very nicely for me. I'm not sure what could have caused the problem you encountered -- I wish I could be more helpful! Nonetheless, I hope you were still able to enjoy the cake!

  28. Made this according to the recipe. Cake turned out nicely, but there is certainly something wrong with the icing recipe! This recipe is runny - it simply does not set up, at all! I even added 2 lbs. of powdered sugar and the icing still oozed off of the cake. I had to keep it refrigerated in order to cut and serve it. PLEASE go back over the ingredients and measurements for the icing!

  29. Hi Susy, I'm sorry to hear that. I've gone over the recipe again but those are the correct ingredients and measurements for the icing. The recipe is from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking with only a few minor changes -- I think the problem you encountered may have happened while cooking the milk and cream in the double-boiler. If the mixture hasn't thickened enough before removing from heat, the icing will be too runny, which might explain why adding extra sugar didn't help much. When I made the icing it was light and silky but not runny, and I didn't need to add any extra ingredients or to refrigerate at all. I kept the frosted cake at room temperature for a few days until it was finished. I don't know for sure what went wrong, but I hope this still helps somewhat!

  30. Nicole, I made this cake and frosting this weekend....and I couldn't get the frosting to was extremely thin. I had it on the stove for approx 20 minutes and it was pretty thick...then transferred it and beat it until cool...which literally took forever ;) it was super thin and when I added the butter it really didn't thicken much. The flavor was wondering if you could give me some tips...maybe you let it boil longer? What was the thickness comparable to when you took it off the stove? I'm a great baker and very rarely have anything that doesn't work, I'm quite perplexed by this and really want to get it to work. Thanks - Jenifer