Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thank You, Chickens

If you are lucky enough to find free-range chicken eggs you can make the best yellow cake without food coloring. What a difference an egg makes!                                            Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake
2 ½ cups cake flour, plus extra for dusting pans
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 ¾ cups sugar; divided
10 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
3 Tbs vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks plus 3 large egg whites, room temperature (I used 7 medium yolks, 4 medium whites)
           Foolproof Chocolate Frosting
20 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 cup  confectioners' sugar
¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
 pinch of table salt
 3/4 cup light corn syrup
 1 tsp vanilla extract
 8 oz milk chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
350 oven.
1. Grease  two 9-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
Grease paper rounds, dust pans with flour.
2. Whisk flour, baking power, baking soda, salt, and l 1/2 cups sugar
together.  Whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and
3. Beat egg whites at until foamy, about 30 seconds. With machine running,
gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; continue to beat until stiff peaks
form, 30 to 60 seconds (whites should hold peak but mixture should appear
moist).  Transfer to bowl and set aside.
4. Add flour mixture to bowl with whisk attachment.  With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour will remain), about 15 seconds.  Scrape whisk and sides of bowl.  Return mixer to medium-low speed and beat until smooth and fully combined, 10 to 15 seconds.
5. Stir 1/3 of whites into batter to lighten, then add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Lightly tap pans against counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any large air bubbles.
6. Bake until cake layers begin to pull away from sides of pans and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes.  Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. With a small knife, loosen cakes from sides of pan, and then invert onto greased wire rack and peel off parchment. Invert cakes again and cool completely on rack, about 1 1/2 hours.
Chocolate Frosting
1. In food processor, process butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth,
about 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl as needed.  
Add corn syrup and
vanilla and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds.  Scrape sides of
bowl, then add chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated - a great reliable magazine for recipes.

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