This one is from Cook's Illustrated, you may need to double the
frosting recipe. I'm not quite sure how much it makes. It's always
better to have more rather than less:
Adding the butter pieces to the mixing bowl one at a time prevents
the dry ingredients from flying up and out of the bowl.
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted plain cake flour
11/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened,
each stick cut into 8 pieces
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350
degrees. Generously grease two 9 by 1 1/2-inch cake pans with
vegetable shortening and cover pan bottoms with rounds of parchment
paper or wax paper. Grease parchment rounds, dust cake pans with
flour, and tap out excess.
2. Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla with fork in small bowl; measure out
1 cup of this mixture and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, baking
powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle
attachment; mix on lowest speed to blend, about 30 seconds. With
mixer still running at lowest speed, add butter one piece at a time;
mix until butter and flour begin to clump together and look
sandy and pebbly, with pieces about the size of peas, 30 to 40
seconds after all butter is added. Add reserved 1 cup of egg mixture
and mix at lowest speed until incorporated, 5 to 10 seconds.
Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about
1 minute. Add remaining egg mixture (about ½ cup) in slow steady
stream, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape sides and
bottom of bowl. Beat on medium-high until thoroughly combined and
batter looks slightly curdled, about 15 seconds longer. (To mix
using hand mixer, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in
large bowl. Add butter pieces and cut into the flour mixture with a
pastry blender. Add reserved 1 cup of egg mixture;
beat with hand mixer at lowest speed until incorporated, 20 to 30
seconds. Increase speed to high, add remaining egg mixture, and beat
until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stop mixer and thoroughly
scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat at high speed 15 seconds
3. Divide batter equally between prepared cake pans; spread to sides
of pan and smooth with rubber spatula. Bake until cake tops are
light golden and skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25
minutes. (Cakes may mound slightly but will level when cooled.) Cool
on rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around pan perimeter to loosen.
Invert cake onto large plate, peel off parchment, and
reinvert onto lightly greased rack. Cool completely before icing.
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Frosting
The trick with this recipe is cooling the chocolate mixture until it
thickens but is not stiff.
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons light or dark corn syrup
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at cool room temperature,
cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1. Place the cream in a small saucepan over low heat until it is
just simmering and small bubbles are forming around the edges of the
pan. Remove from heat; add the chocolate, and whisk mixture until
homogeneous, shiny and smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and cool
until the mixture thickens but is not stiff. You may refrigerate the
bowl to speed up the cooling process, checking about every 15
minutes. Do not allow the mixture to harden.
2. To the bowl add the corn syrup, butter and vanilla and beat with
an electric mixer until well-combined, about one minute. Add the
confectioners' sugar and beat on low to combine. Increase the speed
to high and beat for about 5 minutes more or until the mixture has
lightened in color and the texture is spreadable.
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