This is the first cake I’ve ever made that I just can’t stop talking about, looking at, taking pictures of, and smiling!!! I never knew I had this cake in me! Inside and out, it is soooooo light and fluffy.
The combo of the (fat-free) sour cream, only five tablespoons of butter (very few for a cake), strawberry filling and the super-fluffy white (as the driven snow) icing had the whole neighborhood abuzz! I brought some to my wonderful neighbors, James and Essie Mae, who had some friends over at the time, so I came home and got some more for them , plus of course everybody at my house was thrilled!!!
On top of which, it’s a breeze to make. The icing is mostly a simple mixture of egg whites and boiled sugar, very much like spreadable marshmallows, and it’s terrific how smoothly and gracefully it goes on the cake! No big stories this time, but come to think of it this reminds me of a fairy tale, or like something out of a child’s mind, in a land where everything is all white and fluffy, sweetness and light!! You know, right? Just down the lane, near the sugar plum fairies!
I will be making this one over and over, just for the sweetness it seems to magically evoke!!! It made me feel like a little kid again, giggling for no reason at all! Just cause it feels good. And this sweetness reminds me of one person in particular, I happen to know someone whose birthday is coming up, like tomorrow, my beautiful niece, Maxine! Who, if she’s anything like me, ha ha, it’s already very much her birthday!! So because I want to beat everyone to the front of the very long line of Birthday well wishers, I’m posting this today!!! Happy Birthday Baby!!! See you soon! So excited, YAY!!! This is just for you !!! Love you!!! Aunty Jen
Sour Cream Cake:
With all ingredients at room temperature, grease and flour two 8×2″ cake pans
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
1-3/4 cups cake flour
1-3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Beat in a large bowl until creamy:
5 tbs. unsalted butter
Add slowly until combined:
1 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks
1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla
Add the flour mixture alternating with
1 cup fat free sour cream
Beat until smooth.
In another bowl, with clean beaters, beat until medium peaks form (not dry and stiff or it will not fold in properly):
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Fold [this mixture] into the batter a third at a time. Remember, folding is done by bringing the ingredients up from the bottom and folding over the top in a circular motion – do not stir or mix.
Scrape the batter into the cake pans and spread evenly.
Bake 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove and cool.
1/2 cup (approx.) strawberry jam
Place one cake on a plate lined with parchment paper. (This is so that when you’re done frosting, you can easily pull the paper carefully from under the cake, leaving the plate clear of frosting.)
Put a 1/4 inch layer of strawberry jam all over the bottom cake (not quite to the edges but close).
Place the second cake on top. You’re now ready for the icing. Important note: The cake and filling must be completely done before you tackle the icing. As soon as you make the icing, it has got to go right on the cake pronto, while it’s just slightly warm!
Fluffy White Icing:
Stir in a small heavy sauce pan, then bring to a boil over high heat
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Meanwhile, beat in a large mixer bowl at medium-high speed until stiff
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
Turn the heat down to low and cover. Simmer, allowing the steam to wash down the sugar crystals.
Turn down the mixer with the egg whites to the lowest speed and continue to mix.
Uncover the sugar water, turn the heat up slightly, and cook until the temperature reaches 230º (use a candy thermometer) – this is “the softball stage.”Which will be marked clearly on any Candy Thermometer!
When the mixture reaches that temperature, dip the bottom of the pan in cold water for a second. While beating the eggs on high, pour in a thin stream of sugar mixture, continuing mixing on high, and add
1-1/2 tsps. vanilla
Keep beating on high for about 4-5 minutes, then lower speed and continue to mix on low for a minute or two, until the frosting is light and fluffy!
Use right away, while it’s still a little warm and easy to apply, ’cause this stuff starts to be hard to work with if it gets too cool – and it cannot, repeat, cannot be reheated. So have everything ready to rock and roll!
Spread that icing on thick! It’s very light with a lot of air to it, so pile it on!!! If you want to decorate it, tint some frosting with food coloring or natural beet extract – for example, I used some left-over pomegranate concentrate – adding a drop or two at a time to the desired color. Put it in a pastry bag with a star tip and have a ball with it!!! I obviously did here!! (See pics.)
And as always, Enjoy!!!
© Jennifer Green Alger 2010