You know a cake is really amazing when your literature teacher loves it. Miss T. calls this strawberry frosting "awesome."
The best part about making this cake is eating the frosting off the beaters. It was fun. The second best part was asking my dad and little sister (the Maniac) if they could figure out how to make a heart out of one 8-inch square cake and one 8-inch round cake. They couldn't. Can you? (Answer at the very end.)
We didn't have cake flour. We used 2 1/2 cups of All-Purpose flour and 1/2 cup of cornstarch and sifted them together five times (it took a while).
1-2-3-4 Cake (from Fanny at Chez Panisse)
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
2 cups sugar (I add a pinch more)
3 cups cake flour-- or see note above
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Set oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8 inch round pan and an 8 inch square pan.
Sift the cake flour, and add the baking powder and salt. Stir.
Cut butter into small pieces and put in a large bowl. With a mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. This is creaming. Add the egg yolks and beat briefly and then add the vanilla.
Next add the flour and milk in parts. Add about half the flour and lightly stir it in. Pour in half the milk. Sift in the rest of the flour and stir. Then gently mix in the rest of the milk.
Beat egg whites until they make soft peaks. Very gently fold in the stiff egg whites.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Test with a toothpick; when it comes out clear they're done.
Strawberry Frosting, adapted from The Cake Doctor
1 stick of butter, softened
3/4 cup of strawberries
4 or more cups of confectioner's sugar
Puree the strawberries in a blender. You should have around 1/2 or 2/3 of a cup of strawberry puree.
With a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the pureed strawberries and beat together.
Add 4 cups of confectioner's sugar. Beat on low and then shift to high and beat for around five minutes. If the frosting is too thick, add a little milk. If it's not stiff enough, add more confectioner's sugar.
Position the square cake so one corner is at the top. Cut the round cake in half and stick it all together like this. Remember to use lots of frosting to cover the cracks.