My Baker's Crush: BAKED (and The Whiteout Cake)

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My Baker's Crush: BAKED (and The Whiteout Cake)

Whiteout Cake via Sweetapolita

Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I have a huge baker's crush. Huge. As baking enthusiasts, I imagine many of you already know, love, and adore the popular baking cookbooks by famed BAKED bakery boys, Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I am just discovering them now . . . yes, that is unthinkable, considering this little thing I call my addiction to baking and blog! I suppose I should have stepped away from the kitchen for long enough to notice that these guys are rocking the baking world. If you aren't familiar with them, I'm excited to introduce you to their awesomeness, and to give you the gist: Matt and Renato left their careers in advertising to open their dream bakery, BAKED, in Brooklyn, NY in 2005. What I love the most, is their ability to reinvent classic desserts; I really connect with this style of baking. They embrace decadence in a modern and gourmet-yet-casual way, and let's just say it's working! They now not only have one thriving bakery location, but have opened a second location in Charleston, South Carolina, and have expanded into everything from BAKED baking mixes to wedding cakes/desserts. Simply put, I love and admire everything they do.

Whiteout Cake via Sweetapolita

So here's my first-ever BAKED cake -- The Whiteout Cake, from their first book. I ordered both books and received them last Friday; I read them cover-to-cover by Friday night, and I was ready to go. I, literally, didn't know where to start--there are so, so many incredible looking recipes in these books: Classic Diner-Style Chocolate Pie, Root Beer Bundt Cake, Red Hot Velvet Cake -- I could go on and on.

I was really drawn to The Whiteout Cake because, yes, I adore vanilla, but, the truth is, I have a wee, tiny obsession with the colour white. Not just cake -- anything. For example, in the last year and a half, I've somehow managed to turn our entire house from rustic, earthy tones to an array of shades of white and off-white (with a lot of help and paint!). All white. All bliss. Come to think of it, I drive a white vehicle, we have all white bedding, most of our furniture is white, my KitchenAid mixer is white, my coffee maker is white . . . okay, perhaps my wee, tiny obsession is not so wee. White is glorious, and in all of its white glory, this cake is no exception: triple-layer moist vanilla cake filled and frosted with a unique, satiny white chocolate frosting, then topped with white sprinkles. I might add that all of this sweet whiteness paired with a dark-roasted, intense coffee = my idea of heaven. The flavours, and the visual, are the perfect juxtaposition.

Whiteout Cake via Sweetapolita

Just when I thought that their incredible baking, style, and business savvy was enough to admire, I have to tell you how kind and sweet Matt was when he replied to my email request to share this recipe with you. It's the weirdest thing but, dare I say, I'm starting to notice that bakers and foodies are some of the sweetest and most supportive people on earth. I've come to know so many bakers and food bloggers through Twitter, your blog comments, and other avenues online and off, and, honestly, what a bond we all share. Is it just me that feels that way?

This cake was very straightforward to make, but with some unique qualities: they call for ice cold water (as opposed to the more common room temperature milk or buttermilk), a combination of cake flour and all-purpose, which I personally appreciate because I think it's a perfect blend, as well as a combination of butter and shortening, to name a few. The cake baked up beautifully, and scented the entire house with the amazing smell of warm vanilla. What I love about the white chocolate frosting, aside from being different from anything I've ever made, is that is whips up smooth, creamy, and satiny -- the ultimate texture for frosting and decorating.

I also love that the frosting has no icing (confectioners') sugar, but rather a warm, thickened milk, cream, sugar, and flour mixture that is then whipped along with the butter, vanilla, and melted white chocolate. I was sure to use Belgian white chocolate for the ultimate taste, and topped it all off with a single Lindt white chocolate ball.

Whiteout Cake via Sweetapolita

A big thank you to Matt & Renato for sharing their amazing recipe with us! Someday soon I hope to get back to New York so that I can visit their bakery, eat one of everything, and get properly, and officially, BAKED. The Whiteout Cake (as printed in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)          {click here for printable recipe} Yield: 1 (8-inch) cake For the white cake layers 2 1/2 cups of 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 sugar 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 1 large egg 1 1/2 cups ice cold water 3 large egg whites, at room temperature 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar For the white chocolate frosting 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped 1 1/2 cups 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, soft but cool, cut into small pieces 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract To assemble the cake White sprinkles or white nonpareils Make the white cake layers Preheat the over the 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour. Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, add the egg, and beat until just combined. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three separate additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment. Make the white chocolate frosting Using either a double boiler or a microwave oven (see page 23), melt the white chocolate and set it aside to cool. In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream to cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and white chocolate and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency. Assemble the cake Refrigerate the frosting for a few minutes (but no more) until it can hold its shape. Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface, and evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups of the frosting on top. Add the next layer, trim and frost it, then add the third layer. Crumb coat the cake and put the cake in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish with a few white sprinkles or white nonpareils and refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm up the finished cake. This cake will keep beautifully in a cake saver at room temperature (cool and humidity free) for up to 3 days. If your room is not cool, place the in a cake saver and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving. Good luck & enjoy! // ]]>

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  • Rosie Alyea
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