Vanilla Walnut Cake

My recipe bin for cakes is now seriously growing. It's such a joy for me to be baking again. When we relocated to Singapore from the Philippines, I had a difficult separation from my household wares and utensils. Believe it or not, foremost among them is my oven. So when I finally decided to replace it in our new home, it's like reuniting with a long lost friend. As soon as I'm all set for my old hobby, I began to acquire new cook books as well. But there are occasions where I still resort to the ever reliable internet in searching for interesting recipes. A couple of weeks ago, I was in search of a basic Vanilla Cake. I was looking for a recipe which I can use as a standard base and is neutral enough for varianting later on for topppings and fillings. My search led me to Martha Stewart's Versatile Vanilla Cake. Just exactly what I'm looking for. I tried the recipe and it's actually not bad at all. Even the whipped frosting is great. I just modified it a bit and made it into a Vanilla Walnut Cake.

What you need:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 cups chopped walnut

How to make:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
3. Place batter in a non-stick 10 inch pan; smooth the top. Bake until cake pull away from sides of pan, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pan and invert cake onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
4. Slice the cake into two horizontally. Place one cake, bottom side up, on a cake stand. Using a spatula or table knife, spread top with Whipped Frosting. Top with remaining cake; frost top, then sides. Top with chopped walnuts.

Whipped Frosting:

What you need:
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

How to make:
1.In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.


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