Vanilla Cake

If there had to be a cake that I could not live without, it would be this Vanilla Cake. It is plain and simple, has the finest, most delicate crumb and can be dressed up or down with icing, cream, fresh fruit, steamed fruit or a compote. Whichever way you choose to eat yours, I hope this becomes one of your very favourite cakes too! Please note: THERE ARE DIFFERENT BAKING TIMES DEPENDING ON WHETHER YOU BAKE THE CAKE IN ONE OR TWO CAKE TINS.

500ml flour
12,5ml baking powder
1,2ml salt
4 eggs, room temperature
375ml caster sugar
115g butter, cubed
250ml milk
15ml vanilla
15ml vegetable oil

Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray two 22cm loose-bottom cake tins and line the base and sides with baking paper.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl and whisk to mix through.
Add the eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed for 30 seconds.
Slowly pour in the sugar with the mixer still running.
Now beat on high speed until the mixture is three times its original volume – about 7 minutes or so.
Scatter a third of the flour on the surface and mix on the lowest speed until the flour is just incorporated. Keep going until there is no flour left.
Add the butter and milk to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is warm when you put your finger in it. NB: you want the butter to melt but NOT boil the milk!
Pour the milk-mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Add the vanilla and vegetable oil and whisk through with a hand whisk.
Add about 250ml of the egg and flour mixture and vigorously whisk to combine. The batter must be smooth.
Turn the mixer on to a low speed and very slowly pour in the milk mixture.
Scrape down the sides and base of the bowl. Beat on low speed for 20 seconds.
Divide the batter between the prepared cake tins.
Lift each tin 5cm from the work surface and drop it – repeat a few times to knock out the large air bubbles.
Place the cake tins in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove and cool in the tins for 15 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks and removing the baking paper.
Leave to cool completely before filling with whipped cream and fresh fruit.


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