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Vanilla Bean Cakes


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Vanilla Bean Cakes





4 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
4 large eggs, separated
1¼ cups milk
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 (12-ounce) jars seedless raspberry preserves
Vanilla Buttercream (see Download for recipe)
Garnish: fresh currants and fresh mint 


• Preheat oven to 350°.
• Spray 2 (6-inch), 2 (5-inch), and 2 (4-inch) cake pans with baking spray. Set aside.
• In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
• In a large bowl, and using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, cream the butter and 1¼ cups sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
• Add the vanilla-bean seeds to the sugar mixture, then add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. With the mixer at low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside.
• In a separate medium bowl and using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining ¾ cup sugar, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
• With a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Pour 1½ cups batter into each 6-inch pan, 1 cup batter into each 5-inch pan, and ¾ cup batter into each 4-inch pan, leveling the tops with a spatula.
• Bake until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the cake size. Remove from pans, and let cool. Once cooled, tightly wrap cake layers, and freeze until firm.
• To assemble, cut each cake layer in half horizontally. Evenly spread a layer of raspberry preserves on top of three of the layers of each cake. Carefully stack the same-size layers atop one another, creating 3 (4-layer) cakes. Freeze cakes until firm.
• Frost with Vanilla Buttercream.
• Garnish with currants and mint, if desired. 


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