Let's do math.
At 6:45am. It'll be fun...I promise.
Here we go, 2nd-grade-McGraw-Hill-textbook-word-problem-style.
Joanne went to a party on New Year's Eve. She brought with her one pink champagne cake, one boyfriend who almost made her travel around the whole perimeter of Manhattan to get to Penn Station just so that he could avoid any subway that went anywhere near Times Square but eventually gave into his girlfriend's pleas for reason and came to find that actually all such subway lines were actually pleasantly empty (in short...she was right), and two secret Santa gifts. Joanne took two Benadryl tablets before getting to the party and did not pet the hosts' shih tzu once while she was there.
Given all of this totally pertinent information, (a) how long did it take before Joanne's lungs stopped functioning properly, causing her to have to leave the party early and (b) what was the first thing she said (mid-wheeze) to the aforementioned boyfriend (who was extremely concerned about her inability to properly oxygenate her cells, by the way) as soon as their homebound train left the station?
(a) 40 minutes and (b) (with tears in her eyes) "I didn't even get to try my cake".
So..yeah. That is the story of how The.Boy. and I went to two New Year's Eve parties in two states before midnight.
And the story of why I am still, to this day, coughing like a 30-year-smoker-with-emphysema. It's sexy and oh so attractive. Not. Really, it just gets me weird looks at the gym and makes my throat hurt. Fun.
And the story of why I can't tell you anything about how this cake tasted other than that reports back from the party were that it was awesome.
As someone who taste tested the batter and the frosting with reckless abandon...I believe it.
Pink Champagne Cake
Yields 2 8" cake layers, adapted from Sweetapolita
For the cake:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups (400 g) sugar
- 3 cups (360 g) cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups champagne, room temperature
For the frosting:
- 3 sticks + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
- 3 cups (480 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup champagne
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- A hint of red food gel
- Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with butter, line the bottoms with parchment and butter again. Dust with flour.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium-high speed.
- While the butter and sugar are blending sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
- Gradually add the egg whites to the mixer on medium speed, followed by the vanilla. Add and alternate the dry ingredients and champagne, starting and end with the dry (3 additions, 2 wet) and mix until just fully incorporated.
- Distribute the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
- Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted comes out clean (don't open the oven door before 25 minutes), about 35 minutes. The top of the cake should bounce back when gently touched. Let sit on the pan in the wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely.
- For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 8 minutes on medium. It will become very pale and creamy.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy.
- Frost the cake as desired.