Three-Layer Cake

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This recipe, which makes a towering and moist yellow cake, lets your Master Chef show off her cooking talents. Have her make it once before she prepares it for a big event.

What you'll need

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

How to make it

  1. The Master Chef first lightly greases the bottoms and sides of three 9-inch round cake pans (she can use the wrappers from the sticks of butter in the recipe). After dusting the pans with flour and shaking out the excess, she sets them aside and preheats the oven to 350 degrees. Using an eggbeater or electric mixer, she beats the egg whites in a small bowl until they are stiff, but not too dry, and sets them aside. After removing three tablespoons of the sifted flour, she resifts the slightly-less-than-three cups with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, she uses the mixer to cream the butter, gradually pouring in the sugar and beating the mixture until it's fluffy. Now she is ready to beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, letting each yolk be fully incorporated before she adds the next. Add the vanilla and continue to beat.

  2. The rest of the mixing should be done by hand with a spatula or a wooden spoon; at times the batter may become a bit stiff. The Master Chef adds the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk. First, she stirs in a third of the flour, then a third of the milk, then another third of the flour, and so on, until all the flour and milk have been incorporated. Now she should check the egg whites to be sure they are still stiff and that there is no egg white soup at the bottom of the bowl. If there is, she should beat the whites for another few minutes, then fold them gently and thoroughly into the batter. The batter should be divided evenly between the three pans; you may need to spread it out with a spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  3. When done, the cake should look golden (the sides may have pulled slightly away from the pans). Your chef can cool the layers in their pans for about five minutes before inverting them onto a rack to cool out of the pans. Running a knife around the edge of each layer will help her be sure that each layer will leave its pan in one piece.

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