Vanilla sponge cake and Italian buttercream icing

Vanilla Sponge Cake

Ingredients:

6oz Butter

¾ cup Sugar

3 Eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 Tablespoon of milk

1 & 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon baking powder

Directions:

Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, at medium speed, cream the Butter and Sugar until they are pale, light in color and fluffy.

Add in the eggs to the mixer one at a time. This will prevent the batter from looking “curdled”. Finally add in the milk and vanilla and beat well.

Combine the dry ingredients and separately scrape down the side of the mixing bowl and at once add all the dry ingredients to the bowl.

Be sure not to over mix after the flour has been added, also scrap down the side of the bowl to remove lumps and incorporate the ingredients well.

Italian Buttercream

Ingredients:

9 oz. water

4 oz. sugar

2 oz. egg whites (no yolks at all)

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

10 ox. butter, softened

2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Combine sugar and water in a heavy bottom pan and bring to 240*F (soft ball)

Meanwhile in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on high whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar. When egg whites reach stiff peak slow the whisk to speed 2 or 3.

When the sugar reaches temperature start streaming it very slowly down the side of the mixing bowl. Continue to stream and whisk slowly until all the liquid is in the bowl. do this carefully to not burn yourself.

After all the sugar liquid is in the bowl turn the mixer on high and allow the meringue to reach full volume and start to cool.

After 7 minutes touch the outside of the bowl and continue whisking until it reaches just warmer than body temperature.

After the meringue cools turn the whisk back on high and start adding chunks of butter to the meringue approximately 1 oz at a time.

After all the butter is added the buttercream may look like a curdled liquid. Do not worry-- keep whisking on high and add the salt and vanilla.

Eventually the buttercream will emulsify. Soft pale and fluffy buttercream. Utterly smooth without the grittiness of powdered sugar and without any hydrogenated shortening

You can add all sorts of color/flavors at this point. Gel food colors are recommended. They are more concentrated so you need less and so they are less likely to leave a bitter flavor in the mouth.