Happy New Year! Every January brings promises of new workout routines and healthy diets, and here I am trying to convince you to bake a cake!
It’s not just any cake – this cake is actually pretty different from the treats I tend to be attracted to; more light and fluffy than dense and rich, this cake is also missing frosting! A light dusting of powdered sugar is really all this simple cake needs, and that makes it pretty New Year’s diet-friendly! 🙂
This cake goes well with a large helping of Andy Warhol (as well as ice cream, but that part is obvious!), specifically his screenprint of General George Custer from his 1986 Cowboys and Indians series. Andy Warhol was one of the most popular and prolific American artists to ever exist. His work is incredibly diverse – he worked in video, painting, illustration and screenprinting. Screenprints, like this one of General Custer, were carefully constructed illusions; a commentary on today’s mass-produced world.
Here Warhol captures the mythical stature of Custer, a major American hero best known for his “last stand.” He is shown in profile, arms crossed, and all decked out in his army uniform. The use of color – especially the red, yellow, navy are stark and deliberate, a further emphasis on his strong, stoic image. The Cowboys and Indians series is a set of 10 screenprints that pay homage to the American West. Warhol pays tribute to a more rugged America, with his images of Geronimo, Annie Oakley, John Wayne and others.
If Custer were still standing I’m sure he would be just as into this cake as I am. 🙂
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 cups milk, lukewarm
4 eggs, separated
4 drops vinegar
1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar + extra for dusting
1 tablespoon water
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
dash vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325ºF and lightly grease a square 8×8 inch baking pan. In the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the egg whites and vinegar into stiff white peaks – this should take a couple of minutes. Pour the egg whites into a small bowl, and set aside. Again in the stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and confectioner’s sugar for about a minute. Add the melted butter and water, and mix for another couple of minutes. Slowly add in the flour until combined in the dough, followed by the milk and vanilla. Fold in the fluffy egg whites with a rubber spatula, and only stir until mixed through – you want to be gentle with this batter! Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for about 50 minutes-1 hour, depending on your oven. The cake will be cooked through and lightly toasted on top. Let the cake cool completely before you sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve.