I truly believe that reality T.V. should come with a warning. Maybe like...
"WARNING! Please do not watch this show if you have any desire to keep hope for mankind." Or, "WARNING! Please do not watch this show if you have 4 feet of clean clothes to fold and put away and a sink full of dishes." Or even, "WARNING! Please do not watch unless you absolutely enjoy spending your time watching/making fun of/staring in disbelief at general human stupidity." Etc, etc...
Maybe, then, I wouldn't get stuck watching it so much. Then again, I could always get up and turn my T.V. off or change the channel... but every time I do that, I end up going to the food network, and for some reason Giada is always on. And while she's definitely not a horror to watch... I'm much more interested in seeing food than cleavage. Might as well go back to VH1 for that.
My mother and I were discussing reality T.V. last night. I'm definitely not as addicted* as her when it comes to keeping up with all the episodes but I shamefully enjoy a couple of them. My favorites happen to be celebrity fit club, tool academy, and occasionally celebrity rehab. And the next one that just started, Jessica Simpsons "the price of beauty" has already shown some kind of promise. I wouldn't even really count that as reality T.V. More like a comedy central skit with meaningful undertones. I mean seriously, Jessica... giggling in the middle of meditation with a bhuddist? Who does that?
Wait, i'm talking about Jessica Simpson, here. Why am I surprised? Kidding, kidding. Jessica, don't worry. I love ya for who you are. Really.
Anywho, so my mom and I were discussing reality T.V. and I had to laugh at what she was telling me. "You know," she began, "if these people want to lose weight (referring to celebrity fit club), they should just go on drugs. Then, they won't be hungry. And then they can go to celebrity rehab. And then they can go to sex rehab. Which will then lead them back to celebrity fit club..."
"Then they can make a show about finding their true love!" I piped in. "Yes, yes!" My mom laughed, agreeing. "...And then go right back to sex rehab." I slipped in smugly. We both broke out into fits of giggles.
I don't think that there's anything really wrong with some Reality T.V... I think that I, along with everyone else in the world, have a hard time turning away from watching a train wreck. And that's basically what reality T.V. is half the time. Fake or not, it is pretty darn funny to watch if you don't take it so seriously.
Plus, it's the perfect thing to watch when you're eating this cake. Because just like every single person on Reality T.V., this cake seems to be having identity issues. It can really relate.
I mean, it really just can't decide what it wants to be. When it comes to fashion, it leans towards the whole strawberry tiramisu look... but in terms of taste, it's more like a frosted version of a strawberry shortcake. Some may even say it's borderline neopolitan. But me? Well... I just see it as exactly what it is. A white cake filled with strawberries, frosted with vanilla buttercream and dusted with cocoa powder.
So in other words, a really gosh darn good cake that came out way better than expected.
I don't know what compelled me to bake a cake yesterday morning. I just kind of winged it, putting together different things that my family enjoyed and throwing it all together. Thankfully, the end product is a divinely fluffy white cake, a not-too-sweet buttercream, a perfectly light fruity filling and a wonderful burst of cocoa powder that just rounds it all out. I like it a lot.
It's not hard to make, at all. Though, I do recommend frosting it better than I did, letting the cake cool in the fridge before frosting. I admit, I suck at frosting cakes. Don't ask me why, I just do. Something about my whole "too-impatient-to-wait-to-put-a-second-layer-on" thing... Who knows. All I know is that this cake is awesome and you should definitely try it if you want something light and sweet. Or if you're having an identity crisis, too.
Identity Crisis White Cake with Strawberries
(Makes 2 8 or 9in. cake pans, or 9x13 pan)
2 1/4 cup cake flour
4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
6oz (scant 1/2c) vanilla yogurt (fat free is fine)
1 tablespoon orange zest (optional, but highly recommended)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but whole, soy or skim milk will work fine)
1/2 cup water
6 egg whites
1/2 cup raw organic cacao powder (or another good quality cocoa powder)
1/2 tub whipped cream (or make about 1 cups worth of homemade)
1/2 pint of strawberries, sliced thin
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk
1. Preheat your oven to 350F and spray 2 9in. cake pans or a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Line with parchment paper if desired (RECOMMENDED).
2. To prepare the cake, sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl or mixing bowl, blend the butter, yogurt, sugar and orange zest if using together until smooth and light.
4. In a pyrex measuring cup or just a plain cup, combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, and extracts together.
5. In another separate, small bowl, using CLEAN mixers, whip the 6 egg whites until they form a nice soft peak (they don't have to be hard peaks, soft is fine... just make sure it isn't liquidy soft but structurally soft).
6. Alternating with the flour mixture and milk mixture, slowly blend in the flour, then the milk, then the flour, then the milk, then the rest of the flour, until well combined.
7. Take about 1/3rd of your egg white mixture and blend it straight in with a spatula to your cake batter. Proceed to FOLD NOT BLEND the rest of the egg white mixture to the bowl until there are only a few noticeable spots (do not over-mix at this point).
8. Pour batter in prepared pans, giving the side of the pan a nice little hit with your hand to smooth out the top of the batter. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the middle.
9. Allow cake to cool before removing and storing in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, or just allow to cool COMPLETELY before frosting.
10. To prepare vanilla buttercream, mix the butter and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and 1-2 tablespoons milk (if your mixture is too thick, thin it out with a little more milk).
11. To assemble cake, either cut through the middle of the two cakes to create a four-layer cake, or simply keep them as is (your choice). You may also cut off the tops of the cakes for a more smooth surface, if desired (recommended). On the top of one layer of your cake, fill the top with about 1/4 of your whipped cream (prepared or homemade), smoothing out to around the edges. Top with strawberry slices, slightly overlapping. Place the other cake ontop of it, and smooth out the whipped cream around the edges with an offset spatula. Place in refrigerator to set for about 20 minutes.
12. Once filling has set, take the cake back out, and proceed to use about 1/2 of your frosting to do an initial crumb coating on your cake. Frost your cake as desired with 1/2 of the frosting, then place back into the fridge until crumb coating is set. Take back out, and frost the cake with the rest of the frosting. Smooth with offset spatula for a clean look.
13. Sift the top of the cake with cocoa powder before storing, covered, in the refrigerator, or keeping covered at room temp. Unfrosted/unfilled cake can be frozen for up to 2-3 weeks.