2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
5 egg whites, at room temperature
Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350ºF (180ºC). Butter and flour two (2) round 9 x 1 1/2 inch deep cake pans.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the butter until light. Gradually add the sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and, dividing the flour mixture into 3 batches, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk just until combined.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with clean, dry beaters and set on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten whites into the batter just until incorporated. Divide the batter between the prepared pans; smooth with the spatula.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the pan sides to loosen the cakes. Invert onto racks and let cool completely.
Makes 2 (9-inch) cake layers
Date: November 17, 2003