I've received a lot of requests for the recipe for the best cake in the world. Although I provided a link, everyone said that, combined with my instructions, it was all just too confusing to bother with and could I please post a real recipe? So here it is:
The Best Cake in the World
("based" on a recipe by Martha Stewart)
makes two round 9" layers
5 extra-large eggs, room temperature and separated
2 cups super-fine sugar
4 oz. (1 stick) of unsalted Plugra butter, softened
1/2 c. vegetable shortening, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon backing soda
1 cup part-skim or skim buttermilk, room temperature
2 cups (7 oz.) cake flour, sifted
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour the cake pans and line with parchment paper.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add 1/2 cup sugar until the egg whites resemble meringue. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the remaining sugar with the butter and shortening until pale yellow and fluffy. Mix in vanilla. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time, until fully incorporated.
Stir the baking soda into the buttermilk.
Sift the salt and flour together three times. Add to the butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour (you will add the flour in fourths and the buttermilk in thirds). Scrape down sides each time. Fold in egg whites and divide batter between the two pans.
Bake 35 minutes. Allow to cool in pan ten minutes, then invert on a parchment covered wire rack until completely cool. Frost, serve, and keep your fingers away from your guests' mouths.