There we go. Now that looks more like something you’d see in a Manhattan pastry case, no? Forgive me but I couldn’t leave these alone until I’d gotten a little closer to the ideal. Actually this was my fourth try, as it took three attempts to get the cake where I wanted it. This last pass was all about finishing. What did I do differently? For starters I trimmed the cookies perfectly round with a round cutter after they cooled, like so (four inches worked perfectly for most of them).
Repeat after me: black and whites are cakes, black and whites are cakes, black and whites are cakes. Got that? Whew! Now maybe the New Yorkers will get off my back and let me eat my cookies in peace!
These aren’t difficult once you have the fondant in hand, and I do recommend making actual poured fondant since the effect is much creamier than with simple sugar-and-water icing. Something about the way the smooth fondant melds together with the hint of lemon in the cake…it really makes these. Indeed the classic versions are much more interesting than the newfangled jobs made with real chocolate coatings or rich frostings. These, in my opinion, are the Cadillacs.
Black and whites are flat cakes, not cookies, though they tend to be a little firmer and less rich than actual pieces of layer cake, which would tend to fall apart during the icing step and when they’re handled generally. These should be right in the zone I’m after, but as with all early-week recipes, let me try this before you do. You’ll need:
5 ounces (1 1/4 cups) cake flour
6.25 ounces (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
zest of half a lemon
5 ounces (10 tablespoons) butter, softened
7 ounces (1 cup) sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup milk, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Poured fondant and chocolate poured fondant for icing