Whip 2 eggs with 2 cups sugar until fluffy.
Mix in 1 cup hot milk and 2/3 cup vegetable oil (or melted margarine/butter).
Add 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, carefully stir this in.
Add vanilla extract to taste – I usually eyeball it, about 2 teaspoons’ worth – and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Divide mixture into two well-breaded 9 inch cake pans, bake appx. 20 minutes at 400F, but keep checking on them! Test for doneness with a toothpick – which should come out dry when done. Let sit for a couple of minutes, then tip onto cooling rack.
Mix 1 egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, 4 teaspoons potato starch (corn starch is OK, but may have to add a little more) and 1 3/4 cups of milk (whole) in a pan and let slow simmer whilst whisking, until the mixture thickens. Do not use a stainless steel whisk in an aluminum pan, as this may discolor the creme. Let the creme cool, whisking from time to time. Once cool, add in 2-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract – and 1/4 teaspoon salt – to taste (this could vary with the type of vanilla extract you use, so sample on!).
Note: for a more yellow creme, use two egg yolks instead of 1 whole egg!
400 grams of marzipan is adequate to make the cover for this size cake. This is easiest accomplished if you can find the 200 gram packages of Odense Marzipan, which need very little extra preparation. Albertsons supermarkets carry them, at least in my area, but they’re not cheap – over $7.- each, last time I bought them (December 2011) – and you need two packages. Sometimes only the “Almond Paste” is available, it’ll also work, but you’ll have to work in more powdered sugar to get it to behave.
If you have the marzipan, work in appx. 1/4 cup powdered sugar, maybe a little more, to make it less sticky. Add green food coloring, a few drops at a time – 5 will probably do, you don’t want your cake to be poison-green… Work it until the color is evenly distributed. If you have the almond paste, work in as much powdered sugar as you can, up to 1 1/4 cup, instead.
Make a nice, smooth ball of the marzipan and put it either on an old (smooth) towel or on wax/parchment paper that has been given a hefty dusting of powdered sugar and roll it out into a circle shape the diameter of the cake bottoms plus 2x the height of the filled cake (this will typically be around 3 inches, so about 15 inches across).
To assemble the cake, carefully divide the cake bottoms in half horizontally with a long-bladed knife. Place one round, sponge side up, on a platter and spread the vanilla creme over it. Center the other half of the round on top, still with sponge side up, and spread any remaining vanilla creme and about half the stiffly whipped cream on this layer. Center another cake round, sponge side up, on top of this, add generous layer of whipping cream and cover the sides with whipping cream also.
Now bring the marzipan cover to the party, still on the towel or paper. Slowly loosen it onto the palm of your hand, with the sugared side up, then carefully center it over the cake and drape it down, tucking the sides in. Cut too much excess off with a knife. You may want to sprinkle more powedered sugar on top, maybe with a stencil design. Classically, a pink marzipan rose should top this creation, but I’m not a confectioner, or even very artistic, so I usually put a small American Flag toothpick in its stead.
There are other versions of this cake, too, some with a butter creme, some with berry preserves, etc. This happens to be what we like – hope you do, too!