Non-stick organic canola baking spray
9 large cage-free eggs, separated
3 sticks (3/4 pound) unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups self-rising flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups organic buttermilk (grass-fed if possible)
2 (12 ounce) jars red currant filling, if desired
Juice of 1 lemon, if desired
1 recipe Vanilla Almond Frosting
18 raspberries, if desired
18 fresh mint leaves, if desired
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Grease 3 deep (9-inch) cake pans with canola baking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and use canola baking spray to coat again.
In a bowl fitted to a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, gently transfer egg whites into another bowl.
Using the bowl fitted to the electric mixer, combine butter and sugar, beat on low speed to incorporate. Increase speed to medium and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
With the mixer running on low, beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the almond extract and vanilla, and mix well to incorporate.
Sift self-rising flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into another bowl.
Add approximately 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the bowl with the mixed wet ingredients. Beat on low speed until combined and add 1/3 of the buttermilk. Beat on low speed until combined. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, alternating the dry and the wet, just until all are incorporated. Over beating will cause cake to become tough.
Using a spatula, gently fold egg whites into cake batter by tilting the bowl towards you and using a clock-wise turn to fold the batter over the whites. Continue until the batter is smooth and even, with no whites showing. Divide the batter equally between the pans .
Pans should be no more than ¾ full or they will overflow.
Smooth out the tops and tap lightly on the counter to release air bubbles.
Bake on a rack in the middle of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cakes cool for 5 minutes in their pans, then invert onto cooling racks to cool completely.
Make the filling by combining red currant preserves and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until preserves have melted.
Using a wooden spoon to press it through, strain filling through a sieve into a small bowl to remove seeds.
Allow filling to cool.
To fill, place first cake layer right side up on a cake stand.
Pour half of the cooled filling into the center of the cake. Using a spatula, smooth filling towards the outer edges, leaving a ½-inch border.
Turn next layer upside down, and place on top of filling. Use the remainder of filling to spread on top of cake.
Place the final layer upside down on top of the second layer.
Make frosting, frost cake, and serve.