I’ve been down with the flu this weekend and thought I owed myself some comfort food. Plus, the blog’s been looking a little lonely. So, I went back to a recipe I’d liked from another WordPress blog and made a basic butter cake. Apart from the very nerve-wracking experience of separating eggs, this cake is a cakewalk 🙂 I inhaled two slices and it seems to have done what no amount of hot soup could!
This is one of those cakes that remind you of a simpler time. Nothing but vanilla. Nice and soft with a really crusty crust. I could literally hear it crackling when I cut it.
At this stage I must admit, I didn’t separate the eggs, my husband did. I stared in terror at the recipe because I’ve never ever separated eggs with good results. I also had some trouble whipping the egg whites till soft peaks formed because I don’t have an electric hand mixer so we used a combination of a simple egg beater with a mini electric whisk. It wasn’t ideal, but we did end up with a frothy mixture which was usable.
And because I mixed the rest of the batter in the food processor, not by hand, it didn’t look like the pictures on the original blog. More panic. But, the final batter resembled hers, and the cake tastes awesome, so I must have done something right!
I think next time, if I get the eggs exactly right, the cake will be moister than it was today. Either way, it’s soft and spongy with the delicious vanilla flavour I hoped for.
I halved the recipe and made it in a small loaf tin, but you could make this in a round cake dish too. Here are the proportions I used thanks to this awesome conversion calculator.
What you’ll need:
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder (the recipe calls for self-raising flour or alternately, regular flour + baking powder)
1/4 cup butter (I didn’t have the energy to go buy unsalted butter today, so I used Amul and it didn’t harm the cake at all :))
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 small eggs, separated in two small bowlsA little less than 1/2 cup sugar (unlike my other cakes, I didn’t powder the sugar for this one)
What to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Sift the flour and baking powder and set aside.
2. Combine the sugar and water in a pan and stir over low heat till the sugar is completely melted. Continue stirring and bring to a boil. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
3. Beat butter, vanilla essence and egg yolks till light and fluffy. The mixture is supposed to resemble scrambled eggs but mine was smooth and runny, like I said, because of the food processor.
4. Add the sugar syrup slowly to the mixture and blend again.
5. If you used a food processor, transfer this mixture to a large bowl. Now beat the egg whites till you get a foamy, white mixture preferably with soft peaks. If not, do what I did, cross your fingers and fold it in to the batter!
6. The egg whites need to be folded in to the batter in two lots. Use a spatula for this preferably.
7. Pour the ready batter into your greased cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes.
8. I would recommend eating this cake slightly warm. I also had some leftover caramel buttons that came with a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake. I turned these into a thick, gooey chocolate sauce in a double boiler with a bit of butter. It wasn’t ‘drizzle-able’, but the cake tasted great with a dollop of it!