Monday, August 29, 2011

Recipe: Traditional Butter Cake with a twist

It was a rather quiet weekend for me. Caught up with my friend who had left our little shores a few years ago. But our conversation picked up like she never left. Suppose that is a sign of a good friendship. If you must know, I brought her to Hinoki for yet another great meal.  Pike mackerel or san ma is in season right now and I'm soo proud she tried a bit of the guts.  In season, the guts taste just a little bit bitter, very flavourful with an earthy tone.    HUGE difference from the cheap frozen sanma available year round.
Then I had a mini baking storm. Whipped up two chocolate loaf cakes courtesy of Nigella's recipe AND a traditional butter pound cake inspired by the childhood meme going around.   But I added a twist ;P

This is a really simple recipe.  It yields a rather fine crumb, sort of like velvet. The trick is to bake at a lower heat and a longer time.

250 g block of butter, salted
1.75 cups of self-raising flour
1 cup granulated sugar (fine or superfine)
5 large eggs

2 tbsp orange liquor
Zest of an orange

Baking tin:
8" (for a taller cake) or
9" rounds or
9" x 5" loaf pan (may yield an extra cupcake or two)

Whichever you use, just butter and line with parchment paper.

Preheat oven 170C.

1. Cream butter and sugar together until light colored and fluffy. Takes about 10 mins.
2. Add eggs. One at a time and cream well with each addition.
3. Add optional items here if you wish. If not, replace with 1 tsp vanilla extract.
4. Add flour in three additions. Mix well with each.
5. Pour into prepared baking tin. Bake in the middle rack for 30mins. Then lower heat to 160C and bake another 15-20mins depending on your oven. Use the toothpick test to check for doneness.

Yields about 15 x 0.75" slices (I am precise like that.  Engineering trained :P)
Cool before cutting and serving.

* If you wish to get the "Sara Lee" effect, place a slice of cake in freezer for about 1/2 hour prior to eating.

Hope you had a good weekend too!

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