Experimental Baking

Tonight I brought my son a small box of Smarties home from work. My husband looked at them wistfully as there was no pudding for us, so I made a cake! I am impressed by this for two reasons, the first being that I actually made a cake. At 6.30pm. After a long day at work. I grabbed my Homemade book and decided that it would be easy enough to whip up a simple butter cake for pudding. This, people, is unprecedented. The second reason is because it was largely an experimental cake, and it turned out to be really nice.

I used to have a recipe for a sponge cake that had a strawberry sauce drizzled over it (with real strawberries) and we have had a box of frozen raspberries in the freezer for ages, so I tried to re-create that cake. I failed to re-created the original cake but the one I made instead was nice; we had it with custard. I will put some in my son’s lunchbox tomorrow and if he eats it I will be triply pleased with myself as I will have also managed to get my son to (albeit unknowingly) eat some fruit.

The “recipe” I followed is as below. But be warned, the bit with the fruit was made up and I have not yet made the cake recipe on it’s own, so I hold no responsibility for how this will turn out if you choose to make it…

“Experimental Raspberry Cake” Recipe:

Follow the recipe for the “Butter Cake” in the Reader’s Digest book Homemade (ISBN: 978 1 921569 68 5) as follows:

Ingredients:
185g unsalted butter
230g caster sugar
3 large eggs
300g self-raising flour
60ml milk

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (Gas 4). Grease a deep 20cm round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
2. Beat the butter until very soft, using electric beaters. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light, pale and fluffy.
3. Beat in the eggs gradually, adding a teaspoon of flour with each addition to prevent curdling. Fold in the rest of the flour alternately with the milk, adding about about a third at a time.
4. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
5. Transfer the tin to a wire rack and let the cake cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
(Recipe taken verbatim from the book listed above). 

My additions to this recipe:

  • While I was mixing up the cake, I put the frozen raspberries (1 box from Morissons) in a saucepan on the stove with some water and sugar (just a little bit of water to coat the bottom of the pan, and a couple teaspoons of sugar). I boiled (then simmered) these for a few minutes (I wasn’t timing – just for as long as it took to mix the cake batter) until they were liquid.
  • Then I greased a square, silicon, baking pan and poured the raspberry mixture into it.
  • I then “poured” the cake mixture on top (but it didn’t really pour – I think I didn’t get the butter fluffy enough or something as the batter was quite stiff). It sort of plopped into the raspberry mixture and I got the sense that this wasn’t going to work (especially seeing as I remembered that the cake I was trying to re-create called for the cake batter to go in first and have the strawberry syrup mixture spooned on top!)
  • So, rather than despair and stomp around in self-hatred, I used the spatula to mix the whole lot together in the cake pan. It was very liquid and I wasn’t sure it was going to work.
  • I baked it for about an hour before telling my husband to pull it out as I could smell slight burning!
  • The result was a moist, sweet, and pinkish-on-the-inside cake. Entirely edible. It looked a bit like a pink loaf of bread when sliced through, but you can’t have everything!
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Burnt Supper

British/American, postgraduate, wife, mother, dog-owner

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