One of the names that I considered for my blog was "Reason, Memory and Skill". My thinking was that by writing about the things that would interest me, I could hope to improve all three. (I stole...I mean borrowed that phrase from The Book of Common Prayer , by the way.) I've never been what you would call skillful in the kitchen but by reading some wonderful blogs I really think it has improved my cooking and baking.
Just this weekend, Nan from http://www.lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/ wrote about making a simple butter cake. She explained that she has NEVER made a cake from a cake mix (Duncan Hines, look away now!) and that she finds it "easy peasy" to make this simple cake! Boy, oh boy, it is easy and GOOD!
The exciting thing for me is that I have found that many times, if a recipe only uses a few ingredients, it can almost always be adapted and be made gluten free. I will list Nan's recipe here and then show what I did to make it gluten free! My husband is the one that must be on a gluten free diet but honestly, we both loved this cake.
B U T T E R C A K E
1 1/2 cups flour ( I used 3/4 cup rice flour and 3/4 cup cornstarch)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder (Which I OMITTED, by mistake)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Here is how easy this is....Mix the flour (or rice flour & cornstarch) with the salt
and baking powder. (I left out the baking powder and instead used
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum.)
In another bowl, mix the softened butter with the sugar and mix well. (I just use a fork!) Mix in the two eggs and the vanilla. Now, mix the wet mixture (the eggy, butter mixture) into the dry mixture (the flour mixture) and alternately mix in the 3/4 cup milk. Mix into a lovely, beautiful batter...it really is creamy and gorgeous! Pour into a greased cake pan (I used an 8 inch one) and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
I took two photos of this cake. As it was on my cooling rack, I cut a piece and you will see it sitting underneath the cake (didn't want to lose a single crumb, don't you know!) Please notice that even though that slice is sitting there waiting for my husband, I just had to cut off one end of it to taste it! Oh, and while you are looking at it, please admire the pretty polka dot plate that my mother in law insisted that I bring back from England. (Hey, she insisted! I love these plates. Thanks, Joan!)
The next time I make this, I will still make it gluten free, but I will remember to use the baking powder, but it was more like a poundcake and was truly a wonderful cake and one that I would happily make again. Who knows? Maybe this mistake is like the mistake that the woman made who first put pieces of chocolate in her cookie dough and invented chocolate chip cookies. What a happy accident that was!
Here is how Nan ended her post: "Why not put only good things into the body to hopefully give us a longer, healthier life". Why not indeed? Thank you, Nan!
And I really wanted to let you hear Chas & Dave sing this song, but the Count and The Cookie Monster are good too. ENJOY!