When I was a kid, I looked forward to the last day of school with eager anticipation. Now that I am a mom, I look forward to it even more! Woo hoo! No more frenzied mornings, rushing, sending, fetching, sending, fetching, nagging.
As a gesture of thanks, I prepared some gifts for the teachers. Late last night though, I decided to add on a cake on impulse. I took the easiest route and baked a simple Butter Cake - the most 'neutral' choice of cake ... and the simplest one to make.
I have seen in blogs, what some moms baked for their children's teachers, and they are spectacular! Gorgeous cupcakes, complete with fondant, frosting, the works! My cake really pales in comparison. But what I lack in aesthetics, I try to make up in taste.
I always use this Butter Cake recipe. It works for me. For sure, there are countless Butter Cake recipes out there that are tried and tested and taste super. But for me, this recipe stays. It yields a moist, buttery cake that is not too oily and heavy. Just the way I like it.
My (not-so-secret) ingredient is a splash of cognac. It makes the cake come alive and gives it its ooomph. But even without, the cake is lovely.
I sliced the cake this morning and packed them into individual plastic containers, which I had lined. My god, they looked so hideous! Like I had "ta pau-ed" them from some obscure bakery. Hardly presentable, tsk tsk.
A quick search in my cupboard and I found some ribbons. Ah, that will do! At least, this looks better, no?
And then I hurried off to make my special deliveries. Happy school holidays, parents and children!
- 195g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 170g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g sugar (I use slightly less, about 200g)
- 1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 12 tbsp whole milk
Optional (but it is a must for me): Add a splash of cognac if you have some in the house!
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Butter and line a 9-inch cake pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Using a mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy for about about 2 minutes.
4. Beat in egg, egg yolk, cognac and vanilla until well-combined.
5. On low speed, add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with milk.
6. Switch mixer to medium and beat for 10 to 15 seconds, just until batter appears uniform.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with spatula or knife.
8. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until it a skewer comes out clean.
9. Leave to rest in pan for 5 minutes before serving.
These are all the shots I managed to get this morning. Sorry! In a hurry!