OK, so this is not dinner, but every now and then a special or celebratory dinner requires a cake. Or dessert is required. Or maybe cake and NOT for dinner (ssshhhhh).
And you can make an impressive cake pretty damn quickly without resorting to the packet mix aisle of the supermarket. (Yes, E, I’m talking to you!) Trust me, I’m the laziest cook there ever was.
I’m that serious, I’m republishing that which I’ve published before (on my old blog):
Check out the ingredients on a packet cake mix. Do you really need all that extra artificial crap? Really, truly, ruly, the butter and sugar is naughty enough. And packet mixes do taste like.. packet mixes.
My favourite cake recipe book is my Australian Womens Weekly Quick Mix cake book. With it, you never need to buy a packet mix again, ever! Because, seriously, how much harder is it to chuck a few ingredients in a mixmaster bowl. No creaming butter and sugar. No adding things slowly… no sifting flour, no complicated instructions. Chuck it all in one bowl, mix it up, chuck it in a cake pan and chuck that in the oven. Easy peasy.
Here is the recipe for the Golden Caramel Cake we keep making again and again and again. Plus the Lemon Delicious one that Himself likes a lot. (In preference to sweeter cakes.)
(I guess some countries might need to convert this somehow to imperial measurements…all of these are metric cups. SR flour = Self Raising Flour, which is the flour with the rising agent added. ) * click on the pic to the right for the conversion tips from the book. [I never realised our tablespoons were different to even NZ !]
The baba tin is also called a bundt tin I gather – essentially a ring tin with a molded base, so that the upturned cake has an attractive mold. I don’t think mine is 21cm; I don’t think it really matters.
Main tip is to make sure the butter is softened – you can’t get away with slightly firm butter like you can when you are just creaming butter and sugar.
QUICK-MIX GOLDEN CARAMEL CAKE
¾ cup (150g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) golden syrup
1 ½ cups SR flour
½ cup plain flour
¾ cup milk
Grease 21 cm baba cake pan. Combine all ingredients in med bowl – beat on low speed till ingredients are combined, then on medium speed till mixture is smooth and changed in colour. Spread into prepared pan – bake mod oven about 45 mins – stand few mins before turning onto wire rack to cool.
*My favourite serving suggestion: drizzle with melted chocolate. Fill the hole in the middle with strawberries, and serve with cream!
QUICK-MIX LEMON DELICIOUS CAKE
125g butter, chopped
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 ¼ cups (275g) castor sugar
½ cup (125ml) milk
1 ½ cups (225g) SR flour
¼ cup lemon juice
Coat 21 cm baba cake pan with non-stick spray. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl of electric mixer, beat on low speed until ingredients are combined. Then, beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth and changed in colour. Pour and spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake in mod. Oven about 50 mins. Turn onto wire rack to cool.
Dust cold cake with sifted icing sugar if desired.
[I’m still trawling my photo archives for a picture of this. Looks like we’ll just have to make another one!]