Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Today I am baking cakes.
Well, so far only a white butter cake that has pissed me off because one of them fell. The first one. Must have had the oven temperature too low, since the second one turned out fine after I increased the heat 25 degrees.
This recipe comes from the fabulous book by Margaret Braun called Cakewalk. I found her book while attending a conference at a place called COPIA down in Napa Valley. It is a place that takes itself very seriously. (Don't get me wrong, I love the whole concept!Its just, well, I just feel a little rough around the edges in places like that.)I was trying to get my bearings, looking at books in their gift store when I found Cakewalk. Every cake I looked at either made me smile or laugh out loud with pure pleasure. Generally I don't like my food handled too much, but in Braun's case the cakes are just so trippy, beautiful and fun that I didn't care. I bought it immediately.
Within five minutes I was introduced to Margaret Braun, and I'm sure I came off as a total idiot. I believe I told her that I loved her book, but I think I first said that every time I looked at one of the cakes I couldn't help but laugh. She got that look of casting me adrift before the brief introduction/conversation was over. Oh well. The book is great, (its mostly pictures with a few basic recipes), and the recipe has worked every other time I have made it.


2 1/2 cups flour, (I use all purpose)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups plus 1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream


1. Butter, line with parchment and flour 2-6 inch cake pans. I like to use springforms.
2. Cream butter and the 2 1/4 cups sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, mix well.
3. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, stirring well with a whisk to evenly distribute the ingredients. Or you could sift them together if you prefer.
4. Dump half your flour mixture in with the eggs, and half the sour cream. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and sour cream.
5. Divide the batter between the buttered cake pans. Sprinkle the tops with reserved 1/4 cup sugar. This will give the cake a lovely, delicate, crunchy top. Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center of cake comes out with no batter stuck to it.

Cool cake for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge then pop off the springform side. Cool cake to room temperature. Eat it all with a cup of tea, or use for layer cake.

Important Note: This recipe is from Cakewalk, but cut in half to make the two, six inch cakes. The description on how to make the cake is mine. Any clarity problems can be addressed to me.


Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

This looks like a good, simple recipe. Will it fit a 9x13"?

5:19 PM  
Blogger Underground Baker said...

Hi WC,
Yes on both counts. It is fairly dense and moist.
I have been too busy to post, and have to get my sis to help me link to ReTorte on my blog.
Thanks for checking in!

1:04 PM  

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