Friday, October 19, 2012

1234 Cake

The sold-out  1234 butter cake

It's definitely a winner - a buttery yellow cake

For months I have been craving for a pure butter cake. A simple no-fuss butter cake, without all the trimmings and frosting. A simple cake with no strings attached, or guilty indulgence. A cake which I could readily whip up within minutes, without the need to measure the ingredients using the kitchen scale. So after looking around, flipping through the pages of baking books and even blog walking- I have tracked and discovered the simple recipe of 1234 cake. 1234 cake  has been around for ages in the American kitchen. This butter cake recipe is definitely suitable for layered cakes, it has that "linger on" taste. But be warned, you will not stop eating this. 1234 cake is a classic yellow American cake. A cake which is so dense and airy, and I think is suitable for frosting or to be covered with fondant.

  After more than a month of not baking anything, I finally found the mood to bake again. 1234 cake has finally broken my spell of a "no- no- baking" again. In the previous entry, I have mentioned about the overzealous tasks in my work place, and of me being in a very stressful place. Then came morning, and I finally got the answer to my stress. It's my mistake- I have forgotten my passion all this while, neglected and pushed it away at the corner of my life. Now, here I am- back on track. About this cake- I have loosely based my 1234 cake recipe to  this wonderful lady. You could check on her wonderful blog.

   Now, back to my 1234 cake - I have baked this cake at 3.45 in the morning. And finished all the clean-up of utensils by 5.15 a.m. But, anyhow, I felt like I was given a new spirit. It's like visiting an old friend, a friend with lots of chemistry, sharing happy moments, reflecting on painful days. It's like finding  a lost soul of mine.

    Happily, I cut the cake into pieces, put them into a container and brought  it to my work place. Immediately, asking colleagues to give the cake a try.  And I came home with an empty food container. phew ;) Well, I thought that my cake did not really rise up. But after checking several images in the net, I have concluded that it was meant to be. I have used a 9X9X3 square baking pan and I have managed to get a flat cake. Probably if I were to use a smaller size baking pan, I would get a rise-up cake.

    All right, this is my version of 1234 cake recipe. I have made adjustments to the cake  so that you'll get a better version  than mine. Probably my baking method for this morning was wrong, but I had discovered what went wrong. Perhaps, I would do another entry for this cake. But, now I am posting the better version of the cake's recipe. Here goes;

The ingredients

1 cup of unsalted butter ( I have used SCS and Emborg unsalted butter)
2 cups of fine sugar ( caster sugar)
3 cups of all-purpose flour ( plain flour)
4 large eggs
1 cup of fresh milk +( 2 tbsp of fresh milk- optional)
1 tbsp of double-action baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp of salt

** In a clean bowl, sift in flour and double-action baking powder. Stir well.

1) Grease your baking pan with butter. Line it with baking parchment.
2) Separate your egg  whites and yellow into two different bowls.
3) Beat your egg whites using electric mixer until you reach the soft peak. (At this stage, you could add 2 tbsp from the 2 cups of fine sugar)
4) Cut the butter into cubes. In a baking bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy and the colour changes to yellow white.
5) Add in the egg yellow, one by one. (Or in my case, I beat the egg yellow lightly- before adding them into the baking bowl).
6)Add in vanilla. Mix well. Stir in the salt.
7) Add in half of the flour mixture. Mix well. Then, add in half of the milk. Mix it again.

** At this stage, you could pre-heat the oven at 150C for at least 8 minutes ( I use the electric conventional oven)

8) Add in the last half of the flour mixture. Mix well. Next, add in the last half of the milk. Mix it again. (Add in the 2tbsp of fresh milk-if any)
9) Lastly, add in the soft- peak egg white. Stir well, using the wooden spoon. Add in the lemon juice. Stir well.
10) Pour the batter into the baking pan. Level the batter.
11) Put the baking pan immediately into the pre-heated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes or less.
12) Check if your cake is ready by inserting a skewer. If the skewer comes out clean, then your cake is ready.

Happy baking, everyone...Thank goodness for a butter cake.

This is a happy -feel-good butter cake...

Nothing beats  the taste of a butter cake with a cup of dark, black coffee

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