Monday, October 8, 2012

Basic Vanilla Butter Cake

Not so long ago (well about 4 issues ago) I discovered you can now subscribe to get the Donna Hay magazine onto your Kindle, or in my case the Kindle app on my ipad. What a revelation. The added bonus is that it is so much cheaper especially if you don't live in Australia. Once you get your head around having a magazine in Kindle format instead of as a hard copy taking up space on your coffee table and filling your bookshelves and once you figure out how to navigate it (I promise it isn't hard), you will be pleased you took the ipad/kindle plunge. I love it when I get a notification saying there is a new magazine ready to download....mind you I get excited when a shiny new cooking magazine arrives in the post too....I think I'm a lost cause! In fact I have also been discovering the, (much cheaper), joys of buying cookbooks online too. Sometimes they are a pain to navigate and really nothing totally compensates for the smell and physical feel of a new cookbook. However when you have as many cookbooks as I do all taking up valuable space on the bookshelf and needing to be culled every couple of years to make way for the new additions, it seems like a better and better idea. I recently bought a cake decorating book I have had my eye on for less than a third of the shop price, and today I bought Gordan Ramsay's new book for less than half of the shop price. Total bargain I say!

Anyway I digress. This recipe is from the latest Donna Hay magazine (Spring) and is in her little compilation at the back of the cakes she is most asked to recommend. I love vanilla and sometimes you don't want all the icing kerfuffle and you just want a nice, light and easy cake to go with your afternoon or morning cuppa. This is it. You can turn it into a Coconut and Lemon cake or a Raspberry Butter cake too but if you love Vanilla, go for this one. The method is a little different but I went with it and it really was successful.

Basic Vanilla Butter Cake (Donna Hay)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
120 g unsalted butter
1 c caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c milk
2 tsp vanilla (I used 1/2 tsp vanilla paste and 1 tsp vanilla extract)

Preheat the oven to 160C and grease and line a loaf tin.

Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.

Beat the butter in an electric mixer on medium speed for 3-4 mins or until smooth. Gradually add the sugar scraping down the sides of the bowl every now and then and continue to beat 5-6 mins until very pale and fluffy. Gradually add the egg 1 Tbsp at a time. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mix and milk until smooth. Add the vanilla and beat on low until combined (don't overmix).

Bake about 50 mins or until cooked. Leave in the tin for 10 mins before turning out to cool on a wire rack.

To make the Lemon and Coconut cake add 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest and 1/4 c desiccated coconut with the vanilla.
To make the raspberry cake add 1/2 c frozen raspberries.

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