Sunday, October 5, 2008

My sweetness

I say I don’t have a sweet tooth but perhaps that is not completely true. Or, more specifically I have a vanilla tooth. I will eat a few too many custards, if simply classic, stopping usually with the on-set of a bellyache. Walk into an ice cream parlor resplendent with an array I will walk the edge with vanilla bean be-speckled cone. Now, if you really want to watch me rise and fall on a sugar high place a white cake with an Italian buttercream I will become right-out aggressive in protecting my slice of heaven.

It is not feasible to whip up a cake on a moment’s notice – fortunately. However, I am preoccupied with a simple cake formula that I can keep in my head, and bake as individual cakes freezing them to be called into service as my tooth calls. I have never been particularly good at memorizing recipes, formulas or anything that I can easily look-up. Though the idea of 1-2-3-4 cake made sense to me. I just had to remember the order…butter, sugar, flour, egg. It is a dense, rich cake that is difficult to go wrong with.

1-2-3-4 Cake – yields 3 9-inch cakes
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/2-cup milk
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking powder
1/4-teaspoon salt

3 9-inch cake pans buttered.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a standing mixer mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

In another bowl beat the eggs, milk and vanilla together to combine.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt to thoroughly combine. Then on a low speed add the flour to the butter mixture. Once the flour has been added to the butter pour in the eggs to mix well.

Divide the batter between the three pans, and bake for about 30 minutes until set and a cake tester comes out clean.

Quince Upside Down Cake – yields 12
2 quince – peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1-cup sugar
1 recipe 1-2-3-4 cake

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9-inch cake pan or 12 individual 3/4-ounce ramekins evenly distribute the sliced quince – gently packing them in.

In a 2-cup saucepan add the sugar and 1/4-cup of water. Over a high heat melt the sugar and water together, and cook until the sugar turns a light amber. Pour the caramelized sugar over the quince, and allow to cool.

Pour the cake batter over the quince, and bake for 20 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. While still warm invert the cake and remove the pan. If any quince has stuck to the bottom gently remove to the cake. Cool the cake completely.

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