Monday, April 04, 2011

Raspberry buttermilk cake - maybe

Back to work tomorrow.  I do feel better although yesterday morning it seemed like a bad throat was going to come back in force.  Not too many problems today though so back to the office for me tomorrow.  Having said that, I have very little energy, if possible even less than I had last week.  I'm just not sure how much of that is down to my general unwillingness to go back.

So, despite not having gotten up and done lots of things today in preparation for going back (small things like ironing clothes to wear, cleaning the floors, changing bedclothes) I have stirred myself to make some lentil stew (just had a taste and it is very underwhelming - disappointed at that), made some whole wheat muffins (as per this recipe although I got 15 bun size and 24 mini ones out of this amount, don't know how big they should have been to only get 12) and have just but a raspberry buttermilk cake in the oven.  Except I changed it quite a bit from the Smitten Kitchen recipe I was supposed to be following so I have no idea how or if it's going to turn out at all.

First of all, it is April so fresh raspberries aren't exactly something you are likely to have on hand.  But I do have all those pureed and semi-pureed strawberries in the freezer so I thought I could use some of them.  Knowing that there's quite a bit of liquid in the defrosted berries I rounded up the flour a little bit (the conversions from cups to grams are always difficult to follow anyway as I don't have a digital scales and non-digital scales show increments of 25 - which makes measuring 130g of flour difficult) and I added a couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder, thinking that might help to also satisfy my chocolate cravings during the week.  And as usual I just added a whole sachet of baking powder - I've heard lots of Americans complaining that the baking powder here just never works the way it does at home and so far, using an entire sachet (about 10g) works for me, even if the amount called for is less.

So we're all set, the dry ingredients are measured and mixed and waiting.  So I turn to the butter.  Only to realise that I used almost all of it up making the muffins and what I have left is barely enough to register on the scales.  I remember reading that lots of people substitute apple sauce for the fat in recipes these days and although a quick google tells me that's usually for recipes involving oil and that it's the beating of the butter and sugar which will make my cake light and fluffy, I have no more butter so what else am I going to do?  I 've opened a jar of my apple pureé from last autumn anyway to use in the muffin recipe and the rest of it needs to be used up.  I spoon some of that into the weighing scales with the butter to reach a bit more than the required amount, which from my quick google would seem to be approximately right.  Maybe.  This cake is straying ever further from the original recipe.

So I decide to beat the butter (and apple) with the sugar, which I'm supposed to do until it's pale and fluffy.  Hmmm, between the apple and the fact that I rarely have white sugar to hand and am using unrefined raw cane sugar, I don't think pale was every going to happen.  Finish off the batter and just before pouring into the cake pan pour what juice has come off the strawberries already into it and mix that in too.  It certainly smells nice at this stage.  Scatter the mostly defrosted strawberries over the cake and realise just as I finish that I never actually measured them.  Oh well, it wasn't much more than a cup I'm sure.

Put cake into oven and decide to quickly write this post as it's baking.  Halfway through remember that I forgot to sprinkle the sugar over the top of the whole thing at the end.  Dash into the kitchen and nearly burn my finger taking the still not quite baked cake out and throwing a bit of sugar over the top.  Where it will undoubtedly burn.  It was very liquidy feeling still (I have a silicon pan), despite having already been baking for the 20 minutes it seems to have taken most people.  I'll give it another five before checking properly.  My hope is that no matter what it looks like, it'll at least taste sweet.  No-one else but me will be eating it but it's supposed to be stopping me from buying any chocolate I can't afford this week.  Here's hoping it's one of those fiascos that turns out well.

Updated to add: EPIC FAIL!  Not even edible.  Very disappointing.

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