(This is Post 2 in the series Cooking with the Books.)
So I wasn’t going to bake.
I had already decided I am not sending anything with V for tomorrow’s Office Thursdays. I have a cake to bake tomorrow (it’s my friend’s daughter’s birthday), so I thought I will get my baking fix with the birthday cake. So I really don’t need another cake lurking around.
Plus, it was my rest day. I had cooked plenty yesterday, making sure I had no cooking to do today. The refrigerator was well stocked with ready to serve food. The kitchen was clean, more importantly the sink was clean. I really did not want to do any dishes today. I had just finished doing laundry and I couldn’t be bothered with doing any other housework. So I decided V will go empty handed for Office Thursdays. Everyone will understand. Its not like its set in stone or something. =/
While sitting outside and enjoying the weather, my hands started to itch. They wanted to grab a whisk and beat some sugar and butter. The hands wanted to sift flour and then gently fold it in with that creamed sugar and butter.
My nose started twitching too. It was trying to sense the smell of freshly baked cake. Suddenly I became restless. I had already admired my garden ( I got two tomatoes – more are on the way and got me some bell peppers as well). I also had no book to read (just finished my copy of Justin Cronin’s The Passageand loved it; eagerly waiting for Book 2 now). I haven’t ordered any other book (feel free to recommend any good fiction in the comment section?), otherwise I would have definitely been enjoying the weather reading a book.
So to baking, I took.
Within ten minutes I had a cake in the oven. Another 5 minutes and my sink and kitchen counter was clean again. My hands were satisfied. My nose getting the a small whiff of the batter being baked just as I finished cleaning the kitchen, so I was happy too.
The cake that I baked is a recipe from King Arthur’s Flour Cookbook: The Scandinavian Gold Cake.
I love almond flour in my cakes, and the slight taste of almond essence is a pure delight to my taste buds and that’s why when I lay my eyes on this recipe, while finding one to complete my Cooking with the Books challenge, I knew I had to make it.
I don’t know how you were growing up, but I loved licking the uncooked cake batter when I was young. My mom loved baking cakes and cookies when both my brother and I were kids. Now after having enough baking adventures she likes to leave the baking and cooking to me. But when we were kids, she would bake a lot. I never helped. Except when it was time to clean the dishes. And this is how I helped – I would help by licking all the leftover batter her spatula couldn’t manage to get in the cake tin. I didn’t care about salmonella or anything- one bite of the uncooked batter with vanilla, sugar and butter mixed in it, there was no stopping me.
Today, I became a kid again. Well, each time I bake I become a kid again tasting a small dollop of the batter. But today, I went all crazy on the batter. The batter is true to its name- gold in color. With the almond and vanilla flavors in it, it tastes heaven uncooked as it does cooked. If Sylvester Stallone can have raw eggs, I am sure I can have them mixed with some creamed butter! To all the naysayers I say- Its for my stamina!
This cake had a unique way of mixing the ingredients in. Unlike creaming the butter and sugar, adding eggs and then folding in the flour, the method states to cream the butter and sugar, then add in the flour and then beat in the eggs. I was intrigued to see how different the results would be.
The cake turned out to be quite similar to the Luxe pound cake but a little lighter as the Luxe Pound Cake is very rich.
This cake is really moist and soft. And absolutely delicious. You will be fighting with yourself to eat two pieces at once. Thankfully, I am sending all of it away tomorrow with V. No cake, no temptation, no thunder thighs and no big booty!
Tip: Since this was an impromptu baking session, I did not have my eggs and butter at room temperature. When that happens, and I have that itch to bake and can’t wait for the butter to soften, what I do is cut the butter into small cubes. I then beat it for a few seconds and leave it to soften till I get all my ingredients ready, or about 5 minutes. For the eggs, I generally put them in a mug filled with hot water for about 5 minutes. After five minutes both my butter and eggs are ready to be used for baking.
SCANDINAVIAN GOLD CAKE
- 1 cup (2 sticks/226 gm) butter
- 1 1/3 cups (9.25 oz) sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 cup (3 1/2 oz) almond flour (the recipe asks for toasted almond flour but all I had was plain)
- 1 3/4 (7.25 oz) unbleached all purpose flour
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
For the glaze:
- 2 cups (8 oz) confectioners’ sugar ( I used only 6 ounces)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream ( I used fat free half and half and reduced the quantity since I reduced the sugar called for)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 F and prepare a 12 cup bundt pan by greasing and flouring it. Grease it well, so that you don’t have trouble removing the cake once its done baking.
- Beat the butter until it’s soft. Add in sugar, salt, baking powder and the extracts. Beat together till well blended
- Add the flours and mix it for a few seconds. If it looks crumbly, that’s how it should be! Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well and making sure you scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. The batter will be fluffy.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for an hour, or until tester comes out clean and the sides pull away from the pan.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in pan for ten minutes, before removing and letting it cool on a wire rack completely.
- Mix the glaze ingredients and spread over the top of cake. Serve and enjoy!