Friday, 22 August 2014

Golden Yellow Cake

As ever, late August brings a flurry of family birthdays, and as ever, that means it's time for some cake. 

Here is a classic cake recipe; it comes from the The Canadian Woman's Cookbook, which dates from the 1930's. My edition does at least; it may be rather older as a book.  I have improved the instructions and corrected the baking time, which was frankly fantasy (18 minutes!) in the original. I may have meddled with the amount of sugar; in fact that's a fairly safe bet.

The result is a very fine cake; a little on the plain side in these days of death-by-chocolate cake extravaganzas, but in my opinion none the worse for that. Use the icing to dress it up, pass it with ice-cream and/or fruit, and enjoy. 

The only drawback to this cake is that it will leave you with 5 orphaned egg whites. You could make a double recipe of Seven Minute Frosting, or Maple Syrup Boiled Frosting, and apply it to the cake. You would then have 3 egg whites left, with which you could make a batch of Meringues. Or perhaps you will just have to come up with your own nefarious plan.

I do wonder how this cake would do with the the grated zest of an orange added, and the milk replaced with orange juice. I will have to try it some time. 

8 servings
1 hour - 30 minutes prep time

Plain But Good Yellow Cake with Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups soft unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

Line the bottoms of 2 9" round cake pans with parchment paper, and butter the parchment paper and the sides of the pans. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the softened butter into a mixing bowl with the sugar, and beat them together with an electric mixer, for 3 or 4 minutes,  until very light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Once they are all in, beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape off the beaters and put the electric mixer aside; it is time to switch to a spoon.

Measure the flour and mix the baking powder and salt into it well. Mix the flour and the milk alternately into the butter and egg yolk mixture, using a broad spoon or spatula. Divide the batter evenly into the two prepared pans, spreading out the batter to be as evenly flat as possible. Looking at my photo, it occurs to me that the old advice to run a knife through your cake batter once it was in the pans to remove large air bubbles might well be applied here.

Bake the cakes for 25 to 28 minutes, until they spring back from light pressure on top, or pass the old toothpick test. Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn them out to finish cooling.

Put them together with the frosting of your choice. In spite of my suggestion of a boiled frosting, I am not convinced that something chocolate, or at least creamy, isn't a better option; perhaps one of these: Chocolate Custard Frosting, Chocolate Ganache Frosting, or even a simple Cocoa Buttercream Frosting.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Sounds good, would go great with mac and cheese. All carb diet!