Sometimes, all you want is cake.
Simple, delicious, glorious cake.
If you’ve read my previous post, you know how I feel about using the odd boxed cake mix every now and then (although some mixes were a bit too ‘odd’ for my taste). Even though I always whip up the most spectacular cakes for birthdays and get togethers with my family, I usually just browse my kitchen cupboards in the hope of finding a boxed mix whenever I want to fulfill my own immediate cake cravings. It’s like ordering take out if you’re eating alone… It’s just too much hassle to cook for just one sometimes.
However, as I’m not in the habit of purchasing boxed mixes, sometimes I whip up this beauty.
I believe this recipe is actually one of those recipes that have been around since people first started grinding grain into flour. So, when I say ‘simple cake’, I really mean ‘simple cake’. I did add a little vanilla and baking powder, but apart from that it’s just flour, eggs, sugar, butter and milk. This recipe is just incredibly straightforward. If you were to add another two eggs and a little more butter, you would actually end up with a pound cake and if you would only add one egg and wouldn’t add all of the milk, the cake would be a little fluffier. It’s a good thing cake recipes are so easily adaptable to the contents of your pantry.
I think you really can never have enough cake recipes. I mean, just imagine craving cake and not having the ingredients to make one?! And imagine that, after you’ve desperately turned your kitchen cupboards inside out, you are one lousy egg short??!!
You could go knock on your friendly neighbor’s door, of course… Hoping they might have a spare egg… But what if they’re not home? What if they’re vegan? What if they’ve just made an omelet ten seconds ago?
You see: you can never have enough cake recipes…
This time, having only two eggs, it was simple cake for me!
However, after the cake had cooled and I had enjoyed my first slice, I realized that I wanted a little more… Not just a little more cake; a little more jazz! So I grabbed a frying pan and toasted two big slices of cake to a nice, crispy golden brown. Now the only thing I needed was a delicious cake topping.
Luckily, I had raspberries in my freezer, so I quickly cooked up a beautiful raspberry compote. I also had some leftover whipped cream that needed a purpose in life!
Toasted loaf cake, softly whipped cream and juicy, fruity raspberry-goodness… It was the perfect afternoon snack! I’m definitely going to serve this after this spring’s first family barbecue!
- 150g (or ⅔ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 200g (or 1 cup) granuated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 200g (or 1½ cup + 5 teaspoons) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 100ml (or ⅓ cup + 2 teaspoons) milk
- 300g (or 10 ounces) frozen raspberries, thawed
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (for the raspberry compote)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 240ml (or 1 cup) whipping cream
- 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar (for the whipped cream)
- Start with the cake. If you happen to have stale cake on hand, you could also use that:
- First, preheat your oven to 160°C/320°F (standard oven setting) and line a 2-liter/quart loaf pan with baking parchment. If you don’t have baking parchment, you can use butter, but I prefer baking parchment as it makes for a crispier cake crust. Plus, if you use parchment, you can create little handles to lift the cake out of the pan once it has cooled.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. You could use a whisk or a wooden spoon, but I prefer a hand mixer. To all the lucky ones out there who actually own a stand mixer, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to use it.
- Once the butter mixture is creamy, add the eggs one at a time. Make sure to beat in the first egg before you add the second egg. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the side of the bowl every now and then to make sure you end up with a smooth and pretty batter (aka: properly mixed together).
- Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate. Combine the flour with the baking powder and the salt. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the flour mixture. You could use a mixer at this point, but only if you don’t mind a huge cloud of flour in your kitchen. Once the flour mixture has been somewhat absorbed by the butter mixture, give the batter a quick whiz with the mixer to make it nice and fluffy.
- Gently add the milk to the batter and mix until it’s all combined. Give the sides of the bowl another good scrape with a rubber spatula and mix for another few seconds until the batter looks shiny and uniform.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, place it in the middle of the oven and bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack. Enjoy it as it is or leave to stand overnight until it’s nice and stale and ready to toast.
- NOTE: you could toast straightaway, but the cake may fall apart in the pan.
- The next day, start with the topping:
- Place the raspberries, the sugar and the water in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over low heat. Cook the fruit for 3 to 4 minutes until the raspberries start to soften. Take the pan off the heat and pour the raspberry compote in a heatproof bowl. Set aside. Whip up the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- Cut the stale cake into 16 slices. Toast the slices, four at a time, in a large, dry (no oil or butter!) frying pan over low heat until they are nice and golden. Because there is a lot of butter in the cake, they will color quite quickly, so keep an eye on them.
- Once the first side is beautifully golden, turn the slices with a spatula and gently toast the other side as well. Transfer the toasted slices to a plate and toast the remaining slices of cake. You don’t have to worry about keeping the toasted slices warm, as the crunchy toastiness is really what you’re after.
- To serve, place two slices of toasted cake on a plate and top with the raspberry compote and a dollop of whipped cream.