Saturday, April 21, 2012

Now for the serious stuff

Away with all this work and fret! it's time to get down to the real essence of life. Cake.

I made my first Yellow Cake, from the same ancient cookbook that yielded the coffee cake that people needed the recipe for. I mention that it's an ancient cookbook, since in recent times the association of yellow cake is strictly with uranium production rather than a nice little nosh with your afternoon tea.

This, however is in fact a nice cake recipe. It did call for the use of a hand mixer, which I don't use much, but have one of. At least I did when I started out this afternoon. Alas, after a couple of minutes beating of this recipe, smoke started to pour out of it, and I unplugged it and ran outside to set it down before it burst into flame, thereby possibly baking the cake before it was in the oven.

This breakdown was unfortunate, since there was a lot of beating yet to do. However, I remembered my Downton Abbey, and how the cook would have grimly set to work with her wooden spoon and strong arms, or shouted for Daisy to do it. Well, I have a wooden spoon. Alas, the counters are a bit high for beating stuff for a lady who nowadays barely tops five foot three, so I had to rest the bowl in the sink, an exciting procedure.

I did soldier on, all good ingredients, you know, and was quite surprised to get an edible result, which you see here. If one of the cakes appears shorter than t'other, it's because the cook needed a sample. It was nice that the recipe made two loaves, too. It's the kind of mixture that you can make cupcakes if you happen to have the paper cases, which I didn't, or a muffin pan, which I don't, or various other shapes and sizes of cake, but I'm rich in bread pans, so I thought, hm, let's call it Pound Cake, and make it loaves. Pounded. Done.

So this is good. I now have a little bit of something nice with tea, if Handsome Son should come by, or a friend desperate for a cup of tea and a little something, or if I fancy a slice meself. And while I nibbled, who am I kidding? tore into, my slice of cake, I ordered a new mixer online.


  1. Nothing like having a valid reason to buy new toys. Not good when the smoke gets out of things. Your loaves look delicious - reminds me of madeira cake.

  2. nothing like a good cake. Just think all that beating is good for the underarm flab, thats assuming you have any of course!

  3. And does it freeze well? I try to keep the second layer of a cake in the freezer in case of!

  4. Your cakes look lovely. If you wanted to, you could add grated lemon zest to the batter, make the lemon juice & sugar glaze to pour over the top, the recipe I sent you. Maybe do one with, the other without. I can smell those cakes beconing....and with a pot of good hot tea....J in Cowtown

  5. Mmm looks good, and the addition of the lemonglaze.....perfeck !

  6. I know I wasn't supposed to laugh when I read this, but I have to admit I did once I read about you running outside with the smoking mixer in hand. Years ago, a friend (who was coming for lunch) arrived in my driveway just in time to see a smoking cake fly out the front door and into the snowbank. The lesson learned out of THAT debacle was that one shouldn't expect a butter/sugar topped cake put under the broiler to brown to be left unattended. Needless to say, we didn't get to eat cake for lunch! Yours, btw, looks awfully good.

  7. This is the first time I have read your posts and seen your work. All I had to read was"tea" and I was connected to your writing. I smiled all the way through reading this one and my smile got broader as the paragraphs went on. Downton Abbey and Daisy...what great images! I have watched the whole series through twice and cannot wait for more. It is the best show I have seen in many, many years.

    Thank you for such wonderful writing and lovely sketches and paintings, and for the smile that I needed today. I will be a regular visitor from now on!


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