Thursday, 26 January 2012

Show some Love

It may be a terrible faux pas to wish people a Happy New Year when it's nearly February, but I'm doing it anyway. I hope everyone had a lovely, safe and delicious Festive break and that 2012 is treating you well so far.

I love the feeling you get at the beginning of a new year, thinking ahead of what the year will bring, looking forward to coming visits, holidays and special occasions and making optimistic or even unrealistic resolutions to try and keep. It's that feeling that anything is possible and that This year you will loose those extra few pounds, learn that foreign language or get that dream job. All too soon though you find yourself looking at the wrong end of January, no closer to doing anything you set out to do, still struggling to get that zipper all the way up... but you know me, as long as I'm baking and cooking I'm happy no matter what. Lucky then that it was my husband's birthday this weekend and that I had a great excuse to bake (and eat) some cake.

As you may remember, I usually bake P's favourite cheesecake for the celebrations, and I had already bought the cream cheese to get going when I luckily caught myself just in time to realise that this year I will make at least one change. I'll bake something else! Now, I know it's not exactly what you would call a life-altering change, but surely it's better than nothing. Not wanting to let the cream cheese go to waste, I baked a buttermilk cake to cover in glossy, glorious cream cheese frosting.

Now, don't laugh, but I was feeling slightly silly and wanted to show the hubby some love and got totally carried away with my heart shaped cookie cutters and sprinkles. The end result was these little individual heart-cakes that, although they looked a bit naff tasted great and made P feel a little bit special for a while :)

So, go on, why don't you show someone some love and give this yummy cake a go!

Buttermilk Cake:
  • 280g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 130g golden castor sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 240 cultured buttermilk
  • 60ml water
  • 90ml vegetable oil
Lightly butter a 20 inch square cake pan and preheat the oven to 200°C
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar and make a well in the middle. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, buttermilk, water and finally the oil, stirring well to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the well in the dry ingredients and stir quickly with a big metal spoon. Make sure you only mix until all the flour is worked in as you do not want to over-mix the batter. Immediately pour this into your cake pan and bake in the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Leave in the pan for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Once the cake is completely cold, you can either keep the cake whole and cover it in the frosting as is or you can go crazy and cut out shapes to make little cakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 100g cream cheese, taken out of the fridge at least an hour before using
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon butter, very soft
Beat all of the ingredients together in either a standing mixer or using hand-held beaters for about 5 - 10 minutes, until it's glossy and smooth