Thursday, April 15, 2010

Learn2Bake – April Challenge is Back to Basic Butter Cake

Yes, this would our club's first challenge, I'm so glad that we have 8 members RSVP to join in the challenge. Thank you for the support! As the Creator of the club, I definitely will have to participate in the challenge myself. I still remember my very first butter cake, which is also my very first bake. My MiL is my mentor and she told me that if I can bake a butter cake well, then I can almost everything. Wow! That sounded so challenging and without hesitation, I took it all in.....and bake my very first Butter Cake, of course with her supervision.......and (hehe) using her oven and all her utensils, as I haven't had a single equipment at home that relates to 'baking' that is.....:P
It turned out OK ........but not excellent as the bottom part of the cake still has some 'not so properly cook' part. My MiL didn't want to discourage me and told I did a good job, but well, of course I knew it exactly. I didn't give up , and in a week time, I brought my oven and mixer, and decided to give another try, this time everything on my own. The second butter cake was also more or less the same as the first one, and I desperately wanted to know why??? So I search the internet, look through books, and finally found my answers, or I would termed it as "useful tips". So, hey guys, do pick up this tips, it works for might for you too! Happy Butter Cake Baking ^-^

Tips that I Picked Up
  1. Always pre-heat your oven when you start mixing your ingredients or at least 20-30 minutes. This will gives the oven an even temperature heat-up when it's time to bake.
  2. Always invest in a good brand of butter to get a maximum satisfaction both in taste and aroma of the cake eg: Golden Churn, Anchor....
  3. Have all ingredients in room temperature especially the butter, it must be softened, but not melting.
  4. Egg used must be at least 55gm each weighing with the shell or Grade 'B'.
  5. If possible, try to use the requested baking tin size for that recipe, so that your cake will have enough room to rise and expand, which will unlikely result in a 'volcano erupting' pattern in the centre :P ( unless you are very familiar with the tin size substitution)
  6. Do not open the oven door to check during the first 20-25 minutes of baking. This will result the cake to rise unevenly.
  7. Always beat butter and castor sugar until they the mixture is fluffy and pale in colour
  8. Always add eggs, one at a time, and mix it well with the mixture in every addition.
  9. After adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture, remember do not beat it, but slowly incorporate the dry and wet ingredients together instead.
  10. Again, all ovens varies in the temperature, so do familiarize yourself with your oven, I might bake my butter cake using 45 mins, but you might need 55-60 mins, that's totally OK, as long as the skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, which mean your cake is cooked.
I didn't use the recipe that I suggested to the club members as I would like to try out this 'Traditional Butter Cake' recipe from my "I Love Butter Cake' by Kevin Chai cookbook. I found the recipe interesting as it calls for an extra 100gm of margarine (after 250gm butter).........gosh, this cake is going to be really 'rich'. I wanted to see the difference and so I did it. On top of that I also added a 40gm of Nestum cereal to it so that the kids will not say......."Oh Mummy, butter cake again?"....hehehe, kids nowadays are hard to please, you have to be creative :P 
The end result was I have an extended baking time of 40 minutes (aside the initial 40 minutes) as the cake was quite a big one, I used a "flower shape 8.5" tin", and it has a thickness of about 10cm (height) , the texture of the cake was really buttery rich both in taste and aroma, very moist and the Nestum on top gives a very crusty topping (but the next day it will be soft already), so I would say, best consume the day it is bake ^-^

Here's the recipe :

250gm butter, softened at room temperature
100gm margarine
250gm castor sugar (I used only 200gm because I don't want a too sweet cake) 
¼ tsp salt (If you are using Salted Butter then you can opt this out but I used Unsalted butter) 
5 eggs
½ tsp vanilla essence
250gm plain flour
1 tsp baking powder (if you are using SRF, then you can opt this out too) 
40gm Nestum

  1. Grease and line a 20cm/8" baking tin. (I used a 8.5" flower-shaped tin). Pre-heat the oven to 180~C.
  2. Beat butter, margarine, sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  4. Stir in the essence and fold in the sifted flour, baking powder and mix well until it's well blended.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared tin.
  6. Sprinkle the Nestum on top of the batter, and bake in oven for 35-40 minutes (but I used an additional of 40 minutes) or until it's cooked.

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