I have been practicing baking cakes! Believe it or not everyone needs tons of practice and I can vouch for it 'coz I went from baking from the box to baking from scratch over two years and it has only been practice! Yesterday I baked a chocolate buttermilk cake and the day before that Dorie's EVO & Yogurt Cake in a loaf pan.
I was watching an episode of Rachel Allen: Bake and she inspires so many of her students to bake and over come their fears of being able to come up with a simple birthday cake.. so I decided to use her basic recipe and tweak it around a bit.
The other thing she did was putting together the batter without any mixer - just a mixing bowl and wooden spoon and I wanted to do just that - she epitomizes how baking can be simple task with glorious results.
So here goes - the recipe is tweaked a bit from what I can remember - but I used my own measures since she measures in grams and me in cups - do not have a weighing scale as yet...
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
11/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar - castor will also do - but this adds a lovely color and flavor to the cake
1/2 cup good chocolate melted ('coz thats what I had in my fridge- would have liked to use at least 1 cup - had to add 2 tablespoons hershey's chocolate powder to give it a chocolaty boost)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 vanilla bean
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Beat the butter with the wooden spoon. Add sugar and beat till creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat with hand till almost custard like. Now add the vanilla bean and chocolate and mix well after each addition.
Sieve the flour and chocolate powder into the batter and slowly mix it into the batter but do not over mix. add the baking soda and baking powder in the end. Mix and pour into the prepared cake tin.
I have been lining my tins at the bottom and sometimes along the sides to be on the safer side. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Turned out to be a gorgeous cake - not too sweet - not too dry - perfect for icing or having plain with tea and coffee. You can increase the sugar if you want to serve it plain but with icing the cake is perfect as is. What I liked about this cake was that it was light and airy 'coz of the addition of buttermilk and didn't have a heaviness to it while eating it. Also, the cake was gone within a couple of hours.. so it has 5 stars in my recipe book. It is a must try and do tell me how it turns out.
Just a note: Rachel Allen baked it in two tins and served it with a chocolate butter cream frosting to be used as Birthday Cake but I just put globs of colored icing on it I had left to keep it simple and healthy for the baby who gobbles up most of the goodies baked in my house but yet wants some color on the cake!