22 February 2010

Cake's in the oven and the house smells just wonderful.

I finally got that cake into the oven.  Actually, technically it's cakes.  Not cake.  I divided the mixture up into four different size and shape pans.  Why?  Well, it's not going to be a big Christening so we won't need such a huge cake.  We'll be able to store some cake for Christmas and we'll be able to send some to distant relatives whom we know would have loved to join us for the day.

Like a great-grandmother and great-grandfather in South Africa.  Wonder if they'll get it if we post it to them?  One never can tell.

It took me ages to mix the cake this morning.  I made sure I'd weighed out all the ingredients and had everything ready to go.  Finally used my head and didn't follow the instructions...  I'd made a mental note to myself that I had to do something different this time.

So, I mixed the butter and sugar together in my old Kenwood (it's 48 years old now!) until I had a pale yellow, fluffy mix.  Then I spooned the mixture out equally into three different bowls.  First lot went back into the Kenwood and I slowly beat in 5 eggs.  Then I added a third of the sifted flour and other dry ingredients.  I repeated the process for both the remaining bowls.

Hey, that wasn't that hard!  Why couldn't the recipe book have suggested doing it this way?  Does everyone have a commercial grade mixer?  Nooooo. (You want to try mixing 1 kg butter, 1.2 kg castor sugar, 16 eggs, 1.25 kg flour in one bowl!  It's exhausting work.)

Then, I shared the HUGE fruit and nut mixture (which I'd 'floured' well before hand so I know it's not going to sink to the bottom like a torpedoed U boat!) between my three bowls of perfect cake batter.  It mixed in really easily and I don't feel as though my arm is going to fall off anytime soon.  Which is how my arm usually feels when I make this cake.

I bunged it all back into my seriously HUGE soup pot and mixed it all in together...just in case there was any one reason that one mixture was better than the next.  Had to add my bicarb dissolved in vinegar last and that really helped to 'lighten' the mixture.

Another thing that truly bugs me about this recipe... it says to 'spoon the mixture into the pans'.  It would have been helpful if they'd included more specific instructions.  I know now how much to spoon in, but it really had me guessing the first time I made this recipe.And just by the way, this mixture DOES NOT, I repeat DOES NOT fit into two 225mm pans.  Which I now know.  There's nothing worse than scurrying about the kitchen trying to find bigger pans and brown paper at the last moment.

My oven isn't wonderful so I've had to put the cakes in at 120 degrees with the fan on.  I've been watching the cakes and 2 1/2 hours later, they're looking really good.  I just have to be careful not to overcook them.

Funny thing about baking... the smell always takes my appetite away.  I should get myself a job in a bakery.

I'm off to make myself a well earned cuppa now.  It wasn't the best day to choose to bake.  The temps got into the mid 30's again today.  Thankfully, there's a lovely cool breeze coming off the sea now.

April Blackbird

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