Saturday, 30 May 2009

Busy Day~

I've been absolutely craving for salmon sashimi or sushi for quite a while now, so Mel and I promised to meet up today for a Kulu Kulu lunch.

We ate loads, and I satisfied alot of my cravings many times over :P After that, we went to Waitrose for my weekly shopping, and went to my flat to make use of a really good cake recipe I saw a week ago. We dilly dallied alot, watching random episodes of House MD, and gossiping like old aunties, but I eventually baked the cake.

The recipe was from this site, and is called raspberry buttermilk cake. It's really really easy to make, and for something so easy, the result is sooooooooo worth it! Absolutely delicious cake that's wonderfully moist, with juicy berries bursting with flavours in it. Mmmmmmm!!!!!


1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
56g (1/4 British stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar (+ 1 1/2 tbsp extra)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken/whisked buttermilk
1 cup berries (original recipe calls for raspberries, but any berry will taste good)

Preheat oven to 200C, and grease and line a 9" cake pan.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Mix in vanilla, then add egg and mix till well combined.
Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Then stir in 1/2 the buttermilk. Do this again, then mix in the rest of the flour.
Pour mixture into the pan and smooth over the top.
Scatter berries over the top, then sprinkle the extra sugar onto it.
Bake for about 30-35mins (that's my oven time, but I had two cakes at the same time) until done.
Cool in tin for 10mins, then invert onto a cooling rack.
Cool for another 10mins, then invert onto a plate or cake board.

Of course, I made a MAJOR mistake on one part - I accidentally put in twice the amount of the buttermilk!!!! x____x I absolutely panicked. Luckily, I had more of the rest of the ingredients as well, so I just mixed up the butter-sugar-vanilla-egg mixture, and stirred it into the batter before adding another quantity of flour.

As such, I had enough batter for two cakes instead of one, and had to make two. I didn't have enough raspberries for two cakes, so I used raspberries on one, and strawberries on the other. The reparations turned out pretty good, if you asked me!

Here are a few pics of how it turned out.

This one is the raspberry one (whole):

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

This one is a slice of the raspberry one:

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake Slice

And this one is a piece of the strawberry one:

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake Piece

Mel liked the strawberry one so much she demolished at least a quarter of it on her own! Not that I can blame her - that one was gooood. Very sweet. Just the way I like it!

Still, I think the raspberry one balances out abit more - the sourish taste of the raspberries countered and complemented the sweetness of the cake quite well. James liked that one better. I could tell he liked it alot when he ate every last crumb of the slice he took - literally :D

For dinner, I finally decided to try this recipe that Walter posted on his blog - it's called a "Flemish Rata" and is kind of like a stew that's made with coffee. Interesting, isn't it??

Anyway, I couldn't find the type of bacon Walter had used, so I had to make do with the usual streaky bacon. I wanted to have some sort of vegetable in it, so I added carrots, simply because I absolutely love carrots cooked that way. I did make a mistake with the coffee - it was a little too strong, so everything turned out with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I kind of liked the bitter aftertaste (surprising, because I don't usually like bitter stuff), but Mel didn't really enjoy it.

Recipe! (The one I used)

Cut potatoes and carrots to bite sized pieces and put in a pot (it should only reach about 2/3rds the way of your pot maximum). Pour in freshly brewed coffee till it just covers everything. Add in some salt, pepper, two bay leaves and about 1/2 tsp of thyme. Turn on the fire, and set it to a low setting.

While waiting for it to boil, heat a little bit of oil in a frying pan. Saute some diced onion (about one medium onion) for a few minutes. Add your bacon in, then add bacon and onion to the pot WITHOUT the oil (as in scoop it out, drain it, etc).

Once everything is in the pot, and it all starts boiling, cover the pot. Cook it on low heat for about 20mins or till potatoes are nice and soft. Fish out the bay leaves, then serve and enjoy!

I only have this picture of it in the pot when it was just done cooking:
Bacon and potatoes in coffee

Mmmmmm it was goood! I think I'm going to make it again tomorrow night, but with a less strong coffee :) Walter was right - you don't actually taste much of the coffee at all, but something about it gives the dish a nice depth and flavour. The potatoes were exceptionally delicious! Mel did like those :D

Hehe, Mel and I ended up spending the whole night watching episodes of Criminal Minds. I showed her some of the best episodes, and I think I got her addicted :P She is now a Hotchner fan. We both agreed that we just plain loooove Garcia! She's hilarious~ :D Gotta love her personality!

Aaaanyway, that was a freakishly long post with two recipes in them, so I'm going to stop here. G'night!! :D


Walter said...

Hello, Priscilla.
The cakes look sinfully good. That has to be the best excuse I ever heard for making two : "Oops, I put twice the buttermilk in, oh well , better make two now !"
Thanks for the recipe.
I'm glad you had the courage to cook rata !
Putting carrots in the rata is interesting, I have no idea what they'd taste like.
It's the only gripe I have with this dish, you need to eat vegetables on the side or as a soup before if you want a balanced meal.
Originally , it was always made with streaky bacon, I just used the other type to reduce the fat, ( I've amended my blog )

I can see the potatoes and the bacon are nicely colored.
Yeah, the potatoes taste good like this ,hm ?

Glad you liked it.

Priscilla said...

Thanks Walter! Haha, the friend I was baking with said the same thing, but she was really looking forward to the cake :D I think she really liked it - she had so much of it! I think I'm going to bake it again today. It's so easy, yet it makes a cake that is soooooo supremely delicious <3
I hope you'll try your hand at baking sometime XD It's my favourite form of cooking!

Carrots in the rata were a little bitter, but I kind of liked that. I think it doesn't taste as nice as the potatoes, so I wouldn't really recommend it if you don't like bitter things, but maybe it's worth one try if you're really curious :D
I tried to use your reduced-fat version, but my friend still thought it was too oily! Haha. I think maybe the bacon I used was really really wrong for this... I better experiment more! :P