Yesterday it was cool and cloudy and I spent the day transcribing the interview that would never end. About halfway through the afternoon though, I had a sudden craving for pound cake. I had been reading about cream cheese pound cake on Orangette and lamenting my lack of cream cheese in the fridge, when she mentioned a ‘busy day cake’. It caught my eye because I was looking for a cake that wouldn’t take long (and take me away from the transcription) but which was going to taste good. I will let you read what Molly writes about it.
Her post makes me want to buy the cookbook the recipe comes from (for the record The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis) because what little excerpts Molly adds to the post are truly beautiful. So I made this cake, in-between typing. You can see what my desk looks like…
I bought this desk with the express purpose of using it to shoot food for this blog. Of course it’s such a lovely desk, and in such a nice position by the window, that I’ve just migrated all my work there and now I’m shooting in the tiny space behind the lap top. I figured you wouldn’t mind too much. But back to the cake. I decided to add lime to mine, I had a citrus craving of sorts and two limes looking forlorn in the fruit bowl. I also made it with gluten free flour and xanthan gum. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure the xanthan gum is really necessary and I think I’ll try the recipe again without it to know for sure. The cake was very think (more like scone mix) when I placed it in the baking tin but the crumb and texture are good, slightly heavy and chewy, but not in a bad way, more in a satisfying, heavy cake way. Following Molly’s recommendations about baking powder, I used less. I also left out the nutmeg from the original recipe and used buttermilk (because it’s lovely) instead of whole milk. The resulting cake was fragrant, making my kitchen smell warm; and dense, and crumbly, and just perfect for a cloudy spring day. I ate mine with some Greek yoghurt and am taking the rest to the park later to share.
Adapted from Orangette
1 cup soft brown sugar
1/3 cup golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 2 limes, juice of one
2 cups gluten free flour (or plain flour)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (if you’re using regular flour, eliminate this)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 170C and line a springform (23cm) tin with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs, beating to combine, before adding in the vanilla, zest and lime juice.
Mix together the flour, xanthan gum, and baking powder.
Add the flour mixture in three goes, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. I did this by hand but I think you could mix it in a standing mixer.
Spoon the mixture into your baking tin and bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake is risen and golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack.