Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Food Post - Butter Cake



We were going to go out but the hours kept skipping by and there is always more than enough to occupy us around here.  I have been wanting to make this cake for several weeks.  On Saturday afternoon, when the weather was so cold that I didn't feel like poking my nose outdoors, I declared it would be my baking day.  I found this recipe at "Just A Pinch" at this link.   Please go visit as it is always worth looking at the original recipe for any good tips I may not have shared, and besides that there are lots of other delicious recipes you can try.  The recipes are actually a collection from several good cooks. I am thinking of making it again for Easter.  I have a cute bunny cake plate that is ready and waiting.  

Butter Cake  -  Serves 10

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of buttermilk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softend
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 eggs, room temperature

Butter Glaze:

1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar (white sugar, not powdered)
3 tablespoons water
1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract


Turn oven on to 325 degrees F.

Get your bundt pan, grease well with butter and add a couple of tablespoons of flour.  Roll the flour around until flour coats all the pan. Knock the excess out.  It is important not to skip these steps, otherwise your cake will stick.  

With an electric mixer combine the cake flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and mix to combine.

Add the buttermilk, butter, vanilla and almond extracts and eggs. Mix well.  Do not over do it, mix just until ingredients are combined.  It takes about three-and-a-half minutes but use your own judgement.  If you feel everything is mixed in properly then stop.

Pour into the prepared bundt pan.  

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1-1/4 hours, or until tester comes out clean.   Mine took the longer time but oven heat varies. Another tip suggests checking after 50 minutes.


Glaze instructions:

Combine all the ingredients except the vanilla in a saucepan.  Bring to a slow boil over medium heat.  Stir in vanilla, set aside to slightly cool.  I started this process about 20 minutes before the cake was due to come out of the oven.  

Using your favorite oven mitts carefully take the cake out of the oven and place bundt pan on a cooling rack.  While it is still hot and leaving the cake in the pan, pierce exposed cake with fork tines or a bamboo skewer (I used a chopstick).  Pour half the glaze slowly over the cake and let the glaze drip into those holes.

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then unmold onto a cake plate.  

Pour the remaining glaze slowly over the cake.  Let cool and serve
with fruit or ice cream and refrigerate any leftovers.  

Apparently the longer this cake sits and matures, the better it will be.




If you don't have any cake flour there was a very clever substitution tip which produces great results.

All-purpose flour (just under 1 cup)
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Place two tablespoons of cornstarch in a one-cup measure.

Fill the rest of the cup with all-purpose flour.

Use in place of the cake flour in any recipe.

One cup of substitute is equal to one cup of cake flour.





What did we think?  It came out beautifully and was such a delicious cake.  I can see it will be a favorite to prepare for company.  The glaze alone was delectable, and I was very happy with the texture and taste.

I didn't have any ice-cream or fruit, but if I am going to prepare this for that company, I would definitely dress it up with our favorite vanilla ice-cream and fresh strawberries.  

The almond taste isn't overpowering, very subtle, which was a big plus in our book

I decorated simply by putting raw almonds on the top at intervals.  They made a nice tasty nugget to eat with a slice. 

I will be cutting it into small slices and freezing it.  Looking at how this turned out I think this would be a good cake to freeze.  

Saturday, February 28, 2015

BIRDS FOUND IN THE EVERGLADES

These are from our trip in January 2014.  One of the many reasons I enjoy Florida is because of the abundance of birdlife.  You can get up relatively close to them, especially we found in the Everglades.


Wood Stork




Great Blue Heron





The extraordinary design on the wings of an Anhinga is stunning.



Here is one perched on a tree.....





and another taking off across the water.





I have shared this Green Heron before.  He was busy fishing when we observed him.





This extraordinary looking bird is a Purple Gallinule.  Look at those feet!  It's long toes help it to walk on floating vegetation like lilypads.





A Tricolored Heron.  I have shared some of these birds before, including this one.




Another one of a Great Blue Heron having just caught his lunch!  He was far away and I'm happy to have gotten this photo even though it is a little blurry. 




I decided to add close-up shots of their heads.  A Cormorant is in the top right square.  The others are ones I have identified above.

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I am joining the following as they become available, with thanks to our hosts for providing us with such fun memes.  You can click on each link to see other participants.  

Anni at Bird D'Pot, Laura at iHeartMacro, Michelle at Nature Notes, Judith at  Mosaic Monday, and Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday.  A big thank you to our hosts for these wonderful memes.


Friday, February 27, 2015

TODAY'S FLOWERS # 338

You can find all kinds of beautiful flowers from around the world if you click here.  Our new link opens on Saturday at 12.00 a.m. (East Coast Standard Time USA) and closes the following Thursday at 11.30 p.m.



These are photos from last year, July 2014.  We were at The Norfolk Botanical Garden, one of our favorite places when we visit family in the area.  I will identify when I can.


This is called "Variegated Glory Bower - Clerodendrum thomsoniae - 'Variegata' Lamiaceae - Cultivated"



I am sorry, I don't know this one.



The marker nearby read, "Daylily - Hemerocallis - 'Harem House' - Hemerocallidaceae - Cultivated"






Luiz Santilli Jnr created Today's Flowers and asked me a few years ago to take over his role as host.  He occasionally pops in to say hello, so "Hello Luiz and thank you!"



Today's Flowers' home page can be found here.