Butter cake is the first cake I learnt to bake during my high school years. It was also the easiest and fastest cake to bake that I know of at that time. I still remember that I would wait till my mother took her afternoon nap to do the baking as it was the best time to “invade” her kitchen. By the time she woke up, there would be no traces of mess I created and the cake was already inside the oven. . From what I can recall, none of the butter cakes I baked came close to my expectation. Somehow, somewhere, something would surely go wrong. Nevertheless, I still love baking this cake over and over again whenever I had the urge to do baking. Maybe it was the baking process that I enjoyed the most. Since I left home (for both studies and work), I had no opportunity to bake this butter cake anymore.
A couple of years ago, I came to know that my mother-in-law was a big fan for butter cake. I promised myself that I would bake one for her if I got an oven and the right baking utensils. Time passed and nothing was done. Promise still remains a promise. During her recent stay with us last month, I made good my promise and baked this cake for her. It may not be the best butter cake in town, but she loved it so much. Now I can happily strike off this long outstanding item from my to-bake list.
This recipe was adapted from Agnes Chan’s cookbook (蓝赛珍，轻轻松松学烘焙）which provides photos showing detailed step-by-step procedures in baking this cake. I find it very helpful as it makes my baking much more easier. However, in my first attempt, although the texture was soft, the cake turned out to be a little bit dry. As for its taste, it came out slightly plain as I used unsalted butter and omitted the salt during the process. As what I read from the internet, self-raising flour contained salt. So I suspected the shortage of salt could be the main cause of these two problems.
On my second attempt, I added a bit of salt and reduced the amount of flour used. I also paid extra attention to the mixing and baking process. This time the end product turned out to be very soft and moist. It also got the buttery smell, and yet did not give one a heavy feeling when eaten. However, it tasted slightly sweeter to my liking. What completely surprised me was the feedback I got from my friend whom I gave half of my loaf, as I did in my first attempt. She told me that both her daughters finished the cake in split seconds leaving only one slice for her to taste. Although the cake done in second attempt was sweeter, they found the taste as simply fantastic and suited their taste buds as well. Besides them, my family also enjoyed eating this cake. But I will not consider it as “The Ultimate” butter cake. (Am I setting the bar for my expectation far too high? ). It doesn’t matter anyway as it is still the “best” recipe I had tried and tested so far, and much better compared to the ones I had baked during my high school days.
Well, I shall leave it to you to be the judge of this recipe. Meanwhile, I will continue to “fine tune” it to get closer to my expectation of “The Ultimate” butter cake. So, what’s your favourite butter cake recipe? Please share with me! I love to hear from you.
To all the mothers (including myself) and mother-to-be out there, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
Who had tried and tested my recipe?
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