Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pancake Day

It's Shrove Tuesday, "Pancake Day." I got off to a good start by making a slight adjustment to the popular dish "chicken 'n waffles" by having chicken and pancakes.

The Liddle Griddle by Presto


I don't get credit for frying chicken. I never fry chicken anymore. I buy it from the super market hot out of the fryer. I can't even take credit for buying the chicken this morning. I took it from my freezer, vacuum packed and frozen last June.

I did make the pancakes though . . . from a box mix--Krusteaz. Just one cup of mix and 3/4 cup cold water and I have four nicely-sized, fluffy, delicious pancakes. That means I'll have two left over for a breakfast this weekend. Unfortunately, there is only one lone chicken wing left. Oh well. Actually, today's drumstick and thigh were enough fried chicken calories for a while . . . a long while.

Kitchener to Kitchen

Monday, February 2, 2015

. . . and Cake

I've been baking a cake a week for many more weeks than I should have. There have been seven cakes.

The first cake, glazed with a lemon syrup
Actually there were six cakes and a pie. Each time, except for the pie, I was attempting to bake a cake that was really good, really delicious, like the ones my grandmother and my Aunt Edith used to bake. The kind baked by others that I couldn't seem to duplicate. Nothing fancy. Just goooood. You know the kind I mean. Those other bakers seem to know the recipe and just throw the ingredients together, transfer them to a tube pan, throw it in the oven and out comes a beautiful golden, lofty, delicious cake. No icing needed.

The second cake, plain

Another cake right out of the oven. 
 cooled and ready for glaze
covered in an orange liqueur glaze

And another . . . Let Them Eat Cake!

Perfect texture

a strawberry glaze makes it ideal

 and one with a dusting of powdered sugar
Through trial and error I can now make a good, delicious cake. The crazy thing is the recipe has been around forever and it came from the Swans Down Cake Flour box many decades ago. I've tried a lot of recipes. I even have a more intricate one that I had declared "THE one" some years ago.

This recipe that I will share with you is my new "THE one." 

"THE one" with lemon glaze

It is a version of the Swansdown's 1-2-3-4 Cake. Aha! The secret to my success.  I made a few tweaks, but my cake is based on the original. You can find the original recipe at Swansdown.com and many other variations on the Internet. My recipe follows:

1-2-3-4 Cake


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 cups white granulated sugar

3 cups sifted cake flour

4 large eggs at room temperature

1 cup milk

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tps vanilla extract

1 tps lemon extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Butter and lightly flour a 10 inch tube pan or bundt pan. 

Sift the cake flour, then lightly spoon into measuring cup for 3 cups.

In large mixing bowl cream butter and gradually add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time to creamed mixture blending after each addition.

Sift the sifted cake flour with baking powder and salt. Add the extracts to the milk.

Add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture to the creamed mixture, just until combined, starting and ending with flour (three additions of flour, two of milk). Do not over mix the batter! It will make the cake dry.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

Cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan and continue cooling on rack.

That's it! You can serve it plain, ice it or glaze it. Your choices are unlimited. I vary the amounts and flavors of extracts depending the flavor cake I'm making. My usual formula is 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tbs of lemon because I am partial to lemon cakes on which I drizzle a lemon glaze.

Easy Lemon Glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar

3 to 4 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice (start with 3 tbs, adjust based on desired consistency)

Combine and use a wire whisk to mix until smooth. Drizzle it over the cake.

THE one

I may have gotten the pictures out of order. I do know that somewhere along the way I discovered the secret and finally baked "THE one." The lemon glazed one above, pictured twice, is one of THE ones I made from my tweaked version of the 1-2-3-4-Cake. 

Last week I gave you ice cream. This week I give you THE cake. Enjoy!

Kitchener to Kitchen