Thursday, April 9, 2009

Buttermilk Cake

Just an update: Red Rocks has a nasty cold, not strep, and went to school today. Thanks for all the bloggy love! And this cake? Very much like a moist pound cake. Wonderful for breakfast!

It's not often that I torture y'all with cooking posts. Today, though, I decided to to cash in my "One Free Torture" card. Betcha didn't know I had one of those, huh?

This is today's instrument of torture:

Do y'all remember my visit to my grandmother's a couple of weeks ago? One of the things I did while there was transcribe her recipes into my computer. She was afraid that the penciled recipes in the front and back covers of her 60+ year old Joy of Cooking book would completely fade to illegibility. Some I couldn't read, as the edges of some pages were crumbling and measurements completely gone.

The cake we'll be baking today was one of my great grandmother's recipes, Mimi Percy, called Buttermilk Cake. When my mom looked at the recipe, she practically drooled remembering it from childhood. So of course I had to try it first! Be warned, though - I made modifications based on what's on hand for me. I really will try the original recipe at some point.

Here are the culprits who plan to widen our hips:

First off, I made sour milk by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to a cup of whole milk (don't be judgin', y'all - the Hunny bought the milk), and let it sit on the counter about 10 minutes (I didn't have buttermilk):

Preheat the oven to 325. The recipe says I need five separated eggs, with the whites whipped, so I separated and set the whipper to whippin' while I did step one. See?

Step one is creaming a half pound (two sticks) of butter with three cups of sugar. You read that right. Three cups. I use the back of a fork to cream the butter and sugar.

Long ago my mama taught me to use the butter wrapper to grease my cake pans, like so:

Mmm! Real butter! Next the recipe tells me to add the egg yolks to the creamed butter and sugar:

I think it looks like institutional cafeteria style scrambled eggs:

Now's when I pull out the milk I set aside to sour (which won't be nearly as good as buttermilk), and a third of a teaspoon of baking soda, which is added to the milk.

I also add two teaspoons of vanilla, in lieu of the teaspoon of almond and teaspoon of lemon flavorings, which I'm sure would give it much better flavor. But I don't have either. I'm so sad.

Before adding the milk to the mix, I fold in those five fluffy egg whites!

NOW we can add the sour milk ... and the flour (three cups) ... alternately:

Like so:

Then pour and scrape it into a cake pan or two - I prefer my trusty Bundt pan, because I'm lazy that way:

And of COURSE you have to taste the batter, make sure it's flavored correctly:

Yep! Shore is. And after an hour in the 325 oven, I test with a touch of the finger to see if it springs back (I'm out of toothpicks), then set it out to cool! Well, after another 15 minutes in the oven. Seems an hour wasn't enough in my oven.

For your eating enjoyment, my great grandmother's recipe:

Buttermilk Cake

1 c. butter (1/2 lb.)
3 c. sugar
5 eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1/3 t. soda dissolved in 1 T. warm water
3 c. flour
1 t. lemon flavoring
1 t. almond flavoring

Separate eggs and beat whites stiff. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks. Add soda to buttermilk. Add flavoring. Fold in whites. Add flour alternately with buttermilk. Bake about an hour at 325. Test with toothpick for doneness.


I just realized, reading through, that I didn't dissolve the baking soda in warm water. Hmm. I'll let you know how it all tastes at the end.

Until I write again ...



Debbie said...

I'm not a baker or for that much a cook. This is something my Mom would have made for sure. I would have gone over, got a few slices, and a big glass of milk.

We would have chatted while I ate and then I would have promptly gone and taken a nap in her bed! LOL

Vanilla flavoring sounds better than the other. Yummy!

Marguerite said...

You WILL be sharing those recipes you copied, right? RIGHT?

Mental P Mama said...

I actually have all those ingredients downstairs! I may be baking today! W00t!

Anonymous said...

You are a scientist in the kitchen! I love it! This actually sounds pretty good and I have everything except the butter milk. I wonder if you could sub sour cream and milk? Or I could just go to the store?

Daryl said...

I am exhausted from all that stirring, mixing, separating, etc'ering ... but if you hand me a slice I will be happy to sample it.

Trisha said...

That looks drool-worthy! I think the bundt pan just adds to the look of that beautiful cake!

Memaw's memories said...

It looks great, and I have used the vinegar in the milk thing too. I've also put lemon juice in the milk. That works too.

It actually sounds like a pound cake a friend of mine used to make. It was delish. Bet yours is too.

Daisy said...

It's probably delicious. The water probably just keeps the baking soda from making lumps and lets it dissolve fully.

Karen Deborah said...

Cooking posts are torture? Really? I love them and I'm making this cake sounds absolutely wonderful, and of course fattening. I'm about ready to just quit.

Anonymous said...

I am late with reading this but in addition to my Italian Ricotta Cheese cake, your Mimi Cake will also be on my Easter menu. Thank you flea.