30 May 2011

Baking with Buttermilk

I have decided that I am a baker and not really a cook.  That is to say I love cooking, but baking is way more fun!  It's calming and exciting at the same time!  I haven't quite figured out why I love baking more, but I have a few theories.

I make LOTS of doozies the kitchen when I'm trying to experiment with savoury dishes.  Not so much with baking, although to be fair I have made the occasional blunder.  In any case, when life throws me a curveball, I'd much rather have tea and cake than roasted chicken or balsamic-glazed salmon. 

Image taken from Ele at Kitchenist
Speaking of cakes, I've been experimenting with buttermilk over the past few weeks and I'd like to share two delicious recipes.  The first is perfect for a spring/summer, and the second feels more like an autumn treat.  :o)

This is a deliciously moist and dense cake.  Can substitute milk for the buttermilk if desired.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Beat butter until fluffy.  Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy.  Add buttermilk and dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour into lightly greased 6" round cake pan.  Bakeat 350 for 45-55 minutes until done.  Let cool slightly before removing from pan.  Enjoy a piece topped with fresh whipped cream and berries. 

Image taken from Esi at Dishing Up Delights

A maple-glazed apple pinwheel tops this nutmeg-scented buttermilk cake. The cake is also delicious without the glaze. 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 small McIntosh apples, thinly sliced

1/2 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Lightly butter 9 1/2"springform baking pan.  Stir flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together and set aside.  Beat butter until fluffy.  Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Add buttermilk and flour mixture and mix until combined.  Pour into lightly buttered 9 1/2" springform baking pan.  Arrange slices of apple on top in concentric pattern.  Be sure to push the cut side of the fruit gently into batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes until done.  

Whisk together syrup and cornstarch over medium heat until blended.  Bring to boil stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to low stirring until mixture has thickened.  Drizzle over cake.  Wait for 5-10 minutes and then remove the sides of the pan.  Lightly brush sides of cake with glaze.  Drizzle any remaining glaze on top.  Cut into wedges and serve warm or cool.  Enjoy plain or with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  :o)

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