I can’t say that I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately. My goal at the end of the day is usually to get dinner done quickly and simply so that I can put my feet up and pretty much do nothing the rest of the evening (okay maybe watch The Office on Netflix or surf Pinterest). The last trimester of maternity has been kicking my ass pretty solid and, well, looking on Pinterest for ideas to finish the decor of the nursery is less effort that standing on my feet in the kitchen. Jacob, on his end, has been super busy between his business and finishing the handy work in the baby’s room. All that to say our kitchen is being used to a minimum these days.
Last Friday, as we dragged ourselves to the grocery store, Jacob asked me if I could make him a vanilla cake over the weekend. I was surprised by the simplicity of his request. Normally, he likes lots of bold flavours in his dessert and asks for cheesecake or more complicated treats. This time, all he wanted was a classic vanilla cake with vanilla icing. And I have to admit the idea sounded just perfect.
Saturday morning, as I couldn’t sleep past 6 a.m. (disclaimer: I go to bed around 8:30 p.m. these days…), I decided to re-open some baking book to find which cake I would be making. I love vanilla, and vanilla cake is my favourite so I have lots of recipes marked down. However, I felt like trying a new one so I turned to a book that hasn’t disappointed me yet: Cakes, by the one and only Martha Stewart. Admit it, you also have Martha’s recipes at home!
So there I was, at 7:30 a.m. (after I fed the cat, checked out Twitter and Facebook, and put a load of laundry in the washing machine – morning are the productive part of my day), mixing ingredients to bake Jacob a classic dessert. And it was great! I rediscovered the joy of being in the kitchen, feeling great about mixing eggs with sugar and even cleaning the dishes. All I needed was to feel rested and not rushed to go somewhere or do something. Just half an hour in the kitchen – that’s all I needed to feel reconnected to my baking tools. Hopefully this will last for a bit…
In the meanwhile, here is the recipe for the cake. Make sure you dont bake it too long as it may get dry – so keep a close eye on it. xxx
You will need:
½ cup of butter
1 ½ cup of sugar
2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 batch of vanilla buttercream
What to do:
In a bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
In another bowl, mix the flour with baking powder and salt.
Add the flour to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk. Start and finish with the flour. Add the vanilla and beat well.
Separate the batter in two 9-inch buttered cake pan. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until the center of the cake if firm. Let the cake cool before icing it, using vanilla buttercream.
1 cup of butter
4 cups of icing sugar
1/2 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
Beat the butter in a mixer. Add the icing sugar, half a cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla, and beat the buttercream for 10 minutes on high-speed. The texture should be soft and easy to spread.