Monday, September 03, 2007

The Batter Fights Back

The pavlovas were well received by my test subjects. I thought they were on the sweet side, but I think that may be appropriate for giant meringues. Once we finished eating, I was ready to get back to my original mission, to bake a Yeasted Sugar Cake, from the Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone cookbook. For those of you who don't wish to purchase a mammoth-sized cookbook on vegetarian cooking, it's also available here on Epicurious.

Since I was making the cake for the first time, I was somewhat nervous. There's just so much that could go wrong and I'm very good at worrying. I could kill the yeast. I could overheat the warmed milk. To my knowledge, I've never actually killed yeast before, but there are times when I could imagine that the YCLU was about to knock on my door.

Everything worked perfectly. The yeast rose before I put it in. The batter doubled in bulk, just as it was supposed to. Then I got to the part where the recipe said to put the dough on a lightly-floured counter and shape the it into a disk before placing it in a buttered cake pan. The problem was that this wasn't dough. It was yeasty cake batter that fought back. If I had been intelligent, I would have just poured it in the cake pan, but I attempted to follow the instructions. I ended up moving cupped handfuls of batter and dumping them in the pan. It was not pretty. Spreading softened butter on top of a semi-liquid substance was only somewhat easier. Topping the butter with granulated sugar was cake, by comparison.

While it I was letting the cake rise one last time, I googled to find out if other bloggers had similar experiences with the same recipe. Indeed, they had and I was quite relieved, because their photos of their results looked similar to what I remembered.

Here's what it looked like as soon as I took it out of the oven. It smelled heavenly.

Here's a slice with a dollop of the lemon curd. It was an excellent combination, although I did prefer the plums, strawberries and whipped cream that Camilla served. I truly love this recipe, because it's not overly sweet, nicely yeasty and with only a 1/2 cup of sugar and 6 tablespoons of butter, it's comparatively healthy.


  1. You must use a deeper cake pan than me, because you didn't complain about butter and sugar getting burnt onto your oven.

    Yeah, the only way I ever touch that batter is with a rubber spatula. I'd auto-corrected those instructions, and never noticed.

  2. It's two inches deep. I also cleaned the oven yesterday, so it wouldn't have dared to make a mess. :)