There are certain ingredients in cake recipes that get my heart rate up a little more when I spot them. One of my favourite ingredients to work with when baking is definitely buttermilk.
When I first learnt about buttermilk, I had this vision of some thick, creamy milk, most probably because I had some notion that it was "buttery". Indeed, originally, buttermilk was the liquid left over from churning butter from cream. Since the fattiest substances from the cream are removed (churned into butter) during the process, what is left is essentially skimmed milk, and this is what buttermilk is made from.
When baking, the acids in buttermilk react with the bicarbonate of soda, producing carbon dioxide. I think this is what makes most cakes that have been made with buttermilk so tender. In any case, I have plenty of cake recipes that I have book marked to try out, and quite a few of them are buttermilk cakes.
Speaking of buttermilk cakes, today I am sharing one of my favourite recipes with you.
This is a really easy cake to make, and extremely versatile as well.
The recipe starts with the creaming of the butter and sugar until the mixture turns light and fluffy.
Into this mixture, the egg was added, and beaten.
Followed by the vanilla extract.
Then the flour and buttermilk in the sequence: flour-buttermilk-flour-buttermilk-flour, beating well after each addition.
The resulting batter should be smooth, thick and creamy. The batter was transferred into a baking tin. Here, I doubled the quantities in the recipe and made 2 cakes.
I drained 2 cans of cherries, and arranged them on the cake, pressing gently so the cherries sink into the cake.
I then sprinkled sugar on the cakes and baked them.
Once baked, the cakes were left to cool in the tins for about 15 minutes, before I transferred them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To serve, I sifted some icing sugar on the cake.
Try making this cake, and do not be surprised if you bake this again, and again.
Cherry Buttermilk Cake (Serves 8-10)
Adapted from Gourmet
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
58g unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg (room temperature)
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 can cherries
1 1/2 tablespoons cater sugar, to sprinkle on cake
1. Preheat oven to 180C with rack in middle.
2. Butter, flour and parchment a 9-inch round cake pan.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Beat butter and 1/2 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in egg. Add vanilla and beat well.
5. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
6. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter cherries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar.
7. Bake until cake is golden and a cake tester/toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool until room temperature.
8. Cake can be served warm, but if you plan to top it with icing sugar, allow it to cool thoroughly.