26 June 2008
When it comes to desserts at home, what I really like are simple things, like a slice of good plain cake. No frostings or fillings or glazes, no fussing. Something with a firm but soft crumb and maybe a bit of a crackly top; a cake you can cut a hunky wedge of, with maybe a sluuuump of ice cream over top.
I like mine with several spoonfuls of warm milk poured over top, which sounds like a Depression-era childhood nostalgia, but I just like the way it makes the cake kind of soft around the edges.
This cake is just the kind I like, and it's made in literally about 10 minutes in one pot. The batter includes brown sugar and melted white chocolate, and don't worry white chocolate haters, you can't detect the white chocolate at all in the finished cake, think of it simply as a sweetener and binder. With cake this good and this easy to make, it makes me wonder why people use cake mixes. The only problem with perfectly plain cake is what to call it, the brown sugar flavor is subtle, the technique is simple, but it does have a nice crackly firm top and a good solid crumb. And sometimes, that's all you want in a cake.
Favorite One Bowl Cake
This is the kind of simple cake that needs only a little bit of ice cream or some poached seasonal fruit for accompaniment, if it needs anything at all. I used a light brown sugar, but for a more pronounced flavor try dark brown or muscovado sugar.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
Place the following ingredients in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until mixture is melted and smooth:
7 tablespoons butter
7 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon maple syrup, golden syrup, or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
Let the mixture cool to luke warm, stirring occasionally. Beat in the following until smooth:
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour*
Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with an additional 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Bake in center of the oven 45-55 minutes, until top is firm.
*If you don't have self-raising flour, substitute the following: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.