Saturday, 7 May 2016

Mothers Day Pound Cake

Warm and comforting, this is a dense and moist cake that is easy to make and even easier to eat - whip one up to impress your mum with your baking skills or just make one to have with ice cream all for yourself!

Perhaps it is my Alabamian ancestry - my mother moved from Alabama to Australia when she was a teen - but every now and then, I get a hankering for some real down-home Southern cooking. Sometimes I'll need to brew up some iced tea (the stuff you get in the plastic bottles is NOT iced tea), other times the air will be aromatic with spices of proper buttermilk fried chicken but today, it was pound cake.

Traditionally, a pound cake was made with a pound each of four ingredients: Butter, sugar, flour and eggs in a ratio of 1:1:1:1. Four pounds of ingredients is 1.8 kilos...that's a big cake! And this version doesn't shy away from those epic proportions.

The eggs must be beaten well after each addition as there is no rising agents in the recipe. The air whipped in to the cake act as a natural leavening. So make sure the butter is whipped til the butter turns a lighter shade of yellow and each eggs is beaten in well before the next is added.

This cake is a dream to make, it's so easy! It's perfect for those of us who want to whip up a cake for their mum. This cake looks great with a generous sprinkle of icing sugar or a simple glaze. I actually can not tell you which version I like better, with icing sugar or glaze. I think the simplicity of the icing sugar is appealing and of course, so easy but I also like the look of glaze dripping through the channels created by a bundt tin. Either option MUST be served with ice cream though - not negotiable.

Oh and that's the other thing I love about this cake. Cracking out the old bundt tin! I love a cake that can be made ornate and decorated by the shape of the pan! My tin is pretty boring, I should upgrade it.

Not least influenced by the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the bundt also allows for a little creativity with decorations. Some pretty flowers in the centre certainly adds to the prettiness that is Mothers Day.  

At any rate, this is the perfect mothers day cake. And as a bonus, if you have a standard sized cake, there is going to be a touch of batter left over which can be made in to cupcakes! A cake for mum and a treat for you too!

Mothers Day Pound Cake
Adapted from The Complete Southern Cookbook recipe

Prep time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total time:  1 hr 45 mins

Servings: 12 servings

Vanilla Pound Cake
450g butter, softened
3 cups caster sugar
6 eggs, free range
4 cups plain flour, sifted
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lemon Glaze - Optional
1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C
  2. Generously grease a bundt tin and dust with flour.
  3. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until butter has turned pale.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition with the mixer on medium speed.
  6. Add the flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
  7. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, until the mix reaches half an inch or so from the top.
  9. Bake for 1 hour and 30 mins or until the cake is golden and a wooden skewer inserted in to the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn on to a wire rack to cool.
  11. Top with icing sugar or with lemon glaze.
  12. To make glaze, place icing sugar, milk and butter in a bowl and whisk vigorously. Add lemon juice and whisk until combined. Drizzle over cooled cake as desired.
  13. Serve with ice cream.

Monday, 2 May 2016

REVIEW: Apples on Ainsworth

Apples on Ainsworth Cassie Cakes Review
An organic café without being obnoxious.
There was a time when doors turned into tables and rickety chairs was just shabby instead of shabby chic. The tides have certainly changed and some of my most favourite cafes (namely the groovy hole in the wall, Southside Tea Room) have adopted this decorating style. There's something comforting about repurposed furniture, old items that otherwise would have been disposed of are given a new life. But in their new life, they bring with them their history and there's a warmth in the history of old things. And there's warmth to this café, Apples on Ainsworth, which comes not only from it's worn and mismatched furniture but from the welcoming staff as well.
Apples on Ainsworth Cassie Cakes Review
These cups of coffee need a pool fence and a CPR poster.
Not far back from Kessels Road, Apples on Ainsworth sits on it's namesake street in suburban Salisbury and I'm not sure I would have found it if it had not been recommended to me by a friend. We met with my parents for a Sunday breakfast. The café was fairly busy, but there was a table (made from a door, of course) available outside in the mild sun.
Apples on Ainsworth Cassie Cakes Review
Looks like someone took a big old sip of my milkshake...that's my trick!
We ordered at the counter and drinks arrived soon after at our door-table. The coffees were big enough to drown in! And they were served in vintage crockery, consistent with the rest of the café. As I did spot that the milkshake flavourings were the old Cottees pump bottles, I went with a chocolate milkshake instead of my favourite breakfast milkshake, trusty caramel. I find that the caramel flavourings out of a bottle tend to be too sweet and don't give the true caramel hit I desire. The chocolate ones are passable though. This milkshake came in a steel canister which is always a good sign, but it had cream on top, which I don't like and I would have liked it if I were asked if I wanted it on there, as I didn't see it stated on the menu. Also, it wasn't filled up all the way, and was a even a fair way from the top. It was okay in flavor though. See where it ranks on the Milkbar!
Apples on Ainsworth Cassie Cakes Review
Me and that toast could be related, we're both pretty pale.
We didn't have to wait long for the meals to come out. The first of the three dishes was the old classic, Bacon & Eggs ($12), a piece of organic sourdough with scrambled eggs, bacon and a side of halloumi ($3). The bacon was blissfully well-done, so often bacon is pale and undercooked, so it was nice to see it cooked through and the fat rendered. The eggs were also well cooked, a yellow, fluffy cloud of morning goodness. The halloumi was a little chewy, it would have fare well with a squeeze of lemon. And although the bacon was well cooked, the toast could have used a minute or two longer in the toaster. But considering the price, it was pretty decent.
Apples on Ainsworth Cassie Cakes Review
Yum. Population: this dish.
I love the current trend of baked or Mediterranean eggs or whatever they want to call the tomato-y medley that is usually served in some sort of earthen ware. And at Apples on Ainsworth, they call is Spanish Eggs ($10), Baked Eggs in a Spanish Salsa mixed with homemade house mix beans & organic mince, served with organic sourdough cheese fingers, with bacon ($3). The toast served with the Spanish Eggs were little solider fingers of toasted cheese sandwich, which was so cute. The side of bacon was generous and also well cooked.
Apples on Ainsworth Cassie Cakes Review
So healthy.
I went with a veggo option, the delightfully named Mushroom Boat ($12), Organic grilled mushrooms served on a bed of spinach with avocado and halloumi topped with a sunny side up egg and dressed with pesto. This was a lovely dish, very fresh and light...maybe too light for my cavernous stomach. If you're anything like me, order a bit of toast on the side. The milkshake did go a fair way to filling to void.
Apples on Ainsworth Cassie Cakes Review
So much stuff.
All in all, Apples on Ainsworth is a suburban gem with great service and decent food. With the authentic vintage feel, the ambience feels like a visit to grandma's kitchen...not my grandmother, her kitchen is rather contemporary but perhaps a TV grandmother or your grandmother or the nice lady down the road who doesn't have any children but is just a really nice, older lady.

Food: 3.5/5Service: 4/5Price: 4/5Atmosphere: 3.5/5

Apples on Ainsworth Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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