Yesterday I woke up to find Canberra wrapped in fog. It was so dense and icy, and almost quite eery! The cool weather made me think of baking, and as I had the morning off I decided to bake a cake while the fog lifted.
I tend not to bake much because I have a slight suspicion of anything sweet. This has led me to experiment with more ‘healthy’ baking, and I’ve had…well, quite a few failures. I’m determined to find a balance between health and yummy baking, so I recently purchased ‘Wholefood Baking’ by Jude Blereau. Jude uses whole flours where possible, and natural sweeteners. I especially love the way she talks about the unique and lovely qualities of different flours such as buckwheat and spelt. A few technical tips such as the relationship between granule size of sweeteners and the crumb of cake have also been very interesting to such an inexperienced baker as myself!
Flicking through her recipes I settled on her basic buttermilk cake. I adjusted the recipe slightly as I didn’t have a few ingredients, and I baked the cake in a loaf tin rather than a springform cake tin. The result was pretty fabulous, if I do say so myself (thanks Jude!). It was a moist and light loaf. Next time I would probably add a coconut crumble on top (just because I love anything coconutty), but this time I just enjoyed a slice (or two) with yoghurt and berries.
The following day I decided to take the cake a step further and make one of my favourites – lamingtons. I just dipped cubes of the cake in a mixture of melted coconut oil and rice syrup, and cocao, and rolled them all in desiccated coconut. Yum! They even got the tick of approval from my more fussy friends – success!
Simple buttermilk loaf
(adapted from ‘Wholefood Baking’ by Jude Blereau)
2 cups unbleached white spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp yoghurt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup rapadura sugar
Preheat oven to 180C. Line a medium sized loaf tin with baking paper.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
Combine yoghurt and milk.
Beat coconut oil and sugar until sugar has largely dissolved. (Rapadura sugar won’t dissolve completely).
Add eggs and beat after each addition.
Add half the flour mixture, beat. Add half milk mixture, beat. Repeat for the rest of the flour and milk, until just combined.
Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 50 mins.
Jude suggests that this cake will last for up to 4 days, but I found it to be quite dry after the first day.