Monday, January 9, 2012

Ana bakes a cake from a French children's recipe: a unit cake!

When Ana landed on Earth, all our foods were new to her, of course: thousands of cuisines, tens of thousands of flavors, millions of recipes. We shouldn't be surprised that some of her attempts at cooking should be unusual and innovative. (They weren't all successful, either.)

One of her early baking experiments was from a French recipe used to teach children how to cook. It's called, as far as we know, a "unit cake," because it can be made using whatever unit of measure (preferably small) one cares to use. Ana used a simple graduated cup measure, and that's what we recommend for this recipe. The teaspoon is the only other unit needed.

You will notice, in the recipe below, that "well-greased" is underlined. That is because Ana's first cake stuck to the pan, and when it was turned out on a plate, developed some unsightly cracks. Making sure the pan is well greased will likely avoid this.

Her husband Matt, no slouch in the kitchen, came to her rescue, making a butterscotch/pecan sauce to cover the imperfections (see above). After all, their house is surrounded by thousands of pecan trees.... This sauce is not really needed, and you are on your own if you want to duplicate it. (Hint: Matt added a few sprinkles of rum to the cake before pouring on the sauce.)

Unit Cake with Yogurt

1 unit yogurt (one cup works well; a smaller measure is also fine)

1 1/2 units flour

2 units sugar (less is OK)

3/4 unit oil

1 1/2 t. vanilla

lemon or orange zest

1 t. baking soda

1 1/2 t. baking powder

chopped fruit (2 apples or pears work well)

Bake in a well-greased bundt pan @ 350º for 30 minutes--not longer, or the cake will be dry

Let it cool 15-20 minutes before turning onto a plate.

See lots more of Ana's unusual and/or favorite recipes in the column to the right, beneath the photo of cranberry-apple pie, including:


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