Sometimes, you just want to make a cake. And so you do, and the cake is so easy to make, you want to write a blog post about it. So I made a cake, a simple cake, a tasty cake, a cake for a Sunday when you don’t want to leave your apartment and just want to watch tennis in bed.
What type of cake did I make? Well it’s called a Sour Milk Cake. It’s from Amanda Hesser’s brilliant The Essential New York Times Cookbook. It’s a great way to use up milk if you have some extra and ahem never use all your groceries.
The cake is simple, because it doesn’t have that much going on. It’s moist because of the milk, just sweet enough but only has one cup of sugar, spicy if you want it to be, and filled with enough raisins to always leave you wanting one more bite. I told a friend it was deceptively good. She retorted “Who said only complicated cakes taste good?”. Fair point.
So, if you’re bored, have some milk and raisins, and want to watch the men’s final tonight with a bit of cake to drown your sorrows if Roger loses, I recommend making this guy.
A few things to note: my camera is currently being a bit of a pain and deciding not to hold it’s charge. Hopefully a battery issue, but enjoy iPhone photos for now. And sadly the most beloved of all cats, Jethro Bell, who was featured heavily in all past posts is no longer with us. I don’t want to talk about it, but he has a lovely tree that is a little over a year old planted in his honor.
Sour Milk Cake
Adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook
The original recipe says to “spice to taste”, so alter these as you wish. Some thoughts I had were including chopped candied ginger, soaking the raisins in rum or whiskey, adding more cinnamon etc. Serves 8-10.
1/2 cups raisins, chopped
2 cups plus one teaspoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup whole milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350˚ and butter an 8 inch cake pan or pie tin (I used a pie tin and it was fine). Line the bottom of the cake tin with parchment paper.
Mix the chopped raisins and one teaspoon flour in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, mix the other dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and spices). Stir the vinegar into the milk.
In a stand mixer or a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter for one minute. Add the sugar, and beat for 5-8 minutes on medium high, until the mixture increases in size. You will still see the granules of sugar. Add the egg, beat for one minute. Mix in the flour and milk in two additions, starting with the milk each time. The mixture might seize up, but it will smooth out. Fold in the raisins.
Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes, rotating once throughout baking. The cake will puff up but will settle later on. Do not over bake.