I'm a sucker for a good piece of cake. But sadly, like a decent man, this can be tough to find. Some cakes are absolutely gorgeous but underneath dry or flavorless. Some taste fantastic but look homely. Others lack frosting. Worse, some have bad frosting.
So when I come across a good cake--one that's moist and delicious, pretty to look at, easy to make, keeps well, and requires no special equipment--I get pretty excited. This lovely cake, courtesy of The Hungry Mouse, is all that and more. It's super simple and comes together in a snap. Inside, there's buttermilk (sheer magic), and loads of spices, like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and two tablespoons of ground ginger. Swoon!
I pretty much followed the recipe, even though the order of assembling ingredients was strange (mix the dry stuff together, then cream in the butter and buttermilk, then the eggs and vanilla...weird, right?)
I did bake it in an 8-inch round pan instead of a square one, 'cause I think round cakes are cuter than square ones. And I skipped the spraying-with-oil-and-parchment business. I just buttered and floured the pan, old-school-style, and the cake popped out perfectly. And the third change is that I reduced the baking time. Hungry Mouse recommended 50-55 minutes, and I started checking mine at 40. At 46 it was borderline, and I made the mistake of putting it in for another 3 minutes. At 49, it was a little on the dry side.
So, as always, adjust the timing for your pan and oven, and, most of all--pay attention.
The cake turned out pretty rockin', though, even being a shade on the dry side. This was entirely my fault, not a reflection on the recipe. And you know, dry cake is an instance where frosting can play a practical role, adding a little (buttery) moisture.
Would you like a closer look? I have limited photography skills but I know my way around the Macro setting. Check it:
On a different note, you may have noticed I took a little hiatus from The Hungry Dog. It wasn't exactly intentional, it just sort of happened. I've had a lot of work to do, plus other stuff--fun stuff. I also haven't been cooking new and wonderful things, or even new and terrible things, which often make better posts. But basically, I sort of forgot about my blog. And when I remembered it, I didn't feel like posting anything. Sad, right?
And then I came across this post by good old cookiecrumb, and it really resonated with me. I'm starting to wonder if blogging isn't working for me anymore. It's starting to seem kind of repetitive, and sometimes like, well, a chore. As a result, my posts aren't as good. As a result of that, it appears my readership has really dropped off. If no one's reading this, what's the point?
I don't imagine The Hungry Dog will shut down overnight. But, I think I'm ready for a change.
As I ponder this and what the hell I'm doing with the rest of my life, I do have one problem you might be able to solve, which is what to do with an excess of cream cheese frosting. This cake made waaaaaaaaay too much, and that's from someone who slathers frosting like Ina Garten on steroids. Seriously, I have a ton left over. Is it freezable? Help me.