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Friday, January 25, 2013

Grandma's Basic Cake with Any Topping

 Serves 8


 



Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  •  4 Tablespoons barely melted butter (=1/2 stick)
  • 1 large egg


Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9' removable bottom pan; dust the pan with flour and set aside. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients; add sugar and mix again. Continue gently mixing as you add melted butter, extracts, lemon juice, milk, and finally the egg. Mix until incorporated (don't over mix it). Pour into pan. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of any topping prior to baking but nothing too wet. Drain anything that has been washed, pat dry or make a thickened sauce with cornstarch and sugar from the juice, like I did here with sliced, fresh, juicy cranberries.



Bake for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool well and serve. Keep it covered well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You could also slice up the cake and toast smaller pieces to make  crunchier, bite size pieces, they'll look like this. They are perfect with coffee or tea and not too sweet, without any additional sugar.



Blueberries or plums are my first choices of topping for this cake (fresh, cleaned and patted dry). After baking, a soft sprinkle of powdered sugar or a light glaze can be added on top if you prefer it sweeter. And, sometimes the toppings will bake (sink) into the cake and it will appear swirled.

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