I have but one cake recipe: It is a simple one, inexpensive and easily made as well, but by a little manoeuvring it covers every requirement. Long practice enables me to make and bake the cake in record time, and so at my week-end cottage I am able, without resource to my cookery book, to produce attractive sweets for a family of hungry boys.
Here is this most useful recipe:
Take one large tablespoonful of butter, a cupful of sugar, one cupful and a half of flour, into which is stirred a generous teaspoonful of baking powder, half a cupful of milk, two eggs well beaten and a tiny pinch of salt. Cream the butter and sugar then stir in the beaten eggs, then the flour and baking powder, and lastly, the milk. Beat the whole vigorously, and bake in a steady oven.
“What about flavouring?”’ you ask. Yes, indeed, and that is where ingenuity has a chance. Sometimes the cake can be flavoured with vanilla and covered with ordinary icing. The mixture may be baked in patty-pans after being flavoured with nutmeg. For afternoon tea it is a good idea to flavour the mixture with chocolate (cocoa does quite nicely), and to bake the cake in layers put together with icing flavoured with lemon.
Another cake from this same batter is an orange cake, made by grating half an orange, and adding it. To make a suitable orange icing , I squeeze the juice of an orange into as much powdered sugar as it will absorb, and add some of the grated peel. Grated lemon peel makes another change, but be very careful not to add any lemon juice. In this way by adding nuts (a cupful of any nuts chopped up), a tasty nut loaf can be made. A delicious fruit cake can be produced by adding figs or dates and when unexpected guests arrive for lunch, I serve the cake hot, baked in two layers, put together with any jam available. Indeed, it makes a most acceptable and quickly prepared cottage pudding if baked in loaf form, and served with any well-flavoured sweet sauce or custard.