I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Retro Baking

I read a heck of a lot of baking blogs. Over time, I've come to realise that the ones I enjoy reading the most are those which showcase things which real people, with no pastry skills to speak of, can enjoy. As a result I tend to post those kinds of recipes here, the ones which I think are easy, quick and delicious. No need for special tins, no need for a kitchen blowtorch. Simple, easy things which your Mom and your Mom's Mom probably baked at some point.

Lucky for me there seem to be people out there who enjoy this kind of thing, as I've gotten some really nice comments thanking me for the family friendly stuff I post here. Let's face it - while I can make things like Gatueax St Honore...why should I? My audience, while appreciative, would rather eat the kid stuff (as an after-school snack.) The time I have, combined with the rest of my chaotic life - well, it lends itself to the no mess, no fuss - mix it, bake it, eat it method of pastry cheffing. As a result of this, I sometimes wonder if I am somehow "dumbing down" my own pastry skills...allowing them to gather dust in the corners of my mind while my hands mix yet another no-effort Bundt cake.

The conclusion I've reached is that baking for me is a way of loving other people, and loving myself. The myself bit is the therapy I get from measuring, pouring, mixing - and the other people bit is the joy on my family and friend's faces as I cut them another slice of something.

To that end I think I find myself wishing that there was some sort of book like this - filled with the baking recipes which generations of women have made for their families and their friends. The things which didn't require fancy ingredients, expensive utensils, and 4 hours to make. If I wrote a book like that (and I might have to, someday) I think I'd call it Retro Baking. Baking as it was...and as it should be.

Cakes like this are perfect for my fantasy book, and it has a beautifully soft texture which goes perfect with a glass of milk. Exactly the kind of thing June Cleaver would have under a cake dome on her kitchen bench, perfect for after-school snacking.

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
1 3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extact (I used it but couldn't discern it in the final product, so I'd call this optional)
3 cups flour
1 1/3 cups milk
1 cup mini choc chips
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Heate oven to 325/170. Grease a Bundt pan and set aside.

In a mixer, beat the sugar, butter, eggs and extracts until very light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Plop into the prepared pan - it's a thick batter.

Bake for 55-65 minuts or until a toothpick comes out clear. Cool 10 minutes and flip out - eat warm, it's delish.

(Note: The original recipe suggest you can top this with a glaze. IMHO, not necessary. Also I used normal size choc chips, so I didn't get as even a distribution as I would like.)


Susan said...

This looks fantabulous, and just like the kind of thing my family would love to find at the end of a long afternoon.

(I started reading this blog after being directed to look at somethinorother from PNO, and I just love it! Funny and a neat look at Melbourne life from a San Francisco Bay Arean...) Susan

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting - family baking is something I do a lot of - because sometimes it's nice to bake something and not need it to be iced, 3 feet high, and resemble an alligator. :)

Welcome! :)