Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Forced to bake with buttermilk!

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Sometimes, at our lovely new(ish) flat, we like to host dinner parties.  And sometimes those dinner parties become a bigger production than is absolutely necessary. 

Like the time last month when 6 of the bf’s friends came over for dinner, and the bf went crazy with his new cookbook and made about a million (ok, 5 or 6) vegetarian dishes.  And I made a carrot cake, because simple is what I do best.

Anyway, these crazy nights are always a ton of fun, and totally worth the effort and cleanup, but they also have a tendency to leave us with ingredients to use up or risk wasting. Ingredients like pomegranate seeds (wasted) and buttermilk (well, obviously, used!).

Hence: lemon buttermilk pound cake and buttermilk muffins with blueberry/blackberry jam.  But we still had to throw out half a carton of buttermilk.  Sighs.

Anyway, the important thing is, we had an excuse to eat deliciously naughty baked goods.  The pound cake came out a bit dry (my fault for using an extra-long loaf pan and not adjusting the time enough), but it had a yummy tang and was tasty dunked in tea.  The muffins, on the other hand, were way beyond addictive, and I had to bring them into work because I ate 7 the day I made them and I had to get rid of the temptation to scoff the rest.  Seriously.  Make these.  With jam, because the choc chip supersized spillover muffin, while beautiful and bf-sized...

...was tasty but couldn't hold a candle to the little guys I made with leftover jam (homemade at 1am by my nutcase sister– delish!).

Trust me.  You want to make them.  And share, or else you'll find yourself on a sofa littered with muffin-wrappers, bemoaning your lack of self control as you reach for "just one more..."

Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake:
      adapted from Allrecipes

Preheat oven to 325F/165C and grease/flour a regular (not extra long!) loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine:
     1 Tbsp lemon zest
     1.5c sugar

Rub the zest into the sugar, then add:
     1/2c (115g) butter

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, then add:
     3 eggs
     1/2 tsp vanilla

In a separate bowl, whisk together:
     1.5c flour
     1/8 tsp baking soda
     1/4 tsp salt

Add dry ingredients to wet in stages, alternating with:
     1/2c buttermilk

Bake 30-45 minutes, until cake pulls away from sides of pan and a tester comes out clean.

Buttermilk Muffins (in British measurements because I bought the book without thinking.  I mostly eyeballed and my muffins were awesome)
      from Muffins, Fast and Fantastic 

Prepare muffin tins (grease or line), and preheat oven to 375-400F/190-200C.

In a large bowl, sift together:
     10oz/280g plain flour
     1.5 tsp baking powder
     1 tsp baking soda
     1/4 tsp salt

In a separate bowl, mix:
     1 egg, beaten
     3-4oz/85-110g sugar
     8oz/240ml buttermilk
     3oz/90ml milk
     3oz/90ml vegetable oil

Pour wet mixture into dry and stir just until combined.  Batter should be lumpy but no flour should be visible.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full (and plop a teaspoon of your favorite jam onto the top of each one, if you like) and bake for 20 minutes, until tops are lightly browned and spring back when touched.


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