Thursday, 15 April 2010

Dump the grump.

I have days when I get a bit self-indulged with grumpiness. I sit tired in front of spreadsheets wallowing in "woe is me." Which is exactly what happened yesterday. You see, I got bitten by what a friend, looking at the size of my red swollen maddeningly itchy arm, surmised, was a horse fly. As a result I had taken about a gazillion anti-histamines in order to quell the irritating fire that seemed to have taken over my right forearm. The result, a grumpy, itchy and now very sleepy me. Turns out I hadn't thought that anti-histamines make you drowsy. Oops! 

Add to this the usual "what am I going to do with my life" existential crisis, and you get what in hindsight is a very ridiculous me.

So I was in the weirdest mood when I got home, and for some strange reason felt almost completely unable to keep my eyes open! I decided that there was clearly only one thing to do. 

Make cake. 

Because let's be honest, you can take all the medicine in the chemist and nothing quite hits the stop like a delicious easily thrown together bit of baked goodness. 

I wanted something light, and low in fat, and fruity, to be the utter antithesis to my droopy, indulgent mood. I wanted a reminder of the spring sunshine, and a kick up the behind to stop being so gosh, darn, silly about everything. I pondered a typical Victoria sponge, but decided I wanted something a bit different, and less daunting than a two-tier monster that only two people would have to consume. 

In the end I decided on a buttermilk cake. I had spotted Molly's a while ago, and as soon as I started wracking my brain for a light spring cake solution to my grump it appeared from the depths of my memory.  I adapted it a little bit, using blueberries, and adding a topping of cinnamon and sugar, and also using curdled milk as I didn't have buttermilk on hand. The result was a lovely light sponge, wih a great crumb and a delicious moist vanilla flavour, speckled with deep purple blushes of blueberries and a cinnamony-sugary crunch. We nearly demolished it in one sitting, and you're lucky I managed to snap a few pictures this morning as I know it'll be gone in no time tonight. 

I am now officially calling this my "dump the grump" cake. It won't be the last time I need to pull myself of out silliness, and so won't be the last time I make this fact I rather hope I am being a grump again soon...

Dump the Grump Cake - makes one 9" cake (or two servings! hehe)

1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 oz softened unsalted butter
2/3 cup and 1 tbsp sugar, divided. 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1/2 cup of milk 
juice of half a lemon
3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or froze, but not thawed)

Preheat the oven to 200C and line or grease a 9" cake tin. 

Add the lemon juice to the milk and leave to stand for a few minutes so that it curdles.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat the butter and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla and egg and beat well. 

Add the flour mixture to the batter slowly, alternating with the milk, begin and end with the flour. Mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Scatter the blueberries over the top. Combine the remaining sugar with the cinnamon and then sprinkle as evenly as possible over the top of the blueberry studded cake. 

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes, then turn out onto a rack until fully cool. Invert to right side up and serve. 

We didn't feel the cake needed any embellishments, but I'm sure a dollop of cream or creme fraiche wouldn't go amiss if you fancied it.


Jumbleberry Orchard said...

Eeek I'm not surprised you're feeling grumpy! I think anyone would be after being attacked by any monsterous creature!

Well...what can I say - I hope the cake cures all, and maybe I'll make myself one too to contribute to the anti-grump effort ;-) it looks DELISH! Thanks for yet another amazing recipe!

Rosy said...

Damn you!!! Now I want buttermilk cake... They really are fabulous and hope it helped with the grump, if not the bites xx

love those cupcakes said...

That's my kind of cake so thanks for the recipe.

Hope the swelling on your arm has reduced and that the medication ill-effects are now just a memory.

Have a good weekend.

Helen T said...

I love the idea of a dump the grump cake, but agree that any homemade cake would pretty much do the trick! Sounds delish, shall store the recipe away for my next big grump!

colleen said...

This looks wonderful. I've been looking for some inspiration for some cake making I need to do for events that East End WI is involved in and this looks most promising. I also have to come up with an "English cake" for a St George's Day raffle. I'm about to research my books, but any brilliant ideas most welcome.