Tag Archives: butter

Buttermilk Scones

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My husband has a special affection for scones and American biscuits. Both of these he had discovered while living in Singapore. For myself, I grew up eating a rather different type of scone which is like a thick pancake. Some looking up in the Internet told me that those are called drop scones. Back to the so-called standard scones, we have not been able to buy them from bakeries like we used to after moving back to Germany. Thus, I came to the idea of making my own after seeing the recipe from my book, the Australian Women’s Weekly – Sweet Old-Fashion Favourites, published in 2011 by Bounty Books (Click here to check it out).

It took me a couple of tries before getting it right. I get that. Somethings just need a bit of practicing. Here it goes, as adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly-Sweet Old Fashioned Favourites:

Ingredients
450g self raising flour*
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp powdered sugar
60g frozen butter, grated**
About 430ml buttermilk***
Extra flour for dusting & kneading

Method
1. Line baking sheet with baking paper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 240 degrees Celcius or 475 degrees Fahrenheit. (I used 200 degrees Celcius or 392 degrees Fahrenheit with fan mode only. That is the maximum heat for that particular eco setting that I prefer to use.)
2. Sift dry ingredients into a big bowl. Add in the butter. Using 2 butter knives, incorporate the butter by slashing the knives criss cross through the dry ingredients. Alternatively, rub in the butter with your fingertips. Once the butter is well incorporated, pour in the buttermilk bit by bit to form a sticky and soft dough. You might not need all of the buttermilk therefore go slow with the additions. 3. Transfer the dough onto a well floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth. Using your fingertips, pat the dough down to a thickness of 2cm or 3/4 inch. Four the cutter of your choice and cut them out.
4. Transfer them to the baking sheet, spacing out the dough cut-outs from one another. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
5. Serve them warm with whipped cream/clotted cream/butter and jam.

* to DIY self raising flour, the rule of thumb is 2 tsp of baking powder for every 150g of plain flour. What I did here was to add in 6 tsp of baking powder and top up the flour till the scale hits 450g.
**I found this method allows me more control over the butter as I am not able to rub butter in well. Freeze the butter and grate it. Pop the grated butter into the fridge or freezer to cool it back up before adding it to the dry ingredients.
*** to DIY buttermilk, the guide is scant 250ml/1 cup of milk to a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. I put in about 2 tablespoons of acid before topping up the measuring jug to achieve the 430ml. Set aside for 5 minutes before using.

Scones

Here, we had them with some clotted cream and strawberry rhubarb jam. Both homemade too! Happy baking, everyone 🙂

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Mrs Ng SK’s Vanilla Butter Cake

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Say “butter cake” and the first thing I think of would be my wedding cake. It was the most delicious cake without being overly biased. Now, how do you go about baking a cake that has set the bar up so high? Well, it was not easy. The first thing to overcome was hesitation. I hesitated for the longest time to attempt on it. I have never baked a butter cake. It sounds very simple but I was afraid. Afraid that I would be disappointed with my efforts, especially if it turned out to be not anywhere near this wonderful cake in our memories. Of course, in the end, curiosity overcame hesitation. You see, in Malaysia and Singapore, there is a butter cake recipe circulating among baking aficionados. It is rumored to be foolproof (nearly!) and yields the most amazing results. And we know, for bakers, a good recipe is part of the road to successful baking. Well, in my opinion, at least!

I had a chat with my mom about it too. And told her about this recipe. As it turns out, it is a similar recipe from a book that she has. A very old book, that is. However, to keep it fair to the lady who revived it, thanks to the gracious sharing of her friend, I will still refer it as the “Mrs Ng SK’s Vanilla Butter Cake”. I took two attempts to get it right. The first was not so good as it had a dark line at the bottom of the cake. I asked around what could have gone wrong. The answers were (1) butter melted (2) too narrow a pan that expansion was hindered. I had used a loaf pan for the first attempt and a 23cm round pan for the second attempt. Based on that, I would say if you do not have a square pan just substitute with a round pan that has a near similar surface area. However, I will try using the load pan again just to make sure theory (2) has basis when I have extra time somewhere in the future 🙂

Butter-Cake1
The above picture shows my first attempt. As you can see, it has a dark coloring to it at the bottom of the slices.
Butter-Cake
This is my second attempt. Perfect.

Here is the recipe as adapted from Wendy. The original recipe can be accessed here.

Ingredients
250g salted butter, at room temperature (Softened so you can beat it easily but not melting)200g eggs, weighed without shells (This should be 4 medium-sized eggs or Grade B)
50g & 150g sugar (weighed separately)
200g self-raising flour, sifted
60ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
1. Line and grease a 8inch/20cm square pan with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Separate the eggs, making sure no yolk residue is in the egg whites. In a clean medium-sized bowl, beat the egg whites till soft peaks form (when the egg whites begin to hold shape for a second or two before merging back with the rest). Sprinkle in 50g of sugar gradually, beating the egg whites as you add. Beat until stiff peak forms. (when the egg whites hold its shape and the egg whites on the whisk are standing up when you overturn the whisk). Set aside.
3. In a different bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale and light. That should take about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated. Add in the egg yolks one by one, beating well after every addition.
4. Incorporate half of the flour with mixer on low-speed. Mix well before adding the milk in 2 additions. Beat well each time. Add in the rest of the flour and incorporate well.
5. Gradually fold in the egg whites, in 2 additions.
6. Pour batter into the pan.
7. Bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Adjust accordingly if you are using a pan of different size. If the surface browns too soon, cover it with foil or lower the temperature in the last 15-20 minutes.
8. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling it completely on a cooling rack.

I am still considering about getting a set of square pans. I have been admiring at some. Hopefully, our household space and budget will allow me to acquire some soon! Meanwhile, happy baking!