Saturday 6 June 2009

Butterscotch and Banner Surprises

Hooray! It has happened at last. When I wrote my first post for this blog over two years ago I was determined to have a banner photograph of some of my favourite green things. Yesterday, I finally worked out how to put up the banner of my dreams.

I have tried before but without success. Lately, I was inspired by this post on How to Upload Your Own Header in Blogger and by the look of Tofu for Two’s banner. I make no secret of the fact that my kitchen is very cluttered. In fact, my mum recently asked me how I am able to cook in the space I have. The secret is in just clearing the space I need. That is what I did yesterday. Desperate to upload my new photo, I finally twigged why I was having problems. I had been trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. Yes, my photo wouldn’t fit the template. Argh! After my light bulb moment, I changed the template and everything fell into place. I hope you love the new look as much as I do.

Funny, how an answer can be so simple. I can make life very complicated when it doesn’t need to be. Just look at some of my recipes! So to celebrate my new banner, I thought I needed something simple. My butterscotch surprise cake is not my most simple of recipes but it is one of the plainer cakes that I make. It is a butter cake with a middle layer of butterscotch. Soft, sweet and the middle is gooey if eaten warm. No complex flavours and textures. Just good honest sweet satisfaction.

I have made this cake many times before. I think I found the recipe in a magazine and was making it before I left home but as this is a long time ago now, I could be mistaken. Under the handwritten recipe I have a note saying ‘approx cost $2’. I am not sure how much it would cost today, but I think I can still claim it is a frugal cake for the Global Financial Crisis.

This cake also appeals because most of the ingredients can be found in my kitchen and it isn’t too complicated to make. However, spreading the butterscotch filling over the buttercake mixture can be fiddly. No matter how carefully I spread it evenly, the cake always has a curvy ribbon of butterscotch filling once baked. It adds to the charm of the cake.

I made it a few weeks back for some friends because it is easy to transport. It is plain enough to please most people but the ribbon of butterscotch through the middle of the cake gives it a little interest. One recipient commented that it reminded her of golden syrup dumplings. High praise, indeed! It is just the sort of cake that E loves and he told me to make sure there was cake leftover for him. I photographed it with Jemima Puddleduck as it is just her sort of cake too. This soft, delicious but simple cake is one I should remember to make more often.

Butterscotch Surprise Cake

125g butter
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup plain flour
½ cup self raising flour
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

½ cup brown sugar (packed)
2 tbsp custard powder
½ cup milk
2 tsp butter
1 egg

Place all cake ingredients into mixing bowl and mix with electric beaters on low until combined and then on medium until the mixture changes colour and becomes lighter.

To make filling, combine brown sugar and custard powder in a small saucepan. Gradually add milk and stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in butter. Remove from heat. Cool for 5 minutes and then stir in egg. Use when warm.

Spread half into a greased and lined 20cm ring cake tin. Place spoonfuls of filling over the cake mixture and carefully spread to the edges of the cake tin with the back of a spoon. Carefully spread other half of cake mixture on top. This is the fiddly bit of the recipe and requires a little patience and concentration.

Bake in moderate oven for 30-40 minutes. Stand 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

On the Stereo:
Life is beautiful with ABC Classic FM (freebie)


  1. I love the new look! :-)

  2. Gorgeous new banner and really love the butterscotch cake.

    Congratulations are in order too for a lovely blog - long may it continue!

  3. Oooo! I LOVE the new look! And I LOVE LOVE the cake!!! You had me at Butterscotch! Yum!

  4. Ooh, I do like the new look!
    When I saw "Butterscotch Banner" I thought it meant banana...banana and caramel together are fairly divine, in my book. that cake looks great, maybe I'd better find an excuse to make it.. and eat it with some banana. :)

  5. I love the new look - it's absolutely fab!!! Love the uniqueness of your banner - I bet everything in it reminds you of something doesn't it!

    The cake looks amazing too. Pity I don't have the right size tin - perhaps I'll have to buy another new one ;-)

  6. Your new banner really freshens up your page. Looks great! And that cake, yum. Butterscotch is one of my favs.

  7. That doesn't look plain at all, it looks amazing! And, I love you new banner. I thought it was very appley and that was before I spotted the apples. I am glad you have managed to include a giraffe :)

  8. Love the green scales, so much cooler than my little electronic ones :)
    I feel your pain on the cluttered little kitchen, but hey we make the most of what we have!

  9. Love the new green themed banner! Well done for doing it yourself. The butterscotch cake looks fab!

  10. Love your new banner! I especially love the green scale. Green is one of my favourite colours too. And this cake - yum!! What's a "moderate" oven though?

  11. Butterscotch and cake sounds so to die for.I want a slice.

  12. Thanks Cindy - so do I

    Thanks Mangocheeks - the blog has to continue now I have my lovely new banner

    Thanks Vegetation - this is a great butterscotch sauce - if not terribly healthy

    Thanks Cathy - I did wonder about making changes to the plain buttercake layers - maybe you could put some bananas in it (I was thinking chocolate)

    Thanks C - yes, the green things in the banner do hold some meaning for me - if you have a small cake tin without a hole in it maybe it would work in this - it is hard always seeing new cakes that don't quite fit my tins!

    Thanks Lisa - yes, it does feel fresher - perhaps it is all that green!

    Thanks Jaqueline - appley is a great word for the look - there is something about apples that really appeals visually to me

    Thanks Catherine - I actually have electronic scales that are much more efficient than the green ones but I can't bear to throw out my green ones (maybe that is why my kitchen is cluttered)

    Thanks Katie - I was pleased I did it myself as I was getting to think the only way to get it done was to pay someone

    Thanks Ashley - - hurrah for green - oh a moderate oven is 180 C or 350 F - I had thought this was quite commonly used but obviously not

    Thanks Glamah - wish I had a few slices left - I would send you one and enjoy one myself :-)

  13. The banner is FABULOUS! Love it. Very, very you. :)

    I've tagged you for a meme, btw. No pressure, of course.

  14. i love your new banner - great collection. and i can't wait to try this cake. butterscotch is a favourite here and the surprise layer sounds perfect for an autumn afternoon.

  15. Thanks Elena

    Thanks Wendy - it does feel comfy like a favourite old sweater - will need to think about the meme because it is a good one

    thanks Frances - butterscotch does feel quite right for a pleasant afternoon tea in Autumn


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