Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Book of Verse, a Piece of Cake, and Thou

There's something strange going on in my spice drawer. A while back I lined all the herbs and spices up in neat rows, in alphabetical order, so I could instantly lay my hands on the one I wanted. I'm sure I always put them back in the right place but each time I open the drawer they are more and more jumbled. I could swear there are orgies going on in there. I imagine them hearing me start to open the drawer, and saying "quick! freeze! don't let her see what's going on".

The reason I was gate-crashing the party in the spice drawer today was to make my favourite Spicy Yoghurt Cake. The reason for the cake was the monthly meeting of my writing group, since it was my turn to host. I try to tell myself this cake is healthy because it contains yoghurt. On the other hand there's all that butter, and sugar, as well as the cream in the topping. It doesn't actually look like much but it tastes wonderfully decadent. (see recipe below).

The hen mugs always come out in honour of the writing group, because we are Poetry Chooks. They come from Happy Hens, who also make delightfully colourful pottery hens.

Here's the recipe:

Spicy Yoghurt Cake
125 grams butter, 1 and a half cups sugar, 3 eggs, 2 cups sifted flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, quarter tsp salt, half tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon, quarter tsp ground cloves, 1 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt, half tsp vanilla.
(Note: a standard cup in New Zealand is 250 mls and a standard teaspoon is 5 mls)
Cream the butter and sugar, add eggs. Stir in sifted flour, baking powder, soda, salt, spices alternately with yoghurt. Stir in vanilla. Bake in a 12x10x2 inch baking dish in moderate oven 35 - 45 minutes.

Topping: Combine three quarters of a cup of dessicated coconut, third of a cup finely chopped walnuts (I don't like them so I usually leave them out), half a cup firmly packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter. Stir in half a cup of cream and a quarter tsp of vanilla. Spread over the cake and grill until lightly browned and bubbly.

I guess they'll never hire me as a food stylist! It tasted delicious, anyway.


Kay Cooke said...

Mmmm sounds delish! I love the Happy Hen mugs - I have a blue Happy Hen I just love. Hope you had a great meeting!

Deb R said...

That cake sounds gooooood. And I love the mugs! I got to see one of those little Happy Hen figurines one time when a friend of mine was visiting from NZ and brought one over as a gift for another friend of ours who collects chicken art.

Star said...

Maybe those spice orgies will lead to an new exotic blend!