An essential baking ingredient, butter enhances this delicious cake from the LandScape magazine archive, with its velvety smoothness and creamy flavour
Butter is a milk product, composed mainly of fat, but is also a rich source of vitamins. Public and scientific opinion is now changing in favour of butter consumption, providing it is done in moderation.
Its high saturated fat content can raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the ‘good’ cholesterol, associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
It provides vitamins A, E, D and K2. Studies have shown that butter made from grass-fed cows has high amounts of healthy fatty acids.
The origins of butter go back approximately 10,000 years, when animals were first domesticated. Sailors in Elizabethan times were guaranteed ¼lb of butter a day in their rations, and it was an old English custom to present newlyweds with a pot of butter as a wish for fertility and prosperity.
300g softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
250g caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp double cream
icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4, and grease and line a loose-bottom 20cm square cake tin. In a large mixing bowl, cream the caster sugar into the butter for 3-4 mins, until creamy and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then sift in the flour and fold into the mixture. Add the baking powder and double cream, and stir.
Transfer the mixture to the tin and level out to fit. Bake for 30-35 mins, until risen and golden and an inserted metal skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin, then place on a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar, using a sieve, before serving.
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