The cakes in this course are old fashioned elegant butter cakes with an infusion of liqueur, which you can bake for your loved ones. Loved ones can be your spouse, girl or boyfriend, mum, dad or grandma or grandpa. An adult brother or a sister. Uncles and Aunties. Or it can be an elderly folk who is staying at a nursing home whom you have grown fond of. Or maybe a visit to a long lost good friend. Perhaps you would like to celebrate a good friend’s birthday and bake a cake as a gift.
The recipes here are for small cakes. It is baked in 6”,7"or 8” round, oval or square pans.Small but elegant and baked with butter and liqueur with a touch of buttercream, glaze or frosting. As the cakes are small in size, it can be baked in a counter top electric oven or a Microwave convection oven. The size of the baking pans is also crucial as this will determine the baking time and temperature. However, take note that every oven is different so make adjustments according to the oven being used. Some of the cakes bakes better in a funnel or tube pan.
There are many ways to make butter cakes. It depends on whether a soft fluffy cake is preferred or a heavy dense one. Basically butter is the main ingredient so a good butter is preferable. The rest of it are flour, sugar and eggs. Other ingredients will depend on the flavor of the cake. The flavors of the cakes are paired with the respective liqueur to give a distinct taste for the ultimate in butter cakes. Normally liqueurs are drunk as cocktails or aperitif but in this course it is added to make the ultimate butter cakes for your pleasure
I learnt to make these cakes from a reputable teacher in my country and he has since passed on. He was very meticulous in the preparation of this cakes. So much so that timing to cream the cakes is crucial to avoid over creaming. This is to ensure that the structure and texture of the cake will not be compromised. Over creaming will result in a more dense and chewy texture as the gluten in the flour has been overworked. It is best to try and follow the timing to achieve the desired results
The liqueurs used are Tia Maria, Cointreau, Kirsch, Kahlua, Amarreto, Grand Manier and Crème De Menthe. Liqueurs are distilled spirits with various flavors of herbs or spices, oils, extracts, cream, fruit , flowers or nuts and some are sweetened with corn syrup or sugar.
Tia Maria is a dark liqueur made using coffee beans with the addition of rum, sugar and vanilla.
Kahlua Is a coffee flavored liqueur and also contains rum, sugar and vanilla and arabica coffee.
Cointreau is an orange flavored liqueur mix of sweet and bitter orange peels and sugar. It is colourless.
Grand Manier is a mix of cognac, distilled bitter orange essence and sugar.
Kirsch is a colourless clear brandy made from morello cherries. It is a fruit brandy with a clean cherry fragrance and bitter almond taste. It can be used in cooking and flavoring as well.
Amarreto is a almond flavored liqueur.
Crème de menthe is a sweet, mint flavored liqueur, either colourless or green.
Cherry brandy is a full flavored cherry flavor with a slight almond taste
Rum is not a liqueur but a distilled alcohol made from sugarcane byproducts
Brandy is also not a liqueur but a distilled alcohol made from fermented fruits
This is a brief description of the liqueurs that will be used in the cakes. There will be minimal icings as the focus is on the flavor and taste of the cakes. Too much icing on the cake will tend to distract the taste of the actual cakes. You can choose to enjoy the cakes plain as well. The cakes will taste better after a few days once the flavor is mellowed in.
If you prefer not to use liqueur in the cakes, it can be substituted with milk or other liquid. For the flavor, extracts or essences can be
used. Just ensure that the cakes and flavor matches. The cakes are best served at room temperature for the ultimate taste.