June 5, 2012

Wine and Cake.....Is the Answer....But What Was the Question?

Relax! Summer on the beach is fast approaching!

Come on.....all you have to do is.......nothing at all. We all savor those summer beach vacations when you can sleep as late as you want to, wander into the kitchen for your first cup of morning joe and then make your way outdoors with a quiet walk along the beach. We normally do not sleep past 6:00 AM, as there is no time to waste taking in the sunrise over the ocean and hearing the seagulls overhead. I think there are two times of day that are my favorite when relaxing at the beach, which is first thing in the morning and right after sunset. In between, we read, nap, eat and collect sea shells. So say "Hola" to summer! Pour yourself a good cold glass of Sangria,  pack a few pieces of this prize winning butter cake in your beach bag, and cast your cares into the ocean.....dream a little dream with me!

Estelle's Formula for a
Soothing, Cooling Refreshment
on a Hot Summer Evening

Estelle's Summer Sangria
Pour a bottle (750 milliliters) of good red table wine into a container.
Add two sticks of cinnamon
Six whole cloves
3 ounces of brandy
(regular, peach or blackberry)
3 ounces of Triple Sec
one sliced orange
one sliced lemon
the juice of one lime
Place in refrigerator overnight
to mingle the flavors
Add 24 ounces of club soda
Serve over ice!

Summer Butter Cake
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

 Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. Bake at 350° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges and center tube of pan. Invert cake onto a wire rack over waxed paper.

For sauce, combine the sugar, butter and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat; stir in extracts.

 Poke holes in the top of the warm cake; spoon 1/4 cup sauce over cake. Let stand until sauce is absorbed. Repeat twice. Poke holes into sides of cake; brush remaining sauce over sides. Cool completely.

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