June 15, 2009

don't judge a cake by its name

Cottage cheese batter cake. Doesn't exactly sing does it? I could easily have glossed over this recipe in Lucy Waverman's column in the Globe and Mail this weekend except that I am a sucker for family recipes and was hooked by Lucy's claim that this was her grandmother's recipe.

An internet search quickly revealed an identical recipe on the Egg Farmers of Ontario site so I began to question the family recipe angle but decided to forge ahead regardless - not sure why at this point since I really dislike cottage cheese.

The ingredients were quickly assembled from my pantry, except for the cheese which required a quick trip to the market. I have never met a cheese that I didn't like - other than the cottage variety - so, arriving at home, I decided to give it another shot. To no avail - it was just as nasty as the first time I tried it. And yet I pressed on, undeterred.

Everything was then dumped into the food processor and at this point the batter was reminiscent of a dog's breakfast. Far from appetizing but I figured a few pulses would improve its appeal.

Yeah, not so much. After a considerable number of pulses in the Moulinex, the batter was still quite unattractive, with a grainy texture. At this point any sane person would have given up, saving the electricity involved in baking this mess, but I persevered and put the batter in the oven thinking it would surely look better once it was cooked.

Again, I couldn't have been more wrong. The cake was pallid and sank in the middle the moment I took it out of the oven. I really considered throwing it out at this point but I had already washed the strawberries so on I went.

Once the topping was in place and the first piece cut, there was only one thing left to do - taste it. Normally I have trouble waiting until a cake has cooled completely before diving in but in this case I was having serious baker's remorse as the cake looked dense, heavy and underbaked and I was not looking forward to the first bite. Having made this much of a commitment eventually I had no choice but to take the final step - and to my great surprise the cake sang! It sang the hallelujah chorus in fact!!!

It was good, very good. Light and not too sweet - in fact it was somewhat tart (perhaps due to the fact that my strawberries were a bit anemic) - it's the perfect dessert for a summer cookout. Oh Lucy, why did I ever doubt you?


  1. I've not seen a cottage cheese batter cake mix before, but it sounds interesting! Not being a big fan of cottage cheese, I tend to stay away from it, but it looks great and I'll definitely give it a try. It looks lovely with the strawberries too :o)

  2. Looks delicious! And I read the name first and said "mmm" haha cant wait to make it!

  3. Lou and Danielle - The cake is not only really good but also very easy to make. If you try it I would really love to hear how it turns out for you!

  4. Yay! A happy ending! It looks really good - I would of never known there was cottage cheese in it. Your very adventurous! I probably wouldn't of made it because of that, not a fan either, but next time I'll think twice.

  5. It looks really look! I have been discovering lately how to use cottage cheese in recipe, but I had not heard about using it in a batter!

  6. Reeni and Karine - I don't know what kept me going but I am glad I did!