I'd never tried this before but a friend served it at an afternoon tea and it's so addictive!
It's sort of like shortbread, but more cake-ish, and extremely more-ish.
It also has 250gms of butter in it roo though, so it's an occasional treat, okay?
I'm making this for my husband, and packaging it on a foil lined circle of cardboard, wrapped in cellophane with a big black satin ribbon on top. Far more interesting than the 2 for $8 K-Mart boxer shorts that I heard advertised today!
So you'll need:
250gms butter (unsalted is best, but any will do...MUST be butter for this)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups plain flour
Pinch of salt (if you're using normal butter, this isn't necessary)
Then you just:
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Line a 20cm round cake tin with alfoil, pressing it carefully into the edges where the base meets the sides so you get a nice neat finish, and leaving a bit of overhang so you can lift the cake out once cooked. Good quality alfoil works best over the cheapies, just because it's stronger.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. While that's melting, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix into a dough.
Press the dough lightly into the lined tin. Pat it down but don't smoosh it too much.
Bake until the cake is just turning a nice golden colour at the edges, just as you would with shortbread.
It's a bit like a brownie at this stage...soft in the middle, but it's meant to be.
Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool completely.
Once cool, remove it from the foil, and cut into wedges with a sharp knife, cleaning the blade after each cut, and wrap or enjoy immediately!
To make a circle for gift giving, just use the cake tin as a guide, and run a pencil around the base onto a sheet of cardboard. Sturdy recycled boxes are good for this. Cut it out neatly, and cover with more foil. Arrange the butter cake on the circle and lay a sheet of cellophane out. You may need to join two sheets to get it large and lavish enough. Draw the edges and corners up into a puffy arrangement at the top middle, and tie a big bow around it. If bows aren't your thing, kitchen string or wool looks equally effective for guys. You can also use tulle or organza which looks surprisingly effective and is re-useable.
To vary the flavour of your butter cake, you can add vanilla essence, almond essence, replace some of the flour with almond meal or dessicated coconut, or sprinkle the top with coconut or flaked almonds.
This is VERY yummy, and Dad and Hubby will thank you. I promise :)