Dont be fooled by the term "simple" - that is, it refers only to ease of making, not the end taste, which is delicate and VERY more-ish! The cake is light, redolent of the sweet, gentle flavour and aroma of vanilla and disappears very quickly. It tastes even nicer the next day. I'm guess it would keep for a couple of days, but I cant be sure because the cake didnt last longer than the next day in my house!
I must stress here that the better the quality of the vanilla extract used, the yummier the cake will taste. Since there isnt any other flavouring, it's really important that the vanilla extract be of the highest quality. Better yet, use the scraping from a vanilla bean. I didnt have a bean, but I did have a vanilla extract (containing the seeds) that I got from Sainsbury's. I also used their vanilla sugar to cover the top of the cake. It's gorgeous!
By the way, I used a small heart shaped baking pan but if you dont have one, use a 6" round pan. This isnt a big cake.
Recipe for: Simple vanilla teacake
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp top quality vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp butter, melted
Vanilla sugar (or cinnamon sugar) for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 6" round cake pan and dust with flour, knocking off the excess.
2. Beat the 1/4 cup butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg, beating well to avoid curdling. Beat in the vanilla.
3. Stir in the flour alternately with the milk, until smooth. Spoon into the pan (I used a heart-shaped one) and smooth the top.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center.
5. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then remove on to a wire rack. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes.
6. While the cake is still warm (not hot), brush the top with the melted butter.
7. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar (or cinnamon sugar) all over, or in a pattern.
Serve along with a cup of coffee.