We think we now have the final word on this.
The old-fashioned method of cake-making (i.e. first cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs. Don't let it curdle or it lets the air escape) has almost gone - we have only one cake in Delia's Cakes that needs it.
When the first edition was published the arrival of soft-whipped vegetable fat was in a way liberating because you could make a cake by whipping up all the ingredients together (an all-in-one) and this may still suit some vegetarians best. It does make a very, very light cake indeed. There was only one problem: the loss of the wonderful flavour of butter. So we moved on and started to make cakes with very soft butter.
This was fine, except that getting block butter soft was always a real pain and you could never be spontaneous.
Now at last the problem is well and truly solved, as we can buy what's called spreadable butter that can be used straight from the fridge. What's happened is that some oil has been added to make it spreadable and, in our case, perfect for instant cake-making.
What we've also discovered is that a little oil in the butter is good for the cake and keeping it moist. These so-called spreadable butters do, however, vary and we have found Lurpak is the best because it has the highest butter content, and because it has the least additives it is the purest.
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