04 April 2011

Vanilla Cake with Brown-Butter Orange Glaze

This is the most delicious cake I've ever tasted. Seriously! How can I describe it? Moist, crumbly, nutty, sweet and buttery. I'll have to invent a new word.

The texture of this cake resembles a doughnut. The kind you bake, not the fried ones. Moist, dense and crumbly at the same time.

The Brown Butter glaze... oh, the glaze. That's a whole other thing. First you melt the butter on the stove, then let it deepen in color. While the color develops, the flavor intensifies. Brown Butter tastes like toasted nuts. Add some sugar, milk and orange zest to that and you get decadence in all its glory.

It all started because I was craving a piece of cake, but the ingredients available in the fridge were very limited. A few minutes later I found the recipe for this Vanilla Cake. Then the recipe for Brown Butter glaze, but I changed it a bit. 

The technique is like nothing I had made before. First you mix the butter into the flour, then the sugar and eggs, and finally the milk. It's almost like making pie dough.


For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
2 tsp Vanilla

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup Butter
1/3 cup Sugar
3 tbsp Milk
1 tsp Orange Zest 


-Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.

-Pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees and butter a 9 inch round baking pan. I used a bundt shaped pan.  

-With an electric mixer beat the butter into the flour. Yes, just mix the flour and butter together (like pie dough). It'll look like coarse sand. Then add the sugar, and mix well (see both pictures below).  

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-Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well. The batter will be tough and sticky (see below).

-Add the Vanilla and Milk at one and beat until combined. Don't over beat! Then add it to your pan. I used a bundt shaped pan. Use any round 9 inch baking pan that you have.

-Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

-While the cake bakes, melt the butter on the stove over medium low heat. When it's melted, turn up the heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes until the colors resembles caramel. Be careful, butter burns quickly! 

-Once it starts smelling nutty and the color deepens a bit, remove from the heat.

-Add the zest and mix for 45 seconds. Return to the stove.

-Add the sugar and mix well. Then add the milk. Mix well and cook for 1 minute over medium heat. Remove from the stove.

-When the cake finishes baking, remove it from the oven and pour the glaze over it (while it's still in the baking pan). Let it rest until the glaze hardens a bit (about 30 minutes). Remove from the baking pan and serve warm. 

*Tip: If the glaze hardens while the cake is still baking, just add another teaspoon of milk and heat right before pouring it over the cake.     


Valeria said...

this cake looks delicious!! I'm so trying it! I love cuddle-cake like this with my tea :)

Rachel said...

seriously, there's not a word in that title that I dont love! Vanilla? Yum! Butter? More yum! Cake?? My favorite word!

Melanie Villeneuve said...

Just made this and it smells delicious :) can`t wait to dig in!

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