Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The In-Law's-are-Coming Cake
What do you do when you spontaneously invite your beloved in-law's over for an impromptu supper, realizing all you have in the house are chili and cornbread muffins and your mom-in-law's birthday is days away?
You make this cake. Well, first you put on this soundtrack while you bake, because you'll feel very, how-you-say, french while you throw this fabulous and simple cake together with ingredients you probably have on hand. And pour yourself a glass of wine. Wine helps too.
Simple Vanilla Bean Cake with Brown Butter Glaze
1 & 1/2 cups cake flour
1 & 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (ok, maybe you don't have this in your pantry, but you SHOULD. Williams Sonoma has it.)
1/2 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8 inch cake pan with Pam. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixer until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and vanilla bean paste. Gently add in about a third of the dry ingredients, then half the milk, repeat, ending with the dry ingredients. Mix only just until combined, if you over beat it'll be a heavy, tough cake. Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Invert onto a plate and cool slightly.
Brown Butter Glaze
1/4 cup butter
1 & 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 tsp. salt, more to taste
2 TBs. whole milk
the juice from half a lemon
Whisk together all the ingredients except the butter in a small bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Watching closely, increase heat until butter is bubbling and suddenly turns brown, it happens quickly so don't take your eyes off it. Lift pan off the heat, swirl the butter until the brown is even, and pour melted butter evenly into the other ingredients. Whisk until smooth and pour over warm cake.
Many thanks to my lovely Aunt Cindy for passing this recipe on, I increased the salt and lemon juice to my own taste and added the vanilla bean paste. it's a favorite of hers and she's never led me astray.