Baking Chez Moi: Vanilla Brown Butter Weekend Cake

Well. This was an easy one. It required no special equipment, and I had all the required ingredients at home. Only butter (browned), eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla, rum and salt. Pretty easy, right? It was.

First thing was to brown the butter. Have you browned butter yet? You should. It makes everything better, and only takes a few minutes to produce. But the flavor? More interesting, nuttier, and basically WAAAAAAY better.IMG_3645

Then whisk the eggs and sugar together. Then the vanilla, rum and heavy cream.

I used some not-quite-finished homemade vanilla extract. I’m using rum, so I measured out two tablespoons of that, and fished out a bean and scraped out the seeds. The batter ended up flecked with little black dots of the vanilla. We all know that equals extra deliciousness!

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I mixed in the flour and folded in the brown butter. And poured it into the pan. And voila! Cake!

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The top portion of the cake came off with the aluminum foil that I used to keep it from browning very much. That’s the bit I got to taste. I’m delivering it tomorrow for the teacher luncheon hosted by third grade. I think I’ll quarter up some strawberries and macerate them overnight with some sugar to serve along side of it. And hopefully I’ll hear good reviews from the teachers.

If the way it smells while baking is any indication, this is a delicious cake!

Want to see what other bakers from Baking Chez Moi are making? Here’s the link to see how their Vanilla Weekend Cakes came out

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Savarin

This week’s assignment was to make a Savarin. A cake I’d never heard of. Brillat-Savarin famously said: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” He also has a cheese named after him. Outside of that I had very little information, or the proper cake pan to make this cake in. I almost rigged up a round pan with an empty can of tomatoes in the center. But, luckily, my parents were coming for a visit and my mom agreed to bring a bunt pan for me to borrow. A traditional Savarin is baked in a smooth ring mold (like a shallow, metal, jello mold) mine would not be so traditional. But, it was fine, and I didn’t have to buy a piece of kitchen equipment that wasn’t going to be used again.
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The batter for this cake is a runny yeast batter. Just water, yeast, a drop of sugar, an egg, butter, and flour….and not a lot. Only 3/4 of a cup. I had serious doubts that it would fill the bottom of the pan. It did–barely. It rose once in the bowl, and then again in the bundt pan.

I left the house to get Dorothy from school and my mom put it in the oven while I was out. It sank.
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It was very concave. Not a whole lot of cake there. But we pressed on. Luckily it came out of the pan without any problem, and when we were ready to eat it, I soaked it with a vanilla simple syrup and a tiny bit of dark rum.
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I skipped the whipped cream completely. David is lactose intolerant, and it was nice to have a practically fat free dessert. I filled the center with macerated strawberries, raspberries, and some chunked up mango.
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The dessert got gobbled up, it was plain, but tasty. The fruit may have stolen the show.
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For more tasty examples, visit the Tuesdays with Dorie page!

If you want to make a Savarin yourself, here is the recipe:

Savarin

6 Tablespoons lukewarm water
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry east
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

soaking syrup
2 cups water
1 cup sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
dark rum
fruit
whipped cream

pour the warm water into a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast and sugar, stir and allow the yeast to ‘bloom’

add the egg and stir briefly, add the flour and mix well, for about 8 minutes (I did this by hand) and then add the butter. Mix until the butter is encorporated

cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes. it will rise, but not double.

Butter your pan (I used a bundt pan) and pour the batter in. Let rise for about 30 minutes

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

remove from pan and let cool.

make syrup: combine water and sugar and let boil until sugar is dissolved

when you are ready to serve, soak the savarin completely with the syrup (you’ll have leftover syrup. save for iced coffee!) and sprinkle with a small amount of rum if desired.

Serve with macerated fruit and whipped cream!