Friday, October 23, 2009
Cream Cake With Honey Buttercream
*Edited to add reaction from Mr. Eat The Blog:
"This may be my favourite cake so far. At least my favourite in a long time."
That's quite the endorsement, as he's not really that fond of cake. Then, he asked if I would go bake him another to take to work tomorrow.
This is a Rose Levy Beranbaum recipe that appeared in Food and Wine Magazine in 1987. An oldie but a goodie, indeed.
The recipe makes it sound very rich, but plain and I suppose it is. You should probably like butter if you intend to bake it. I dressed it up with some bittersweet chocolate on top to disguise the fact that I cannot frost a cake skillfully. That part wasn't in the recipe, but hey, it isn't like three ounces of bittersweet chocolate are going to hurt.
I did not use parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan. I greased and floured it instead-no problems getting the cake out of the pan. It did take a full fifteen minutes longer than the recipe indicated to bake, but ovens do vary. The buttercream came together easily, as did the cake overall. No fuss, no complicated test of skills-just a lovely cake you could whip up in a hurry if need be. As a bonus, it isn't absurdly large.
I can't quite place it, but it reminds me of something from childhood (obviously, nothing mummy baked because mummy didn't bake) and I sort of think it might have been sponge cake. I can't remember-in fact the only cake I remember showing up at our house with any regularity was frozen pound cake and God knows, this is a million times better than that.
Every single time I heat honey on the stove I wonder why no one has marketed an air freshener in honey fragrance. I'd buy it.
You Will Need:
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened to room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour pan, using parchment on the bottom if you have it. Rose recommends Baker's Joy, but I personally hate the stuff. I opted to grease and flour instead.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the butter and 2 tablespoons of the cream and beat until mixed. Rose says, 1 1/2 minutes, but my hand mixer took closer to five until they were adequately creamed together. Use your noggin.
In a small bowl, beat together eggs, cream and vanilla. Add to creamed mixture in three parts mixing twenty seconds each time.
Scrape batter into pan, smooth top and bake 25 minutes or until top is golden and springs back when lightly indented. A cake tester should also come out clean. Cool in pan, on a rack for ten minutes. Run a knife around the edge and then remove to a rack. Return right side up and cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons honey
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Beat egg yolks until light and pale-about three minutes. Bring honey to a rolling boil in a small pan. Pour into egg yolks in a thin stream beating as you go. Continue beating until bowl is completely cool to touch.
Add butter slowly with mixer on low. At some point it might look curdled (mine sure did) but if you keep beating it goes away (glad she warned about that-I would have thought it ruined). Beat until smooth and creamy-5-7 minutes. Frost top and sides of cake and decorate according to how poorly you frosted it.