Monday, January 26, 2015

Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla-Bean Weekend Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

The antithesis of last month's multi-component, technique-driven Gingerbread Bûche de Noël, the Brown-Butter Vanilla-Bean Weekend Cake, so named because it will last all weekend without compromise to either texture or flavour, was this week's selection for the TWD group baking from the book Baking Chez Moi.  

Requiring not much more than two bowls, a whisk and a few minutes of time, it was a simple cake made with basic pantry ingredients. Between the heady aroma of the browned butter and the fragrance of the vanilla bean sugar wafting up from the bowl, I knew I was making something good. The gorgeous scent of the baking cake didn't change that impression.
And it did taste good. As recommended, I let it sit overnight to let the flavours develop. Like a good vanilla pound cake, it had a pleasant vanilla flavour (and a nice crunch from the seeds) but I can't say I detected the nuttiness of the browned butter. It had a fine, tight crumb, and though it wasn't at all dry, it was a very sturdy cake. Much as I enjoyed the flavour and the ease of making it, I prefer a softer, more tender texture so I don't think I'll revisit this recipe.
 

As an aside, a most peculiar thing happened during baking. Out of habit, I lined my loaf pan with parchment and the cake rose very strangely, with the batter on the sides rising first and rather dramatically, then collapsing onto the cake....I've never seen that. It was nicely browned and evenly baked so I wasn't too concerned in the end but I did wonder about it. Any thoughts?

24 comments:

  1. I see that a lot. I didn't use parchment, but my sides rose first, and then the middle.

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  2. That was a bizarre rise! It did not affect your finished cake though, which looks scrumptious.

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  3. Interesting how your cake rose. I can't say I have had that happen, at least that I can remember. Your cake looks wonderful despite the quizzical behavior and I enjoyed your description of the cake, fun to read.

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  4. Your cake looks great the top looks like it is folded, cool

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  5. It is interesting how it shaped. I made mine in mini bundt pans, so didn't have that effect.

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  6. Mine rose a little faster on the sides as well. Did not affect the taste one bit, I don't suppose, so I guess that's fine. Or, if it did affect the taste, I probably shouldn't know as this was great as it was and if it had been any better it might not have made it to the third day at all! Yours looks lovely.

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  7. I used a very old loaf pan, so I try to line it with parchment when I use it. Mine cake rose normally.
    Your cake does look lovely….sorry this wasn’t a winner for you! We loved it in my house!

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  8. Hi Zosia,
    My cake rose normally, and I did line my pan with parchment paper too. My first cake failed, and had to make it again, with very good results on the second try! Love it with warm tea!

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  9. I love the color and texture of your cake, so delicious looking.

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  10. Despite the unusual rise, the cake is beautiful. I love the ridges on top!

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  11. Mine did the same thing! Wonder what was up with that? Tasty, nonetheless!

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  12. Well, not sure why it rose the way it did, but it sure offered a great looking top to your cake!

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  13. Your first sentence was spot on -- this cake is indeed the anti-thesis of a Buche de Noel. Much less labour!

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  14. Your cake looks great! I like how it has that fold on top. I couldn't taste much of the brown butter, either. It's too bad because I really enjoyed the smell of it!

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  15. Mine did the same thing! Wonder what was up with that? Tasty, nonetheless!

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  16. Beautiful cake! Mine rose on the sides first and then the middle caught up..strange..it turned out in the end though :)

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  17. Mine rose on the sides first too! I've seen this before, so I wasn't too worried =)

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  18. Mine rose on the sides first too! I've seen this before, so I wasn't too worried =)

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  19. Interesting ridge formation. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  20. I've made loaf cakes that rise to give the folded over edges, too. I've no clue why it happens and when I've tried to find out why, I've come up empty-handed. At least it doesn't affect the taste!

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  21. Your cake looks beautiful and delicious!

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  22. Your comments I agree with dense and sturdy cake. Although the cake is mostly gone I didn't get any requests to make it again.

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  23. That's interesting - I've never seen a cake rise that way, either, but it certainly makes for a pretty shape. I liked the texture of the cake, as it reminded me of a sponge rather than a pound cake. I can imagine using it in all sorts of sponge cake applications.

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  24. I've probably made hundreds of banana bread loafs over the years and a few times I've had mine rise a little strangely like that. Your finished cake looks great so I guess all's well that ends well.

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