I thought I’d share a lovely little cake recipe. Originally from Gourmet magazine (January 2008), I have made it many times and it is a family favourite. I often bake it up for family gatherings or entertaining because it’s one of those cakes that absolutely every one likes.
The cake itself is a beautiful light and moist vanilla cake and the sweet and rich caramel glaze is the perfect accompaniment. It bakes up quickly and easily and the caramel is simply poured over the cake, so that’s easy too.
I love to serve it slightly warm (or warmed up). It’s also nice with a little bit of vanilla ice cream, if you feel so inclined.
Summary: This is …
- For cake:
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
- 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- For caramel glaze:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Equipment: a candy thermometer
- To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350*deg; F with rack set in middle of oven. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan (or 9-inch round) and line with parchment paper. Butter parchment. (I made this in an 8-inch round pan but it was ever so close to over-flowing the pan. A 9-inch round would be better but an 8-inch round will work, if that’s all you have).
- Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer (or bowl of stand mixer), beat butter and sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, beat in the buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled at this point but not to worry). Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pan, then tap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in centre of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto hand, remove and discard parchment, then cool completely right side up on a cooling rack, about 1 hour.
- Make glaze: Bring cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then stop stirring and just let it boil away. Boil until it is a medium golden caramel colour. Immediately remove from heat and either pour into a bowl of place pot bottom in cool water to stop the cooking process.
- Put the rack with the cake on top of a shallow baking pan and pour hot glaze over top of cake, allowing it to run down sides. Cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes. (Optional: poke cake with skewer prior to pouring glaze over so the glaze can seep into the cake or, I like to pour the excess glaze that has dripped off onto my serving plate and then I place the cake on top of the puddle of glaze. It soaks nicely into the bottom of the cake, adding extra caramel flavour).
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 50 min | Total time: 1 hour 20 min
Number of servings (yield): 8
Adapted from a Gourmet magazine January 2008 recipe | Photo