Saturday, April 23, 2016

Brown butter bundt cake

San Diego kinda sucks for food, which was especially disappointing when I was there with some of my favorite foodies (John, xtina, Toni) last month. But! Bake Sale had this amazing brown butter espresso muffin, with little flecks of coffee, vanilla bean, and brown butter inside, and lots of cinnamon sugar on top. Perfect for Laura's bachelorette brunch.

I thought I was going to have to be creative coming up with a recipe to match it, but this does the job splendidly. One batch makes one bundt cake (baked for 45 min), or half a batch makes 2 dozen mini muffins (baked for 12 min).

10 T unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
1 c sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 eggs
2/3 c milk
2 T bourbon
2 1/4 c flour
2/5 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 t instant espresso powder (or finely ground coffee)
turbinado sugar

Butter and flour a bundt pan, and preheat the oven to 350F.

Put the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. The butter will melt, then start foaming, then the foam will subside and little brown bits will collect on the bottom. Keep cooking until the liquid starts to get a little bit of color, then turn off the heat and let cool.

Put the sugar in a large bowl. Slice the vanilla bean open and scrape the seeds into the sugar if you can, or toss the bean into the sugar and rub the sugar into the bean to get out the seeds if you can't. (Laura says the even easier way is to put the whole vanilla bean and the sugar into the food processor and grind them up together, which also seems reasonable.)

Beat the eggs, milk, and booze together in a medium bowl. If you futzed around with the vanilla bean as long as I did, the butter should be fairly cool now, so beat it into the wet ingredients too.

Stir the dry ingredients into the sugar, then stir in the wet ingredients until combined. Pour into the bundt pan and sprinkle heavily with turbinado. Bake for 45 min.