butter cake

Butter cakeI had another unreasonably strong and mad craving for butter cake. Whenever the craving hits, I MUST eat a slice of good butter cake or I’ll keep thinking and dreaming of the taste and the thought will keep going round and round in my head until I go mad.

All bakers have some mad in them. Don’t you? Some craving, or some new idea to combine ingredients and create a unique fantastic bake (or a rubbish item that ends up in the bin)?

After making and tasting homemade butter cake, odds are, you’ll never go back to store-bought ones. They just don’t taste the same! The butter, the freshness of a homemade butter cake is a delight to all senses. Smell, taste, visual beauty…it fulfills every fantasy you’ve had about a good butter cake.

I’ve made the very well known Mrs. Ng SK’s vanilla butter cake. I know it is good. But it’s time to try something different. Even if only slightly different. Make it a test to find out which is better.

I found this recipe while trawling the net for butter cake recipe other than Mrs. Ng SK’s. If you compare, the ingredients are almost similar. I think using cake flour instead of self-raising flour and heavy whipping cream instead of milk changed the texture. And also the calories. LOL.

Butter cake (adapted from Cooking Crave)

  • 250 grams unsalted butter (please use the absolutely best butter you can get)
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 120 + 50 grams castor sugar
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 200 grams cake flour, sifted twice
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 egg whites
  1. Preheat oven to 170 C. Line an 8 x 3 inches square pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, salt, 120 grams sugar, vanilla bean seeds until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in whipping cream and mix well.
  4. Add in egg yolks and mix well. *
  5. Add in cake flour and baking powder. Mix well.
  6. In another bowl, beat egg whites with 50 grams sugar until stiff peaks form.
  7. Mix in 1/3 of meringue to the egg yolk butter mixture until well combined.
  8. Gently fold in remaining meringue in 2 additions until combined.
  9. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Cool completely before slicing.

For this cake, I went all manual. A metal spoon was used to mix the butter egg yolk mixture and I whisked the egg white in my copper bowl. It’s been a while since I used arm muscle power.

As the cake was baking, it did not rise much. When the cake was done and cooling on the rack, I was staring at it with a sinking heart as I noted it really was rather short. I told my Dad: “It’s going to be a cake with a dense ribbon…again.” He knew what I meant, since he’d gobbled more than his fair share of dense bottomed cakes. His kind response : “So long as it’s edible, its fine.” My ‘culinary disaster clearing’ hero…ruined counter top, possible explosion due to can of condensed milk stewing overnight in the slow cooker, tough bread, too sweet cakes/cookies, dense bottoms..he’s been there with me and stuck with me all the way. Thanks Dad..it means a lot.

Imagine my happiness when I saw it was one of the most gorgeous butter cakes I’ve baked. *Huge beaming smile*

Fine crumbed, and most importantly, no sight of any dense parts! Ha, the aching finger from creaming with a metal spoon and the aching muscles from whisking egg whites are so worth it!

Butter cake1

The cake texture is exactly what I like in a butter cake. It is not too moist/oily but not dry either. Somewhat like a cottony butter cake. Makes sense? Anyhow, I love it. It is a delight to everyone who loves the smell and taste of butter. So please do splurge and get really good butter.

So which is better? This one or Mrs. Ng SK’s? Well, I think both recipes are good, though I remember Mrs. Ng SK’s recipe turned out first time with a dense bottom and both tries of the recipe resulted in a more moist and slightly oilier cake than this one.

For me, this recipe stands out currently because it is light, buttery and with a fine crumb cottony texture. To be fair, back when I made Mrs. Ng SK’s vanilla butter cake twice, there were some differences so a strict comparison cannot be made. I had used Golden Churn or Elle et Vire butter then and had not yet bought my copper bowl for egg white whisking.

For this, Echire butter was used, aside from beating the egg white in a copper bowl. Next time the butter cake craving hits again, I’ll try out Echire butter on Mrs. Ng SK’s recipe and see how it turns out.

* Updated on 15 Jan – Thanks a lot to Kennis for the alert on the missing egg yolks. 🙂

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