I would like to take this moment to say “yum”. YUM!
…and this is why…
I made this cake this morning. And yes, I had a piece for lunch. Well pre-lunch, really. But it was after noon. Not that cake before noon and alcohol before noon have the same connotation. Because they don’t. Unless you’re referring to the addictive tendencies of those who partake in such substances before noon. And in that case, I’ll plead guilty. Without will-power. But for the next 5 months, I’ll just go ahead and plead pregnant. That works, right? Umm…
Anyhoo. I just felt like making a cake. I don’t know why. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. I have nothing more to say on the subject. Except that I highly recommend that if you ever find yourself wanting to make a fabulously moist, extra-super delicious butter cake, this here is the one to try. The recipe has been dog-eared in one of my favorite cookbooks for ages. And on a whim, I just decided to take the plunge (into heaven).
Butter Cake with Milk-Chocolate Ganache Frosting barely adapted from The Baker’s Dozen Cookbook
This recipe yields one 9-inch layer cake. You may double it to make two layers.
As with all recipes with few ingredients, it’s especially important to use the best ingredients you can find…so shell out the money for some really great butter- after all this is a butter cake!
For the Butter Cake
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- rounded 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 pound (one stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten at room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with a circle of parchment. There is no need to butter and flour the pan.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to mix well and aerate.
Place the room-temperature butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the butter is lighter in color- about 45 seconds. With the mixer still on medium speed, add the sugar in a steady stream. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then continue to mix on medium speed until the mixture is very light in color and texture- 4 to 5 minutes.
Slowly pour in the eggs, about 1 Tablespoon at a time, allowing each addition to be fully incorporated before adding more. The whole process should take at least 2 to 3 minutes.
Combine the vanilla and milk in a small bowl or measuring cup.
With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in four doses, alternating with the milk in three doses. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between additions.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and place in the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto a plate and remove the parchment paper. then put the parchment back on the cake, with the sticky side up. Re-invert the whole thing back on to a rack until fully cooled.
To use the next day, simply wrap tightly in plastic. To be frozen, wrap tightly in plastic and then wrap again in foil- freeze for 2 weeks. OR ice it and eat now!
Milk-Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Yields about 3 cups of icing.
You’ll get a little more frosting than you’ll need for this cake, however, it’s delicious dolloped into your morning coffee! This icing turned out great and I loved it, but next time I’d like to try a different ratio using a little less cream and a little more chocolate for a slightly denser result. Also, you’ll need to start this frosting at least 4-6 hours before you’re ready to use it. I recommend melting the cream and chocolate together the day before so that’s it’s ready to whip when you are.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6-1/2 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. Heat the cream in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan until bubbles begin to appear around the edges. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is fully dissolved. Cool completely and chill for at least 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.
Just before using, pour the mixture into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks and is spreadable. Use immediately.