Guest Post #5: Brown Butter Pound Cake

Bonjour mes cheris, get excited for me! After I finish these exams I am wading through right now, half of year 12 will be forever finished and over with! YAY!

Mais non, focus, FOCUS! It certainly is not over yet no matter how much I dream about year 12 formal. Ah, c’est la vie!

Anyhow, while I am not here to give you recipes, tips, tricks and well, my blog, I have some pretty fan-friggin-tastic fabulous chefs lined up to do so instead! A whole range of dishes for you to enjoy while I am on this undesired break  – You won’t even notice my absence I promise!

See you soon for the April holidays and wishing you all a marvelous Easter break! Promise me you will chow down on what that Easter Bunny brings you/your chocolate loot stashed in the bottom of your drawer – Yes, I am on to you all

pretty lighter

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Paula. Vintage Kitchen. Both names/titles have a certain air of success about them. I say ‘Paula’, you say ‘Chef’ :) – When she offered to do a guest post, I was definitely off my face happy! She is witty and so talented at photography so team that up with her cooking and you have a winner! 

Don’t be holding your breath for an average recipe my friends because Paula of the brilliant Vintage Kitchen Notes is about to show you the classical pound cake with her own not-so-vintage twist as she reminisces about summer :D

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Hey everyone, I´m Paula and I´m so happy to be having this chat with you all and sharing one of my favorite cake recipes. I’m sure Uru would have no problem if we all dropped by unannounced bearing cake and asking for a cup of coffee. She is, after all, one of the friendliest persons ever to cross the blogosphere, and a talented chocolate alchemist as well. It´s a treat to be guest posting here.

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Every time I read one of her posts, I wish I´d had my stuff together at her age and be able to have a food blog and be so witty and friendly. Well, the web and the way we connect today was beyond anyone´s wildest imagination at the time.

She and I also share seasons, summer right now, and of course she lives in my next dream vacation destination; whenever I get the chance to hop on a plane again it will be to Australia if things go as planned.

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The summer in question is having some serious mood swings here in Buenos Aires. I can now tell you, with some certainty, how hot the rest of this season is going to be. Not life changing or terribly important news, but I just had to let you know. It won´t be a breezy summer, with gorgeous sunny days made to bask in the sun, drink sangria and read to my heart´s content. Most likely it will be like today, unbelievably hot where the only two options are air conditioning and water. And by water I mean inside the water, as in a pool or the ocean.

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Having my latest cake infatuation to snack on can ease the hot weather crankiness a bit, a brown butter pound cake with caramelized figs that is seriously affecting my judgment when it comes to that amber colored butter. Can I use it from now on and never ever use regular butter again?

This is the pound cake of my dreams, and I hope it becomes the one of yours too. Brown butter dreams. Just the mention of it has me running to the kitchen. It is a simple procedure, throw butter in a saucepan and watch as it melts, a white thick foam forms on the surface and then subsides giving way to many bubbles furiously complaining with a chirping noise until they finally calm down and you start to smell the nutty aroma in the air, and your brown butter is deep brown and ready to be used.

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It makes a sturdy old fashioned pound cake with a unique, adictive flavor, unlike anything I ever tasted lately. It reminds me of cakes made when I was growing up, that was a while ago let me tell you, but maybe they used browned butter inadvertently and ended up with this kind of flavor. I don´t know, but I will find it very hard to go back to a regular pound cake.

About the figs, I´m mad about those ugly looking drops of fruit, that completely change when cooked, as if all the flavor is just waiting to appear. The almost smoky taste is enhanced by the butter, brown sugar and honey trifecta, which, let´s face it, can make most fruits come alive.

Or just dust with powdered sugar and eat it plain, you won’t believe how good it is.

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BROWN BUTTER POUND CAKE WITH FRESH FIG COMPOTE

Source: Home Baked Comfort, by Kim Laidlaw / Williams-Sonoma

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups (250g) sugar, plus 1 Tbs for sprinkling
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs whole milk
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups (170g) cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

**Fresh Fig Compote, recipe below

  • Confectioners´ sugar, to serve

Method:

  1. In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. A white foam will form on top, then subside and bubbles will appear.
  2. When the bubbles subside, watch carefully and remove from the heat as soon as the butter turns a dark amber color.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate or freeze until quite hard but not a rock. This might take from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the temperature.
  4. Preheat oven to 350º (180 degrees C). Butter and flour or spray a 9 x 5-inch (23×13 cm) loaf pan.
  5. In a large bowl with electric beaters (I do it in my standing mixer), beat butter until pale and fluffy. Gradually add sugar on medium-high speed.
  6. In a small bowl mix eggs, yolk, milk, salt and vanilla and add gradually to the butter mixture, mixing well.
  7. You might sift flour and baking powder in another bowl or do it directly over the batter, like me. Add the sifted dry ingredients in three additions, mixing carefully with a spatula. Integrate well and pour into the prepared pan. The batter will appear with tiny brown dots.
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  8. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbs sugar and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a tester inserted in centre comes out clean.
  9. Let cool on wire rack, unmold, dust with confectioners´ sugar and serve with the fig compote.

**Well wrapped, it keeps for several days.

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Fig Compote:

  • 6 fresh, plump figs
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  1. Cut off stems from figs and cut each one in four pieces.
  2. In a skillet melt butter. Add honey and sugar and stir for 15 to 20 seconds.
  3. Add figs and coat well in the sugar mixture.
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  4. Cook for about 1 or 2 minutes, until they are glossy and beginning to soften, but still retain their shape.
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Ok so did I or did I not tell you about Paula’s genius? Figs and browned butter and pound cake and soft… so soft and delicious… overwhelming :D

Thank you very much for such a mouthwatering guest post my friend, expect a lot of new readers coming your way at Vintage Kitchen Notes :)

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99 Comments

  1. Pingback: Guest Post #3: Creamy Peach Dulce de Leche Trifle | Go Bake Yourself

  2. Meenakshi says:

    I was hooked at the title- brown butter pound cake! I have never tried a recipe with cold butter- so innovative! It looks so rich and dense. And the figs are beatiful too!

  3. jlaceda says:

    Wow, how do you get that wonderful hump in the middle of the loaf? Mine always seem to fall flat! What’s the secret? Mind sharing? LOL! Hope your Easter was fun, Paul and Uru!

  4. Hello CCU and Paula. Paula, I could not have agreed with you more. CCU has it all together, one day she will go very far. She has the world ahead of her. Now on to this delicious pound cake with fig compote it is just gorgeous and simple. So nice to meet you Paula, on my way to visit. Take care, BAM

  5. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Lovely post, and perfect timing. I was given a bag of figs a couple of days ago by my neighbour, and have been wondering what to do with them. The cake looks beautiful, and I’m thinking the compote would also be fab with pancakes.

  6. Simple, delicious, brown butter & figs. Wow! How lucky we are that it’s fig season here and we get to enjoy a whole variety of autumnal fruits. Kudos to Paula for re-discovering an old favourite. It too reminds me of the tea cakes I enjoyed, (when I was) a little miss :)

  7. Amy Tong says:

    Great post and wonderful recipe. I think it’s the most decadent pound cake I’m ever seen. I love brown butter in anything. Can’t wait to try these out.

  8. Tisa says:

    Very nice. I love poundcake and I also have some leftover figs. Thank you Paula and you’re right, G Uru is one of the friendliest f.bloggers out there.

  9. navane64 says:

    Stunning, This cake just made my day. I got lost over the process of the butter but its a new discovery. The finishing is also all heavenly.

  10. Monet says:

    What a beautiful pound cake…and those figs! Thank you so much for sharing. Delicious, as always…and inspiring! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  11. I think this must be my favorite guest post so far – figs are by far my favorite fruit – I love making jam from them…and pound cake?? fabulous. I must try this browned butter version very soon!!

  12. viveka says:

    Paula … this tickle … at least 3 of my sense – love figs … in any shape and form.
    And your photos … doesn’t make it less intriguing. This I will put on file.

  13. Kim Bultman says:

    Paula, your paragraph describing the conversion of butter to “browned” was one of the best tutorials I’ve read, echoed by your comments in the recipe itself. Thanks for your wonderful guest post! I’m going to make this RIGHT NOW to surprise my hubby for dessert tonight. (We ran out of cookies a couple of days ago — Uru, help?) :)

  14. Pound cakes are always great to have handy and adding brown butter to it is an excellent idea.

    Uru – Nami of Just one cookbook introduced me to your blog. I’ll surely be coming back and back again.

  15. This is wonderful! But “well wrapped it keeps for several days.” Not a chance that I’ll ever find out how long it keeps! :-) I’ll make it now with dusted powder sugar, and when we get our summer figs, look out!

  16. Veronica says:

    Brown butter makes everything better! I once tried to make a brown butter pound cake and managed to bake it like half an hour too long so it was VERY dry and so sad. I turned it into a bread pudding, though, so all was not lost. Yours looks so perfect, and love the fig compote!

  17. A_Boleyn says:

    Neither pound cakes nor figs have been seen very often in my kitchen. I think that sad state of affairs should be changed and soon. Welcome to the blog and thank you for sharing this great browned butter confection.

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