Thursday, April 30, 2009

Glorious Butter

I have a thing for cake, and have a real thing for olive oil cake. So when I came across Gina DePalma's almond cake with olive oil my interest was piqued. The woman is the pastry chef at Babbo after all, so I figured if anyone knew olive oil it was her.

And it turns out she does. The cake was lovely. Light, tasty and not a hint of grease. As you can see, it was so delectable that I couldn't keep away from it long enough to take a picture of it in its full, uneaten glory.

But that said, I can't say that the cake itself necessarily blew my mind. It was excellent, but not a new culinary experience. But if you are interested in a competent, palatable cake, the recipe is here.

However, the brown butter glaze on top of the the cake most definitely did blow my mind. There are few things in life I like better than brown butter, but it would never have occurred to me to put it in a sugar glaze. Gnocchi, ravioli, savory sauces, most definitely. But sweet things? How novel! I now count brown butter and sugar as one of life's great pleasures.

I would go so far as to say that it would be good on just about any(dessert)thing. Peaches I think would be particularly sublime with it, especially with the toasted sliced almonds Ms. DePalma recommends be mixed in before pouring the concoction over her cake. So go forth, brown some butter, add some sugar and tell me that the resultant ecstasy hasn't turned your world upsidedown.

Brown Butter Glaze

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
a few drops of lemon juice

Melt butter over medium heat in a small, heavy saucepan. When the bubbles subside, lower the heat and watch the butter carefully, swirling the pan occasionally to distribute the heat. When the butter begins to turn a light tan color and smells slightly nutty, turn off the heat and let the butter sit. It will continue to darken as it sits.

While the butter cools, sift the confectioner's sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk until completely smooth but thick, then slowly whisk in the butter. Taste the glaze and add a few drops of lemon juice to balance the sweetness.

If you'd like, stir in some toasted slivered almonds for a little crunch.


Lucinda said...

Good God, I think I gained a pound just reading this.

Laura [What I Like] said...

It's only two tablespoons of butter! Ignore the pile of confectioner's sugar of course...

victoria thorne said...

looks completely heavenly & utterly delicious...

life according to celia... said...

i'm pretty sure i would eat my shoe if it was dipped in brown butter...
put some sugar in the mix, and i would definitely eat it.

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