Posted by: Anja | October 2, 2011

Brown Butter & Nectarine Cake

A few days ago, a friend of mine had his last day at work. As is tradition in our company, we celebrate this joyful event by bringing cake for everyone. And with everyone I mean everyone. Being a pretty tightly knit community, these things usually produce 30 hungry people standing around your table, wanting to be fed. When I switched from working full-time to part-time, I baked three cakes, muffins and a savory mozzarella-feta roll for all those of my colleagues who aren’t into sweet dishes. Fun times! :)

My point is: If there is hungry co-workers, there has to be a lot of (and good) cake. So this time I got to work to help out my friend since he had to do some last minute errands. Well, it’s not like he didn’t do anything to support me baking, he also cut the nectarines for the cake I’m showing you here. For this event, I made three different baked goods: A vanilla honey pound cake, a brown butter & nectarine cake and apple hand pies. I only managed to get pictures of this cake since the first one was carried off to another location for safe-keeping before I could manage to take a shot and I simply forgot about a picture of the miniature pies. x_x

The brown butter & nectarine cake is pretty dense and definitely not dry because of all the juice and flavor that the nectarines add to the cake. It’s similar to what we call “Streuselkuchen” in Germany, which is basically a simple pound cake layer plus fruits and relatively dry streusel on top. It’s something I wouldn’t recommend eating all day long because it is very heavy, but it’s a great cake for a picnic with friends or as dessert for a 3pm BBQ. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try!

Brown Butter & Nectarine Cake
idea adapted from Smittenkitchen

180g + 60g flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
pinch of salt
220g sugar
110g light brown sugar
170g butter, maybe a little bit more
2 eggs
170ml of milk
4 nectarines
1 lemon
pinch of cinnamon

First step: Preheat your oven to 160°C. Cut the nectarines in slices (about 8 slices per nectarine). In a large bowl (or in case you don’t have one which I’ve experienced many times recently use a pot :P), combine 180g flour, salt, baking powder and 220g sugar.

Second step: Over medium heat, melt the butter and let it sit there until it begins to bubble. Soon, little brown particles will start swimming in the butter. Use a wooden spoon to stir from time to time, and take the butter off if you have a solid number of these brown particles in there. It’s hard to explain, but the basic rule is: Don’t let it burn!

Third step: Add 2/3 of the butter to your cake mixture and stir to combine. Add the egg and milk and use a whisk to incorporate everything smoothly. Squeeze about one tablespoon of juice out of the lemon and add it to your cake, whisk everything together. Set aside.

Fourth step: Combine the remaining butter with another tablespoon of lemon juice, 60g of flour, 110g of sugar and the cinnamon in a separate bowl. The streusel should feel a little bit sticky, so that you can press some of them together and they stay in that form. If they’re not sticky enough, add another 10g of butter and use your hands to incorporate.

Fifth step: Grease a 26cm (10-11”) baking form with butter. Fill in the cake batter. Now layer the nectarines on top, they will slightly sink into the cake, but not all the way down to the bottom. Sprinkle the streusel on top and put into the oven for 35-40 minutes. I usually check a little bit early because ovens vary as do therefore the temperatures they produce.

Sixth step: Retrieve from the oven when the cake is a golden brown on top. Let it cool down completely before serving.

 

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