Back on the blueberry trail again… going into the fall this year’s berry crop was incredibly abundant and they have just kept on coming well into winter.
Blueberries are durable, so low in maintenance I suspect purveyors and markets love them, too. Packaged well, the nutritious bursts of flavor will hold over 2 weeks in the fridge or freeze easily for later use.
I decided it was time to use up the last of my current supply and opted for a very simple blueberry snack cake.
Such a basic little cake, there isn’t really much to it—just enough batter for the luscious berries to reign supreme in a 7” springform or 8”x8” baking pan.
Toppings are optional. I used a little old-fashioned crumble left from baked apples, but cinnamon-sugar or a sprinkle of turbinado finish it nicely, too.
It’s the sort of moist, multi-purpose cake that stands in for cheery morning coffeecake, as a sweet afternoon pick-me-up with tea or coffee, or a tempting dessert dabbed with sweetened whipped cream.
Blueberry Snack Cake
1 cup AP flour (or ¾ cup AP + ¼ cup whole wheat flour)
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp each salt and nutmeg
1 cup blueberries
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup butter, melted Topping Options: Crumble: 2 Tbsp oats, ¼ tsp cinnamon 3 tsp brown sugar, 2 tsp melted butter; Cinnamon-Sugar: ¼ cup granulated sugar plus 1 tsp cinnamon. 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar; or Confectioners’ sugar.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 7” springform or 8×8” pan with baking spray.
Prepare topping. For Crumble, combine and press all together to form a crumbly mixture. For Cinnamon Sugar, combine sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
In medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add the berries.
Separately combine egg, sugar and butter and quickly add to the dry, it will be thick.
Spread into pan and gently level the top. Sprinkle with topping and bake 35-40 minutes, until it separates from the edges of pan and is set in the center. Rest on rack for 10 minutes, release and remove springform, cool. Cut into portions. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serves 4-6.
We all have our favorite places and cultures to visit. Mine has long been the northeastern corner of Spain, the mysterious Basque country and the Pyrenees Alps. It’s got the total package, a rugged coastline and breathtaking mountains, plus resourceful, resilient people with a world class cuisine.
Basque food has the unique ability to reach into the heart and linger there, and such is the case with the notorious Basque Gateau. Popular versions of it crop up across the border in the Pays Basque region of France and down into the southern reaches of Spain. It’s a simple pastry marked by crosshatches across the top and filled with either cherry jam or pastry cream. So, what’s the big deal?
People praise the cake’s holding powers and reverently speak of it as the item to take when traveling or visiting friends. Admittedly, I’ve had my own visions of romantic adventures complete with this charming cake—safe in the knowledge it would sustain in any conditions.
I’ve considered making a Basque Custard Cake but have been put off by the complicated process and rich pastry. However, there is one recipe I have held onto for quite a while. It’s an interesting take from the French perspective by accomplished chef Michel Richard. In my notes, he describes it endearingly as a “pastry cream encased in two cookie crusts; aka a weekend cake in France because it holds so well.” Sweet.
The more I’ve studied Richard’s approach, the more I like it. For example, pastry cream often uses egg yolks with cornstarch for thickener because cornstarch does not not lump when added to hot liquid; however, it can break down with prolonged cooking. Richard’s version opts for flour instead, which makes sense since this pastry cream cooks twice. His should hold up very well and continue to maintain mass at room temperature or cold.
I’m impressed with Richard’s brilliant crust solution, too. Rather than a labor intense, buttery pastry, he elects to use the whites left from the custard. He cleverly incorporates them into a light, resilient cookie/cake-like base. The first thin layer is baked just to set, the filling is added, remaining dough is spread on top and it is given a final bake. Simple enough.
I decided to give it a try. Here are a couple of notes: I further simplified Richard’s custard by using double the vanilla extract, rather than soaking a vanilla bean (which I was missing) for an hour in hot milk. It also makes twice as much as needed, but that’s fine; it came in handy. I also dabbed a small amount of cherry jam on the baked bottom crust before the pastry cream. It appears that cookie/cake dough is quite scant. However, it blends beautifully with the pastry cream and works out fine.
So, there you have it. I will definitely make this Basque Custard Cake again. (Actually, I did make it again. It was easier the second time with remaining custard and refined method. I kept my fingers off of it and it was just as good the next day!) The cherry and custard combo gives it real character, but you could use either.
I dare you to eat just one piece—evidently, I practically polished an entire cake by myself!
Basque Custard Cookie Cake
Inspired by Michel Richard, Baking from the Heart
Ingredients Pastry Cream
2 cups milk
½ cup sugar, divided
2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
4 large egg yolks, room temp
⅓ cup flour
1 Tbsp butter Cookie Dough
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 large egg whites, room temp
½ cup AP flour, plus 1 Tbsp
½ cup cherry jam, optional
1. Make Pastry Cream
In 4 cup microwaveable measure, heat milk in microwave with salt, and ¼ cup sugar for 2-3 minutes to dissolve sugar, add vanilla extract.
In small mixing bowl, beat yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar until thick and pale yellow, 2-3 minutes. Mix in flour. Gradually pour in the hot milk and whisk to incorporate.
Pour the mixture into a small pan, set over medium heat and continue whisking as it thickens to avoid lumps and curdling. Reduce to medium low and cook 2-3 minutes, whisking to keep smooth and not curdle. Off heat stir in butter and remaining vanilla. Scrape into a bowl and cover top with film. Chill 2-3 hours until cold, up to 1 day ahead. You should have enough for 2 cakes.
2. Make Dough
Preheat oven to 350-375°F. Thoroughly butter and flour 9″ tart or springform pan.
In mixing bowl beat butter, add sugar in 3-4 batches, beating well after each addition until light. Beat in egg whites one at a time, incorporating after each. Stir in flour to just combine and form a soft batter.
3. To Bake
Spoon enough batter to thinly cover bottom of pan, about ½ cup spread ⅛” thick. Bake 10-12 minutes, until dough is firm to touch, and edges turn golden brown.
If using preserves, randomly dot spoonfuls onto crust spreading away from edges. Top with cold pastry cream, leaving ½” border at edge.
Carefully spoon remaining dough evenly over all, spreading to cover cream and fill in border edge. Bake 25-35 minutes, rotating pan until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Release cake from pan and slice into wedges. For best flavor, allow to come to room temperature for 1 hour prior to serving. Cover and chill for storage. Serves 6-8
For those looking for a gooey chocolate dessert, here a sure fix that you can have on the table in less than 30 minutes, courtesy of the multi-cooker.
It goes by many aliases: Chocolate Lava Cake, Better than Sex Chocolate Cake, and others. What they have in common is an inordinate amount of chocolate and butter held together with eggs and maybe a bit of binder. In other words, they have a cake-like exterior and an ooey-gooey center.
You could call this particular variation ‘conservative’. It has a fair amount of firm, moist cake available to support the ooze that flows forth once cut into—rather than a total collapse swept up in a thick hot chocolate flood.
Although… describing it does sound pretty scintillating.
My point, this as a small, rich cake with warm ganache hidden within, rather than deftly draped over the exterior. It is ‘suitable for all occasions’.
Either way, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream come true.
Molten Chocolate Cakes, Multi-Cooker
½ cup butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar Accompaniments: powdered sugar, ice cream or sweetened whipped cream
Prepare 5 quart multi-cooker or larger: pour 1 cup water into bottom of cooker. Place a metallic trivet or steamer insert in bottom.
Place the butter in a medium microwaveable bowl and partially melt the butter on 60% power. Brush the ramekins with a coating of the butter. Add the chocolate chips and continue to heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir every 20 seconds until mixture is melted and smooth.
Sift the powdered sugar over the chocolate and whisk to blend.
Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly incorporated. Add the vanilla.
Sift half of the flour plus a pinch of salt over the top of the mixture and fold in with a spatula. Add the remainder of the flour and fold in just until blended.
Divide the batter evenly among the 4 ramekins and place them on the trivet or steamer basket.
Seal the lid and set to High Pressure for 9 minutes, with steam release knob to sealing position.
When done, do a Quick Release and carefully release pressure. When float valve is down open the lid and carefully remove the hot ramekins. Cool briefly.
To serve: invert the cakes and place bottom side up onto individual plates. Serve warm with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, ice cream, or sweetened whipped cream and any other desired garnishes. Yield: 4 cakes.
Oops! I almost ate the last piece of this incredible cake without taking time for a blog photo. That is what happens when you care more about eating cake than preserving its place in history.
What’s in a name? Somehow, chocolate-and-zucchini do not incite great waves of excitement. I don’t know if this is the impetus of Clotilde Dusoulier’s beloved blog Chocolate and Zucchini, but it surely should be. As Clotilde aptly describes her Chocolate & Zucchini Cake, ‘the grated zucchini melds into the batter and the strands disappear… into a voluptuous chocolate flavored cake.’
Admittedly, chocolate is not my thing. But if there is anything that would change my mind, it would not be a flourless chocolate cake, or a rich chocolate truffle, it would be this cake. Right out of the oven, the charming exterior has a crisp brownie-like crust which is elegantly foiled by its light, well-constructed interior crumb.
Thanks to the mysterious zucchini addition, it is perfectly moist, and for a chocolate cake the butter/oil content is surprisingly low. It is a well-balanced cake, not too sweet, but deeply flavored with cocoa powder, chocolate bits, and a hint of coffee. Yes, it’s all of that.
Chocolate & Zucchini Cake
From Clotilde Dusoulier’s award winning blog, Chocolate and Zucchini. First published in April 2004 and updated in August 2017. Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, or 1/2 cup olive oil, plus a pat butter or teaspoon oil for the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons strong cooled coffee
3 large eggs
2 cups unpeeled grated zucchini, from about 1 1/2 medium zucchini
1 cup good-quality bittersweet chocolate chips or roughly chopped
Confectioner’s sugar or melted bittersweet chocolate (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch round springform pan or 8 1/2-inch square pan.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a mixer, or by hand in a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the vanilla, coffee, and eggs, mixing well between each addition.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, chocolate, and about a third of the flour mixture, making sure the zucchini strands are well coated and not clumping too much.
Add the rest of the flour mixture into the egg batter. Mix until just combined; the batter will be thick. Fold the zucchini mixture into the batter, and blend with a spatula without overmixing.
Pour into the prepared cake pan, and level the surface. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t overbake.
Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the pan to loosen, and unclasp the sides of the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or a chocolate glaze if desired. Serves 12
This weekend we have finally been able to string a few warm days together. It’s a welcome reminder that summer is on the way and flats of fresh strawberries are just around the corner.
One of my favorite ways to show off the season’s best berries is with Polenta Orange Cake, a low squat European-style beauty imbued with a slight crunchy-sweet corn essence. The orange zest and polenta join together in a burnished gold crumb dense enough to welcome a good soaking of orange syrup or juicy berries.
For strawberries and cream cake, slice the cake in half torte style, fill it with sliced strawberries, and spoon on whipped cream. Or, for my favorite ricotta cream, cut the whipped cream with half ricotta. It’s a natural wonder.
Polenta Orange Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup medium to fine-grained cornmeal or polenta
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 orange, zest and @ 1/3 cup juice Orange Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1 orange, cut in half
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9″ cake pan with parchment or foil and spray with baker’s spray.
Combine the dry ingredients and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter until light, slowly add the sugar and beat until light. Add the eggs one at a time, until fluffy. Add the vanilla, orange juice, the zest and mix. Don’t worry if it curdles. Add dry ingredients, mixing just to incorporate. Scrape bowl down and spread the batter evenly into pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, until cake springs back when touched. Remove from oven and brush liberally with orange syrup while still warm.
For the Syrup: place all but extract in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; continue to boil briskly for 6 to 8 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Let cool slightly, remove orange and strain. Add the almond extract and brush over the warm cake.
Strawberries and Cream Cake
4 cups strawberries, rinsed, hulled, sliced (save a few for garnish)
2 tablespoons sugar Sweetened Whipped Cream topping
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Prepare strawberries and cream: combine the berries with sugar and chill; save a few pretty whole ones for garnish. Whip the cream, add the sugar and vanilla.
To assemble: slice the cake in half horizontally, brush the bottom layer with orange syrup, layer with some of the sliced berries, spread with whipped cream. Add the top layer, top with more berries and garnish with whipped cream and few pretty berries. Serves 6 or more. The cake can be baked a day ahead.
The idea of a malted milk cake has been on my mind for a while now, but it wasn’t coming together. Things started clicking when my friend Pat Clark mentioned memories of hot milk cake. She grew up in a large Southern family and fondly recalls her mom’s cake as a childhood favorite of all of her brothers and sisters.
After a little preliminary research the hot milk cake began to look even more intriguing. This no-frills sweet has a rich history spanning back to the Depression era, when the most basic staples were hard to come by. Here, the clever use of sugar manages to transform a few simple ingredients into a memorable cake with impressive texture, volume, and flavor.
Take a generous amount of sugar, whip it with eggs until a voluminous mass forms, add a bit of flour, the hot malted milk, and you’ve got the basis of light, high flavored cake that’s not cloyingly sweet—and requires no frosting.
Pairing malted milk with the hot milk cake is a natural combination, injecting an inspired caramel nuance into this vibrantly moist cake and giving it a relevant retro touch. Bake it all in a bundt pan or other pretty mold, a dusting of confectioners’ sugar across the top is all that is necessary to make it unforgettable. If you must, serve it with a caramel glaze or drizzle.
Vanilla Malted Milk Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
½ cup malted milk, such as Carnations powdered
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Prepare a bundt or 9”x 13” pan: spray with non-stick spray and dust with flour. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Combine the malted milk, the milk, and the vanilla and stir into the butter; heat until small bubbles form around the outside of the pan and the mixture is very hot but not boiling. Reduce heat to low.
In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine eggs and sugar and beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until light, thick, and tripled in volume. On low, slowly add the hot milk mixture, mixing until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in two batches, mixing after each addition until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake bundt pan for 1 hour, checking 5 minutes prior to baking end time; 9”x 13” pan 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, with a few crumbs attached. Do not over bake.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack or serving plate to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve. Serves 12
Instead of Happy Birthday, there should be a warning stamped on the top of this cake: Hazard to One’s Health. Standard symptoms: lightheaded, dizzy, blurred vision (and not from the wine).
I started out this month working diligently on genoise and other cakes with the specific goal of creating a chocolate cake for my daughter’s birthday, and this is where it brought me. In fact, I was not going to even blog about it, because I would not recommend making this cake; it is too deadly. But at my daughter’s urging, I am giving it a mention.
“Irresistible, mercilessly entertaining, menacing…” certainly apply here. In fact, these descriptive were picked from the cover of a book that my daughter just loaned me: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, a popular head-spinning thriller. I didn’t mean to scare everyone at my daughter’s dinner, but this cake really did the trick.
So Happy Birthday, ChyAnn, your mother really does love you.
The recipe follows with the best directions I can give. Standard warnings prevail.
Line 2 – 9” or 2 to 3 – 8” cake pans with parchment (see below). Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Melt the chocolate and butter in large heat proof bowl over simmer water, stir until smooth. Allow to cool for 30 minutes and stir in vanilla and almond extracts and espresso powder.
Process almond meal until fine in food processor; add flour and salt and pulse to combine. Transfer to medium bowl.
In bowl of mixer, beat the eggs to combine then add the sugar and beat until thick and light, about 3 minutes.
Gently fold the eggs into chocolate mixture until nearly blended; sprinkle in the almond-flour mixture and gently combine.
Divide the batter into pans and smooth with spatula. Bake until center is firm when pressed and toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool in pan about 30 minutes. Run sharp knife around edge to loosen cake and turn out on to cake boards, right side up.
Note: prepare the raspberry syrup and the ganache. The filling will be whipped, the glaze is the same recipe, but will be poured over the cake and sides to finish. The ratio of chocolate and cream is 1:1. It can be made in one large batch if making the same day.
If using 8 inch cake pans, fill 2 pans evenly, or fill one pan with twice as much as the other and adjust the baking time with a difference of 5 minutes or longer. You will slice this one in half to make 3 layers. (this is dumb, but 3 layers does make a nice, albeit rich, torte)
12 ounces fresh raspberries
½ cup water
Sugar, approximate 1 cup
Combine raspberries, smash with a fork or potato masher in small pan, and bring to a boil. Simmer until soft and juicy, 3 to 4 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve.
Rinse out the pan; measure the raspberry liquid and return it to the pan with an equal amount of sugar. Simmer until slight thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup Chambord, rum, or brandy and simmer briefly. Strain mixture again, removing any foam as well. Pour into a clean container to cool and set aside.
Chocolate Ganachedivided, for filling and for glaze
Filling for 3- 8 or 2-9” layers
5 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate (60% or more cacoa butter), chopped in food processor
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer; do not boil. (In microwave, about 40 seconds to 1 minute. ) Pour the cream over the chocolate and let is set briefly, for a minute or two. Gently stir with a fork to melt the chocolate and it is silky smooth. Let stand to cool, about 30 minutes.
To lighten the filling, beat with a hand mixer for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the volume desired.
8 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate 960% or more cacoa butter), chopped in food processor
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp butter (optional, for sheen)
Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer; do not boil. (In microwave, about 1 minute.)
Pour the cream over the chocolate and let is set briefly, for a minute or two. Gently stir with a fork to melt the chocolate and it is silky smooth.
To assemble the torte
If cutting one of the layers in half, use a long serrated knife to slice into 2 equal layers. Have an 8`springform pan ready as a mold to hold the torte in place.
Brush the cut surface of one of the layers evenly with a light coating of syrup. Spread it evenly with about ½ of the whipped ganache filling, then place it in the springform pan, filling side up.
Repeat with second layer, using cut side to coat with syrup and then with chocolate filling and place it in mold. Brush the third layer keeping the bottom of the layer to the top of the cake and coat the cut side with syrup. Place it in the springform with the bottom side up.
Cover the cake and chill well; up to 24 hours.
To finish to the torte. Unmold the cake and brush any loose crumbs off the exterior of the cake. Coat the cake lightly with ganache using an offset spatula or knife to seal both top and sides. Chill to set, about 5 minutes.
Place cake on wire rack and crumb coat the cake by spreading top and sides with a thin layer of the ganache glaze to cover. Let set in fridge 15 minutes. Meanwhile, keep the ganache over warm water, stirring occasionally to keep it from thickening too much.
For final glaze, pour some of the ganache into center of the cake, using offset spatula, spread with broad strokes so that residue will to run down the sides; spread to evenly coat any uneven spots.
Add a circle of fresh raspberries around the outside edge of the torte. Chill for 30 minutes or several hours before serving. If made ahead, allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Serves 10 to 12
Back in July I mentioned that I was working on mastering the French genoise. I am still at it and am more impressed than ever with the amount of technique and skill required to pull this off. When you consider it is just a basic recipe of eggs, a little sugar, a bit of flour and a smidgen of butter, you wonder how anything so simple could be so complicated.
Well, this could easily stand as a metaphor for any one of life’s lessons that come our way regularly. In this case it is all about knowing when to follow the rules: to recognize that tricks in fine baking have been passed down because they work. For example, bakers weigh their ingredients because proportions and formulas are the backbone of their craft.
In the case of the genoise, nothing could more essential to its success than the eggs. It is recommended that eggs and sugar be beaten over simmering water: the gentle heat further binds the eggs and sugar and creates the massive volume. Of course, I resisted this process until attempt number three, and it worked beautifully. Then you have to maintain its structure since there is no other leavener.
To deal with egg deflation, the other vital trick I learned was how to fold. I had to practice the process of correctly lowering a wide spatula into the batter, bringing it up, dragging it gently over the top, turning the spatula in a gentle folding motion down into the batter, and back up again. This slow folding is used to incorporate the flour and even more crucial, the butter—which lends richness and texture to a fairly dry cake.
With a description like that, why bother with such a dreary cake? Because it is lean and incredibly versatile. The genoise is regarded as the foundation in a world of sweet fantasies. So well structured, it can be torted, or cut into multiple layers. These layers can be brushed with a wild variety of syrups which soak into the cake, tailoring both flavor and moisture. The sky is the limit when it comes to accessorized fillings: curds, creams, chocolate fillings, you name it.
Finally, I actually achieved a cake tall enough to safely cut in half (so very proud). I brushed the layers with hibiscus syrup (made from hibiscus jelly) and heaped on an Italian style ricotta filling laced with almond and chocolate. Since I had extra chocolate on hand, the rest was drizzled across the top.
Words fail me. The genoise was amazing and got better the longer it sat. On average, I like a cake that is not loaded with heavy creams and butter, and this one hit the mark. It is not your average cake…
It is the thing that dreams are made of.
4 eggs, room temperature
½ cup sugar
¾ cup cake flour
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 8” or spray 8” cake pan, line it with parchment or wax paper.
Melt the butter and set aside in a 2 cup bowl to melt further and re-thicken.
Whisk the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl over simmering heat, until the mixture feels lukewarm. In bowl of standing mixer using wire whisk attachment, whisk the eggs until they have tripled in volume, 5 to 10 minutes. They should be thick, creamy and fall from the whisk resting in ribbons onto the batter surface. Whip in the vanilla or other flavoring.
Sift the flour while the eggs are beating. Re-measure to ¾ level cup and sift again with salt.
Fold in the flour: for ease, pour the egg mixture into a wider bowl. Using a wide spatula carefully sift flour onto surface in 3 portions, To fold in the flour, carefully cut down and fold up and over, stretching the batter to lighten and incorporate the flour in about 10 turns each time – scrape the sides and bottom, too.
Add butter to batter: re-combine the melted butter; it should be slightly warm and creamy. Gently spoon out about 1 cup of batter and fold into the butter until thoroughly mixed and light. Gently pour this onto the side of the batter and fold another 10 times to incorporate. The batter is at its weakest point: it may not be completely smooth, still have streaks, and begin to deflate. Fold cautiously.
Pour batter into pan, gently smoothing surface from middle out. Tap the pan on counter a few times to remove lingering air bubbles.
Bake at 350 degrees in center of oven 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges begin to come away from pan and the center springs back when touched and is golden brown.
Let cake rest briefly, run a sharp knife around the edge of pan and cool 5 to 10 minutes on rack. Unmold the cake, remove paper from bottom and cool right side up. If not using same day, it can be held at room temperature overnight, well wrapped. Can be stored well wrapped – up to 3 days in refrigerator or in freezer for up to 2 months.
If frozen, defrost wrapped cake at room temperature. It is ready to be sliced horizontally into 2 or 3 layers, filled and decorated.
Note: Above, you’ll note I am still resisting the weighing of ingredients. So far, I have good luck with careful measuring (I measure the flour twice). It seems to work deliciously!