Jam-Filled Browned Butter Cake

February 21, 2011 | By | COMMENTS

Jam-Filled Browned Butter Cake 1
Every year come February, I find myself in a bit of a rut. The excitement of the holidays has come and gone, and my gusto for squash, winter greens, and slow braises has begun to fade. I dream about those market days when the first bunches of asparagus appear, still small but green and spindly with hope.
Unlike Adam Roberts I was not a “smart little squirrel” this past summer. I was in fact, a trying-to-keep-my-sanity-while-planning-an-out-of-town-wedding squirrel, so aside from a few handfuls of blackberries my freezer has lacked those frozen bits of summer to pull me out of this predictable February slump.
So what, you ask, is a girl to do with an empty freezer and case of the February blues?
Well I did what any girl in her right mind would do.
I threw on an old Belle and Sebastian record and I baked a cake which I promptly filled with plum jam.

Jam-Filled Browned Butter Cake 2
And then I ate a piece.
Okay, I ate two pieces.
Jam-Filled Browned Butter Cake 3
And to tell you the truth, February isn’t looking so bad anymore.
Jam-Filled Browned Butter Cake 4<
Jam-Filled Browned Butter Cake
Adapted from Flo Braker
I’ve been making Flo Braker’s Jam-Filled Butter Cake for years now and aside from using different flavors of jam I have never really deviated from her original recipe.
However, it seems these February blues have got me feeling mildly mischievous so I decided to substitute browned butter into the recipe, and boy, I’m glad that I did.
Subtly sweet and ever so toothsome, this cake never ceases to make me swoon with its moist crumb and alluring flavor. On top of that, the browned butter adds a warm nutty edge which lends itself to this almond and lemon scented cake.
1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup browned butter (see instructions below)
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup jam of choice
powdered sugar for garnish
The browned butter can be made ahead of time and stored covered in the fridge. To make the browned butter: place 2 cups of unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, in a cold saucepan. Turn the heat to medium and let the butter melt, stirring frequently. The butter will begin to foam and the milk solids will start sinking to the bottom of the pan before they start to brown so keep your eyes on the pan and stir frequently. The butter is done when you begin to smell a nutty aroma and see brown specs at the bottom of the pan. At this point, the butter will turn from brown to black quickly so immediately remove from the stove and pour into a shallow bowl as the butter will continue to cook in the pan even when removed from the heat. Let butter cool to room temperature. If making butter ahead of time cover and place in fridge until ready to use.
Follow Flo Braker's directions which are as follows:
Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Adjust rack to lower third of oven; preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9-inch round springform pan; insert a round of parchment or waxed paper in bottom of pan.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, preferably with paddle attachment, beat butter in a large bowl at medium speed until it is smooth and creamy.
Maintaining the same speed, add the sugar in a steady stream. When all the sugar is added, stop the machine and scrape the mixture clinging to the sides of the bowl into the center of the bowl. Continue to cream at the same speed for 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in appearance. Add the extracts in the final moments of beating the butter and sugar.
With the mixer still on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one thoroughly into the mixture before adding the next. When the mixture appears fluffy, reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the milk in two additions. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, and mix until smooth after each addition. Spoon the batter evenly into the pan.
Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out free of wet batter. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully release the springform and remove the metal ring from around the cake. Cool completely before removing the cake from the metal form.
Using a long serrated knife, cut the cake layer in half horizontally. Set the bottom cake layer on a serving plate and spread the jam over the cut surface. Place the top portion of the cake cut-side down on the jam-covered layer. To decorate, sift powdered sugar over the top. Serves 10

Categories: Cooking Stories

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