Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Brown Sugar Toffee Cake

Brown Sugar Toffee Cake - made August 7, 2013 from Baking Style by Lisa Yockelson

Sometimes the downside of baking so much is I could swear I've already made a particular recipe because it seems so familiar.  But when I can't find it on my blog or in my "already made" files, it's time to admit I just think I made it but actually haven't.  In my defense though, this recipe is so similar to other brown sugar and/or toffee pound cakes I've made, that it's easy to be mistaken.
Remember how I always seem to need to use up buttermilk so I have to make this cake that uses it or that one which also does before my buttermilk expires? Someone told me I could preserve buttermilk by pouring it into ice cube trays and freezing them until I needed buttermilk again. But I could never remember to buy ice cube trays (in these days of ice makers in freezers, I can't even remember last time I saw ice cube trays in a store) and I kept having to throw out buttermilk on its expiration date.  Well, I finally crossed the chasm and decided to give powdered buttermilk a try. I tried out this one from Hoosier Hill Farm via amazon. It got good reviews and was made in the USA - that's good enough for me.
Although the directions don't say so on the packaging, thanks to the info on amazon, I knew to mix 4 tablespoons of the buttermilk powder with 1 cup of water to get 1 cup of buttermilk.  It was much more watery than I expected.  I think I was expecting something like the thick, creamy consistency of the fresh buttermilk I bought from Trader Joe's but that wasn't the case with reconsituted buttermilk. Nevertheless, I forged ahead.
This was a pretty standard pound cake recipe and it was fairly good although I don't know if I found it particularly memorable, a rare occurrence for a Lisa Yockelson recipe.  Neither the brown sugar or the toffee really came out in the flavor and this didn't even seem that buttery.  It was just a somewhat bland (to me) pound cake. The texture was good but I'm not going to remember the flavor as anything particularly striking. It did go fairly quickly at work the next day so I guess this is another case where my taste buds are annoyingly picky.

3 cups unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped toffee bars
½ pound (16 tablespoons or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.
  4. Toss the toffee with 2 tablespoons of the sifted mixture in a medium-size mixing bowl.
  5. Cream the butter in the large bowl of a freestanding electric mixer on moderate speed for 4 minutes.  Add the granulated sugar in 2 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added.  Add the dark brown sugar and beat for 1 minute longer.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 20 seconds after each addition to combine.  Blend in the vanilla extract.  On low speed, alternately add the sifted mixture in 3 additions with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture.  Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl thoroughly with a rubber spatula after each addition.  Stir in the toffee, making sure to fully incorporate the candy.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  7. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until risen, set and a toothpick inserted into the cake withdraws clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. 
  8. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.  Invert the cake onto another cooling rack.  Lift off the pan.  Cool completely.  Store in an airtight cake keeper.

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