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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Brown Butter and Bourbon Pound Cake




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This cake will go down in family annuls as one that nearly rent years of  marital bliss. It is a brown butter pound cake that is made with a copious amount of bourbon. It was made for a derby day party that we, in the end,  could not attend, but for which I had committed a dessert. I decided to make this cake because it was unusual, mercifully easy to make, and its use of bourbon would connect it to Derby Day and the state of Kentucky. Now, before I go any further, I must tell you that I don't know a lot about hard liqueur. Bourbon is bourbon as far as I'm concerned, so, in the course of making this cake, I grabbed the first bottle I found in the pantry and went about my work. It turns out I grabbed a bottle of special "sippin' whiskey" that the Silver Fox keeps on hand for a friend who visits us sporadically. I was glibly pouring a cup and a half of something called Jefferson's Presidential Select into the cakes, when my beloved walked into the kitchen and did the guy version of nearly fainting. Apparently, I was using the champagne  of bourbons in my pound cakes. Who knew?  Were the cakes worth it?  The brown butter gives the cake a unique richness and nutty flavor. The bourbon keeps it really moist and its flavor blends nicely with the butter.  The cake lacks eye appeal, so, for the party, I decided to use it as a base for peach shortcake. It would also make a wonderful trifle, but I don't think it works as a stand alone dessert. If you decide to try this cake, make it a full 24 hours before you plan to serve it. The recipe makes way more syrup than is needed for one cake, so you can safely cut the quantities for the syrup in half.  If you like the flavor of brown butter you will enjoy this cake. Here's the recipe.

Brown Butter and Bourbon Pound Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of  R.J. Cooper and the James Beard Foundation

Ingredients:
Cake
1-1/4 cup (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 vanilla bean split
1/4 cup bourbon

Directions:
1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan.
2) Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat until milk solids on bottom are a dark chocolate brown and butter smells nutty. Transfer to a shallow bowl and place in freezer to cool until just congealed. (Butter should be somewhat solid for mixing stage.)
3) Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
4) Beat congealed brown butter, bourbon, and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
5) Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan. Smooth out top and rap pan on counter to settle batter. Bake until cake is golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, about an hour.
6) Meanwhile, to make syrup: Combine sugar, water, and vanilla bean in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in bourbon.
7) When cake is done, remove from oven and let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Invert cake onto a rack and let cool completely, right side up, for an hour, brushing the pound cake with the syrup every 5 minutes.
Yield: 1 loaf.








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Three Years Ago Today: Kaiser Rolls



46 comments:

Alessandra said...

That is really a lot of bourbon! I wonder if my husband would spare that much for my baking or if it would be the end of marital bliss!!! Maybe I can get away with bourbon though... as long as i don't touch the Irish and Scotch whisky... :-)
Ciao
Alessandra

Radhika said...

All your bakes are so wonderful and as a beginner I feel like a kid in a toy store looking at all the goodies. I can learn so much from you. Happy to be your follower. Do drop by mine when you find time.
Tickling Palates

Coleens Recipes said...

What a cute story, love it.

Hovkonditorn said...

I can imagine your husband's reaction :) It sounds delicious, even if I'm not a fan of Bourbon.

Choc Chip Uru said...

This pound cake looks so deliciously crumby with yummy flavours - afternoon snack perfection!

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Red Nomad OZ said...

Hahaha!! I just HAD to read this post - the Brown Butter and Bourbon in the title were TOO compelling! And then to find the story behind it so comical? Gold!!! Maybe SF + friend could just nibble on the cake instead of sippin'??

Or maybe not ...

Sutapa said...

Delicious bourbon cake Mary ....love to have a peice!

Kim said...

Brown butter is so gooooodddd in cakes and cookies it's amazing... I really laugh about your bourbon story... there is always a great bottle in the house that we tend to keep for great occasions or for people we don't see often... To me, it's like china, you gotta use it sometime!!! I'm sure the quality of booze you used really makes your cakes better:)

Tracy Wood said...

Your bourbon story is so funny! Great looking cake!

From the Kitchen said...

With that much bourbon (really good bourbon) in the cake, no one would care if it stood on it's own or not after one piece! Alas, The Baker's derby pie was a disaster because he did not take my advice and add the bourbon!! There's a lesson to be learned here I suppose.

Best,
Bonnie

Jenn said...

LOL.. I can totally picture the Silver Fox reacting dramatically to you pouring the bourbon into the cake batter!
I love pound cake and this is definitely an unusual spin on it.. but it sounds so wonderful and looks so moist! I wish I had a slice right now!

Natalie said...

using the 'special' bourbon is totally something i would do :) sounds like it was worth it though!

A Paix√£o da Isa said...

uiui tudo esta mt bom mas esse bolo ele esta 5* mt bonito gostei mt bjs

Priya said...

Wonderful cake,wont mind to have a slice anytime.

Claudia said...

Pouring out a cup of esteemed bourbon! That was a smile! The cake does look wonderfully sinful and brown-butter makes me swoon.

What's next said...

yum! Love sounds like a very good Derby choice!

Lora said...

What an interesting cake. I love the flavor combination.

hobby baker said...

Haha, that's an absolute hoot! I'm sure I'd get the same response if I tried to use hubby's sipping Pyrat rum in my rum cake. Your pound cake looks so wonderfully moist and tempting, I'll have to put it on my to try list for the next get together with friends.

Dining Alone said...

Hilarious, I would probably do the same thing using the 'good stuff' on accident. The cake looks delicious.

Jane said...

Did you say bourbon? lol! Sounds really good!

June said...

Oh good heavens. Great looking cake but it would have been certain d.i.v.o.r.c.e. had I been the one. LOL Reminds me of my first gifted bottle of Courvoisier Napoleon. I used it to cure a fruitcake. Who knew?

April said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Brown butter is amazing...pairing it with a bourbon pound cake...wow, I have bookmarked this recipe, all my favorite things in one place :)

laurie said...

thats so funny, yummy!
I used the southern nut cake recipe you have here and it was wondereful!

Erica said...

That cake sounds amazing! Great for a party ;-) Love the story, Mary!

Juliana said...

Wow Mary, what a flavorful pound cake...brown butter and bourbon...I wish I could have a slice of this cake right now :)
Hope you are having a great week!

Suzie said...

Ha ha, love how you were using the special bourbon! No wonder it's so good ;) I love bourbon recipes and even though this is sweet, I think I could do it :)

Gourmantine said...

I've had to laugh out loud at the "almost did the man version of fainting", hilarious. I've did a similar thing once with my dad's cognac... didn't end well for me though... Lovely bourbon cake!

B Bamber said...

Hahaha.. I totally did the same when I made my pate.. but Dave volunteered it up. I'm glad I did because the flavor was quite predominant and it was better to have the "quality ingredient", lol!!

Veronica Miller said...

This is pretty neat! Someone pinned this on Pinterest (maybe it was you!) and I repinned it to my "state fair maybes," my file for all the recipes I'm considering making for the baking competitions at this year's fair, a day before I actually got this in my inbox! I usually check recipes before I pin them, but I could tell just by the name and the title of this one that it would be worth trying, therefore I didn't click it or find out it was yours. The internet makes it such a small world. :) It sounds WONDERFUL! And I bet you really did improve it by using the high quality bourbon in it. :) Hope your hubby recovers soon-lol!

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef said...

Oooo! This looks similiar to the bourbon chocolate chip banana bread I made last week. Yum!

Lynda said...

I know nothing about bourbon, but I can imagine the look of horror on your husbands face. Poor man. :)

JG said...

I would also use what was "on hand". Your cake must have been so scrumptious! :)
~Judy

LV said...

Looks really good and everything is better with butter. Bourbon??? I am intrigued:-)

Pegasuslegend said...

love boozey recipes!

Ginny said...

Well, they must have eaten the best cake ever!! Too bad you couldn't let them know!

Joanne said...

I wouldn't know the difference between good, bad or even mediocre bourbon so don't feel bad! Oh man does this sound good. Brown butter AND alcohol in one cake..yum!

Annie said...

Mary I love pound cakes and this one is specially delicious.

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

What a gorgeous cake - no need for a drink! sounds a delight!
mary x

Jay said...

wow..looks & sounds delicious...great idea..!
Tasty Appetite

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Great story ... do you think the guest knew what a treat they were eating?

France@beyondthepeel said...

Brown butter and bourbon sounds like a heavenly combination.

Debby Foodiewife said...

I don't drink bourbon, either. I can just imagine your husband's horror at seeing you use his precious special brand. This cake does sound delicious.

Pondside said...

The name alone is enough to attract me - it just sounds delicious.
I did something similar years ago, with a bottle of special rum - now I always check with TGD before pouring into the batter!

Padhu said...

Cake looks so tempting!

anne said...

And I don't even drink beer shhhh ! hahaha But I'm partial to Kahlua for my baked goodies :D I laugh out loud re Silver Fox reaction ! :D Love the cake ! It's appealing enough just need some colors to it to make it more presentable as a stand alone dessert :D

Leah @ foodforthefresh said...

My mouth is watering as I type. Need to make this soon!!! My boyfriend will thank you. Ha.

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