Brown Butter Cake with Yoghurt Ice-cream and Roasted Plums

In Wellington last week, dessert at Rita was a brown butter cake served with peaches, a raspberry coulis and yoghurt ice cream. I rarely order dessert but this one was simple but perfect – in the way that plain cakes can be. That’s it in the pic above.

In an attempt to recreate the idea of that dessert, I came up with this one – which I served with plums I’d roasted with a little brown sugar, a sprig of rosemary, and water in the oven for 20 mins. Instead of the bourbon butter glaze for the cake, I kept it simple and drizzled some of the plum juices over everything.

The brown butter cake comes from a recipe by James Martin in his book Butter. (is there ever a cookbook with a better title for me???) He cooks it in a 28cm bundt tin for an hour and swathes it in a decadent bourbon butter glaze and serves it with whipped cream. While I’ve given you the recipe for the glaze, I couldn’t be faffed and, to be honest, this dessert doesn’t need it.

As for the yoghurt ice-cream – which also works really well with berries and the leftover crumble from the cranachan we made at bookclub yesterday – it’s super simple. Before, though, you start meddling with the amount of sugar, it’s there for a reason – and a scientific one at that.

It’s sugar and fat that makes ice-cream creamy rather than, well, iced cream. Given that this yoghurt ice-cream doesn’t have the extra fat from egg yolks that we use in ice-cream, the only way to get your frozen yoghurt to be creamy and soft enough to scoop when frozen is to add a good amount of sugar. So meddle with the sugar at your own peril. Likewise the full-fat component – for much the same reason.

Brown Butter Cake with Bourbon Butter Glaze

What you need…

  • 250g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 125ml buttermilk
  • 375g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp table salt

For the bourbon butter glaze…

  • 75g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 50ml bourbon

What you do with it…

Preheat the oven to 190°C /Fan 170°C and grease your tin. I wanted to serve my cake in squares so chose a 23 x 33 cm (9″x13″) pan.

Heat the butter in a pan set over gentle heat until it turns nut brown. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.

In a stand mixer, beat together the brown butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the buttermilk. Fold in the flour and salt and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 25mins or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Just before the cake is ready, make the bourbon butter glaze. Pop the butter into a pan over a gentle heat and cook until it turns nut brown. Add the sugar, keeping the pan over the heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour in the bourbon and stir.

Tip the cake onto a plate and, while it is still warm, spoon the glaze over the top.

Yoghurt Ice-Cream

What you need…

  • 1litre full-fat plain yoghurt, chilled
  • 200g white caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced

What you do with it…

Whisk together the yoghurt, sugar and salt until you can’t feel any grainy bits on your tongue. Add some lemon juice (maybe a tablespoon), taste it, and add more if you think you need it. The thing is, freezing dulls flavours so you want it to be quite punchy at this stage as it will be less sweet and less tart by the time it’s become frozen yoghurt. Pop it into the fridge while the ice-cream maker pre-cools.

Churn the yoghurt in your ice-cream maker and freeze.

If you don’t have an ice-cream maker spoon the chilled mix into a shallow box with a lid and freeze for 1-1.5 hours until beginning to solidify. Beat with a fork or whisk to break up the solid pieces, then refreeze and repeat twice more before allowing to freeze undisturbed for an hour before serving.) Remove from the freezer a few minutes before serving to soften.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

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