There’s something magical about brown butter. The process is essentially cooking some butter in a pan until the milk solid caramelize. You basically end up with a very deep flavored, almost nutty, melted butter.
The nutty qualities of brown butter really transcend baked goods to a whole new level. In this case, it transformed a regular bundt cake into a real festive dessert. The moment I saw this recipe on the Bon Appétit website, I knew that I HAD to make it. The original recipe also adds a crumble topping so you end up using almost two cups of butter in total (approx. 480 grams), which is a LOT of butter. I chose to leave out the crumble and bake this spectacular cake in a bundt shape, which also means that I reduced the amount of butter by 1 cup. I’ve also decided to add some sour cherries to the batter and top the baked cake with a generous load of rum sauce. Yes, it is as good as it sounds.
The technique of browning butter is pretty simple, you just need to be in close proximity to the pan as you stir the butter along and keep track of the browning process. Just like making caramel – the browner the butter gets, the deeper the flavor is going to be.
I’ve recently read an interesting article on Serious Eats from the ever so-talented Stella Parks of Brave Tart, about preventing fruits from sinking to the bottom of your baked good. Interesting enough, it turns out that coating the fruits with flour before mixing them into the batter is pretty much bullshit, as it doesn’t prevent them from sinking to the bottom. The way to minimize sinking is adding a layer of cake batter to the pan to cushion it, and then adding the remaining batter+fruits on top. Just to be on the safe side and guarantee an equal spread of cherries, I chose to spread each layer with cherries by myself and alternate it with the batter instead of just fold in the fruits and pour the rest of the batter at once.
Brown Butter & Cherries Bundt Cake
Adapted from Bon Appétit
- 1 cups plus / 2 sticks/24o g unsalted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste/ extract
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup sour cherries (frozen/fresh, pitted)
- Walnuts, for garnish (optional)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed 30 seconds in the microwave
- 2 tbsp butter (40 grams/1 oz)
Brown Butter: In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter and stir constantly until brown bits form (6-8 min). For deeper flavor, brown the butter a little longer just be careful not to burn the milk solids black. Strain to a clean bowl and set aside until the mixture reaches room temp.
Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a bundt pan generously. Sift the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an electric/stand mixer, beat remaining 1 cup browned butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and thick, 2–3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Stir in flour mix just until uniform.
Spoon 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with cherries and alternate until all of the ingredients are used. .
Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 45 min- 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of pan to release cake. Turn the cake upside down on a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
For the Rum Sauce
cook the sugar and water util the mixture reaches an amber color. Gradually add in the warmed cream and rum. cook until the mixture is uniform in texture. Remove from heat and let cool 20 min. Stir/blend in the butter. let cool so it thickens and reaches pourable yet not runny consistency.
Place the cake on a serving plate. Drizzle the Rum sauce on top, arrange the walnuts on top and powder with powdered sugar. This cake is perefctly scrumptious on its own but will also work spectascularously with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.