Thursday, 2 May 2013

Thursday Treats - Brown Butter and Berry Crumble Cake

While I love kicking back with a huge slice of cake and a vat mug of tea as much as any other girl, I don't actually get around to baking cakes nearly enough.

Many of my favourite cakes (carrot, coffee and walnut, strawberries and cream, Pimms and lemon) require a good deal of icing, and a lot of decoration to make them look super pretty. This is all well and good but, quite honestly, I am often too lazy to bother...

I could blame it on having a baby, or I could even say that I don't have the right equipment, but I'd be lying. I have the laziest baby in the whole wide world, and I also have a kitchen full of palette knives, icing bags, pretty cookie cutters, and enough nozzles to shake a stick at.

Nigella, I ain't.

Given this sheer idleness, I am always, always on the lookout for delicious cakes which don't take too much effort, yet taste amazing.

Step forwards this scrumptious Brown Butter and Berry Crumble Cake, which I've adapted from the Ambitious Kitchen blog here.

If you haven't experimented with brown butter before, then put down your laptop or iPhone, and head to the kitchen NOW - I promise that you're in for a treat. It seems to give baked goods an extra depth and, boy, does it smell good! It has a distinctive nutty aroma which reminds me of freshly-baked pancakes. 

Anyway, beautifully moist and incredibly light, this cake is the perfect addition to a summer breakfast table. It tastes perfect when served with coffee, but I've also been enjoying it heated up with a large dollop of Greek yoghurt.

The crumbly topping has made it a firm favourite in my house, and I guarantee I will be making endless batches of this come summer!

Sam x



For the crumble topping:
60g butter, cut into small cubes
Large handful of oats (optional)
50g light brown sugar
40g plain flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the cake:
120g unsalted butter
210g flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
200g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
Half pint of milk
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
One pack frozen mixed berries, defrosted
2 tbsps flour, to coat the berries


1) Preheat the oven to 180C, then grease and line a brownie tin. Start making the topping by mixing together the flour, sugar and cinnamon (and oats, if using). Add the butter to the bowl, then rub it together with your fingers until it resembles a crumble. Leave to chill in the fridge.

2) To make the brown butter, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. The butter will start to foam, but keep whisking constantly. After a couple of minutes, the butter will start to brown on the bottom of the saucepan - keep whisking. This is important as you don't want it to burn! As soon as the whole liquid starts to turn brown (an amber colour) and gives off a pancake-like nutty aroma, remove from the heat and site aside to cool.

3) Meanwhile, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, egg and egg yolk, and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in the cooled brown butter, then slowly fold the brown butter and milk liquid into the flour.

4) Stir the tablespoons of flour into the berries, then gently fold the berries into the cake mix. Pour the batter into the pan, then scatter with the prepared crumble topping. Bake for 45-55minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Now, sit back and DEVOUR!!