Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Buttercrunch Almond Tea Cake


Now how's that for a cake for ya??

I'm a gadget woman, and very much so. Not that I have huge kitchen to actually accommodate all of the stuff, but I love having TONS of different things - like a collection of different cake tins - this Bundt one, a swirly one, cookie cutters, muffin pans, silicone moulds... I could go on! Guess cake tins are not really gadgets - they're necessities, aren't they?

Anyway, my current favorite is the aforementioned Bundt cake tin, also used for the blueberry adventure recently. It's funny how a lot of us think "who is reading this blog? Is anyone actually reading it?". Well, it turned out, that Lisa Yockelson, the author of Baking by Flavor, a FABULOUS book on baking, and a definite star in my cookbook collection read my entry on her Blueberry Tea Cake - and commented on it! Yowser! Someone is actually reading this!

So I thought I'd do another cake from her book, all in her honor. Who am I kidding, I needed cake!! The buttercrunch chapter had so far been left untouched, so that was what I dug into. Now, the one thing that troubled me about her reading the entry was of course - the copyright thing, as we've already discussed elsewhere. This time around, I'm gonna go with the "no-recipe-just-tempting-photos" and comments. Even though it might be legal to reproduce the ingredient list, my conscience just tells me it's not right - and this is actually a book you would want to own anyways! (And no, she did not promise to pay me anything for saying that!;-))

The Buttercrunch Almond Tea Cake is a really nice, fine-crumbed cake with PLENTY of - in my case - Daim chocolate! If you don't know Daim (the American equivalent would be Heath bars, which I don't know!) they look like this:




It's basically chocolate-covered caramel, which then melts into the batter and makes for crispy, chewy little specks in the batter - I tell you, yummy! The batter also contains a lot of spices, nutmeg, all-spice, and I really love how that enhances the taste and makes for a really nice cake in itself as well.



And it ended up like this:


It seems that even though I make sure to toss the chocolate with a bit of flour, they still end up in the bottom - any idea as to what else could be done to make them stay equally distributed in the cake? It was nice nevertheless...

Update!
LINK to the recipe - all legal matters aside, but seeing it's already out there, who would I be to deny you the pleasure?!?

One more UPDATE!
I was told the link didn't swork, so putting all shame aside, here it is:

THE Recipe!

10-inch Bundt pan
nonstick cooking spray for preparing the cake pan

Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsifted bleached cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
8 packages (1.4 ounces each) milk chocolate-covered toffee (Heath Milk Chocolate English Toffee Bar) chopped into 1/4 inch chunks
1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted and cooled
½ pound (16 tablespoons or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar, sieved if lumpy
4 large eggs
1½ teaspoons pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk blended with 1/4 cup light (table) cream
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling on top of the baked cake (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare the Bundt pan. Set aside.

Sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and allspice onto a sheet of waxed paper. In a medium-size mixing bowl, toss the chopped toffee and almonds with 1 tablespoon of the sifted mixture.
Cream the butter in the bowl of a freestanding mixer - moderate speed for 3-4 minutes. Add granulated sugar and beat for 2 minutes, add the light brown sugar and beat for a minute longer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Blend in the almond and vanilla extracts.
On low speed, alternatly add the sifted dry ingredients in three additions, with the milk-cream blend in two additions. Stir in the chopped toffee. Spoon the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.
Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour - until risen, set and a wooden pick inserted in the cake withdraws clean. Cool on a rack for 5-6 minutes, then invert onto another cooling rack. Let cool completely, and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Taken from Baking by Flavor by Lisa Yockelson

- also, I'll just let you know that soon there'll be a new volume out by miss Yockelson, called "Chocolate, Chocolate". Oh my. It's already on my wishlist!

10 comments:

{m} said...

hi zm-- thanks for the tip on this book! just browsing over it via amazon is making hungry--good book for the holiday baking marathons! and thanks to IKEA who sells us Daim. :)

Santos said...

gaaaah. i need cake. that cake. now.

Cathy said...

Hi Zarah Maria - your cake looks and sounds delicious! I have a couple other of Lisa Yokelson's books and you make this one sound quite tempting, so I'm going to have to give it a look-see and maybe add it to my collection! BTW - how wonderful that she read your blog and left you comments!

Linda said...

Gorgeous and totally delicious looking, as usual! You've just made me very disappointed in the dessert selection at my house. I don't have any sweets this tasty whipped up at the moment---I need to do something about that!

Emily said...

hey! i've made this as well. what a coincidence. :) it was reallyyy good! mmm. but i just don't get why it's called a tea cake. why is it meant for tea? and not coffee? but, i still ate it with coffee. yummy... and yea, i had that problem of sinking chocolate as well. :( oh well. no complaints. still tasty.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Lisa, the author of Baking by Flavor! The buttercrunch tea cake is referred to as a tea cake to indicate its style, more than referencing the fact that you would just serve it with tea--light, flavorful, and dreamy. I agree, it is also wonderful with coffee or as dessert at the end of a meal. From the beautiful image of the cake, it appears that some of the candy is, in fact in the middle. Pieces of candy need to be treated like chocolate chips--toss WELL in flour to coat all sides and be very thorough when stirring into the batter. Make sure that they are chopped as evenly as possible and dispersed completely.

Anonymous said...

Continued..need more space! Anyway, the pieces of candy
need to be mixed in well. The candy will form a random pattern. If some pieces sink a little, it is probably because they are larger (heavier) than others, so try to chop them into uniform little chunks. By the way, the Kitchen Sink Buttercrunch Bars are a favorite of so many people I know, both talented home bakers like all of you and professional pastry chefs. Try them some time. Again, thank you so much for all of the kind words about BAKING BY FLAVOR--Lisa (the author).

Anonymous said...

Hope I posted correctly?!? The cake looks wonderful! To prevent sinking candy, make sure to coat well in flour and cut into even pieces--no heavy, over-sized pieces; also, stir the candy well into the batter to disperse. It's called a tea cake because of its style--light, friendly, easy to cut-and-serve, but it is also delicious with coffee (YUM!). Too, try the Kitchen Skink Buttercrunch Bars--fantastic! I love reading about all of your baking pursuits, and appreciate your kind words about BAKING BY FLAVOR--Lisa.

Anonymous said...

I want to make this cake! Your photos are so tempting . . . . But your recipe link is incorrect. Would you mind fixing the link so your salivating readers can make this beauty? By the way, recipes are not protected by copyright in the U.S. (where the book was published). As far as any personal ethics, you are doing Lisa Yokelson giant publicity boost by posting her recipes in your blog, and, judging by the comments, making many more sales of her book.

Zarah Maria said...

Hi Anon! I'm sorry about the link, I'm a member of the board that I've linked to, so that's probably why it doesn't work for anyone! I've now updated the post so it's got the recipe with it - and thanks for letting me know about the copyright thing, I didn't know that!