- Read the entire recipe before starting! Sounds simple, but most of us often skip this part, only to find midway through that we don’t have an ingredient, or a tool, or we make assumptions about the process only to find out we made an irreparable mistake. This is especially true in baking, where method makes the difference between a fluffy cake and a dense, under-cooked one.
- To have the best and most consistent results, always weigh your ingredients, in grams. That is how the professional pâtissiers do it!
- Make sure all your ingredients and tools are at room temperature for the traditional cake mixing method used here.
- Use the best natural ingredients you can get; it will make a notable difference. Always use pure butter for both the cake and the icing.
- Get ready before you start by doing a “mise en place” (“to put in place”): this is the process of taking out your ingredients, washing when needed, cutting, measure ALL your ingredients. Do this first, for all your recipes, whether in cooking or baking. By doing so, you will make sure you have everything you need, and you won’t over cook something because the next ingredient is not ready.
- To divide the dough equally between your pans, place one pan on your scale and zero it. Pour what looks like half your dough in this pan. Repeat with the other pan and adjust if needed.
- To even out the dough in the pan, lightly run and offset spatula on top (or a silicone scraper). Be sure not the press down to not deflate your dough. To have a more even baked cake, create a bit of a depression in the middle of the pan, having a bit more dough on the sides. The middle of the baked cake is usually higher than the sides as it takes longer to bake, and therefore has time to rise properly.
- If you are icing your cake, make sure they are both flat by cutting the dome with a serrated knife once they are completely cooled. Spread a very thin crumb layer on the cake; rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or so, then finish icing the cake. This way, you will not have little pieces of crumb showing through the icing.
- Cakes are always best when they have matured at least overnight either on your counter or in the freezer. This cake doesn’t like the refrigerator.
- Always serve your cake at room temperature so you may enjoy its true flavours and texture!
Digital scale (weight in grams)
Two 9”x1.5” round cake pans, or two 8”x1.5” round cake pans, or two 8” square pans
Bowls for mise en place
Fine sifter (you can use a flour sifter (see dropbox/blog posts for picture) and save time in step 1)
Electric mixer with beaters or paddle
Bowl for electric mixer
Small offset spatula (optional)
Note: If you are baking at high altitude, you might want to adjust the baking powder by decreasing it to 7 grams. You can also reduce the sugar to 285 grams to account for the altitude, or if you prefer a slightly less sweet cake.
Mise en place
- Place a rack in the middle position of the oven. Turn on oven at moderate temperature, 177°C (350°F).
- Line the bottom of your pans with parchment paper (no need to butter or flour the pans).
- Scale all your ingredients in separate bowls or containers.
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt; sift 3 times. (it is important to sift the 3 times; if using a flour sifter, only once will do)
- Cream butter on medium-high speed, using the beaters or paddle attachment of the electric mixer, until light and pale.
- Gradually add sugar to butter, on same speed; beat to fluffy, about 2 minutes total.
- Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition; do not over beat the butter and egg mixture.
- Add flour in 3 stages, alternating with milk in between (2 additions of milk), until flour is just incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Add vanilla, blend until incorporated; do not overmix.
- Divide the dough equally between the two molds, using silicone scraper to get it all from the bowl; with a light touch, using the small offset spatula or the silicone scraper, even out the dough in the pans.
- Bake on the middle rack of oven, around 25 minutes.
- Insert a toothpick or the tip of a digital food thermometer in the center of the cakes; they will be done the toothpick comes out clean (i.e. no wet dough, but it may come out with a baked crumb or two, which is fine). The edges of the cakes should have completely pulled off the sides of the pans.
- Leaving the cakes in the pans, let cool 10 minutes.
- Run a small paring knife gently around the edges of the cakes if they have not pulled away from the sides of the pans but the toothpick test is successful.
- Invert the cakes onto the cooling racks by placing one rack on top one pan and flipping them over while holding both.
- Cool completely before icing with your favourite icing recipe.
Enjoy your homemade le fournil Butter Cake!