This cake is so good that I can't even talk about it.
OK, I'll talk about it so that you guys can feel the same way about it that I do.
You see that box of butterscotch chips in the picture below here? That box, full of 30 pounds of butterscotch chips, was given to me a few months back by my boss, who accidentally ordered much MUCH more than we needed at the bakery. In that time, I've been thinking of creative ways to use them. It takes a lot of brainstorming to use up 30 pounds of butterscotch chips. And, to be quite honest, nothing I've made has impressed me much . . . until now.
This cake has been dangerous. It has real vanilla bean, browned butter, and frosting that is so decadent it's easy to feel guilty eating it everyday. Not that I'd know . . .
As I share this recipe, I'm also happy to share the heaps and heaps of butterscotch chips that I still possess, so that you can save me from making and eating this cake right after I've just polished it off. You guys deserve to experience some cake-longing, too! It's nice to share :)
Browned Butter Vanilla Bean Cake with Butterscotch Frosting
makes one-6" 4-layer cake
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup whole milk
one vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (containing xanthan gum)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
for the frosting:
2 cups butterscotch chips
12 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two 6" round cake pans.*
Place butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Melt the butter and swirl the pan every so often, until the butter is lightly golden and smells nutty. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the milk and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer and heat five minutes more. Remove from heat and scrape vanilla bean seeds into the milk mixture. Discard the bean.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Remove from mixing bowl to a separate bowl and set aside. In the mixer, replace the whisk with the the paddle attachment. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and both sugars. Mix together on low speed just until combined. With the mixer running, slowly add the milk mixture and then the egg yolks.
Remove the bowl of the mixer and and add half of the whipped egg whites. Fold in gently. Add remaining egg whites and fold in just until combined. Divide batter between pans. Bake about 30 minutes, until the cake springs back when poked.
While the cake is baking, make the frosting: In a medium saucepan, stir together butterscotch chips and butter over medium heat. Continue stirring until the chips and butter are melted together. Move to a mixing bowl and add powdered sugar and salt all at once. With the paddle, combine mixture (it will look weird). Add heavy cream, as needed, until frosting comes together and is smooth. Cool to room temperature before frosting the cake. If need be, beat the frosting with the paddle just before icing the cake,
When the cake is cooled, remove from pan and freeze for at least an hour. Remove from freezer and split cakes in half lengthwise. Top each layer with butterscotch frosting and stack the cake layers. Frost the outside.
*you can bake this cake in two 9" round cake pans. Increase baking temperature to 350 degrees F and decrease baking time to 20-25 minutes. Do not cut cake layers in half.