Today is National Margarita Day!! So earlier in the week, I planned to post margaritas today. A couple days ago I made some delicious grapefruit margaritas. Delicious but ugly. The recipe called for pink grapefruits, which I could not find at the store, so I used regular old grapefruits, and the pictures were so disappointing that I decided not to subject you to them. So instead, we will console ourselves with this cake.
I do not have adequate words for the utter scrumptuality that was this cake. This will for sure go on my Top Five Cakes of All Time List. Crazy good. The day I made it, I posted a pic on my personal Facebook page and made many people jealous. 🙂
The cake itself was so perfectly moist, with not a dry crumb to be found. Buttermilk is such a wonderful ingredient for baking. I’m sure as heck not going to drink it straight, but it’s a wonderful baking trick to have up one’s sleeve.
Then there was the praline topping. Oh my. I’ll take this over frosting any day (not that there’s anything wrong with a good frosting). It was sweet but not cloying and fabulously crunchy from the walnuts and balanced with the buttermilk-y tartness of the cake so perfectly.
I think I’ll stop talking here and just let the pictures tell the rest of the story. But please do not deprive yourself of this one. It was truly amazing.
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
6 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
Generous pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Place a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat to 375 F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until well incorporated and lighter in color, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk, beating for about a minute in between each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
Add half the flour mixture and beat it in. Add the buttermilk and continue to beat with the hand mixer until just incorporated. Then add the rest of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until almost all the flour has disappeared. Finish incorporating with a spatula. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
While the cake bakes, make the topping. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, cream, and salt over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a soft boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and walnuts. Stir.
Let the mixture sit in the pan for 20 minutes to firm up.
Assemble the cake. Remove the cake carefully to a cake plate. I would stick a couple pieces of parchment paper underneath the cake to catch praline run-off. Now pour the rested praline topping all over the cake. Serve immediately or at room temperature.