Brown Butter & Vanilla Weekend Cake – Bake of the Week

brown butter vanilla mini loaves

I’ve been a member of the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group off and on, for a couple of years now. I don’t have time to join in with every bake and sort of fell out of love with the last book we were working through. We are now on a new book though Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan and its chok-a-blok full of recipes I’m desperate to try.

This week’s bake (which was made and eaten on a Tuesday by the way!) caught my attention as it contains brown butter – I know its the ingredient of the moment but I’m fascinated by adapting recipes to include brown butter rather than normal.

To Brown Butter:
Place how ever much butter you need in a small saucepan and heat up on a medium heat.
I stir with a rubber spatula until the butter is melted.
Leave for about 4 minutes, swirling the pan around – The butter will be bubbling but you are looking out for it to fluff up.
After about 5 seconds of the butter becoming really fluffy, a brown spot will appear in the centre.
You will have sediment at the bottom of the pan, this is part of the brown butter mixture.
The difference between brown butter and black butter is just a couple of seconds, but miles apart in taste.

The Brown Butter & Vanilla Weekend Cake is basically an extra tasty madeira cake (Pound cake in the US) – The instructions say the flavour deepens if left for 24 hours before eating – Ha! As if! I did split the mixture into a large loaf and mini loaves which were super cute.

Brown Butter Vanilla Weekend cake dorie greenspan

My highlighted Bake of the Week from last week’s entries are Pear & Vanilla Pies from Blue Kitchen Bakes – I just love sweet almond pastry and these look delightful. I know how hard it is to make Pear pies and not end up with a soggy pastry so fair play to you!

pear vanilla pies

I’m also highlighting Family-Friends-Food’s Mincemeat & Apple Shortcake Slices as I think the flavour combinations used here will taste incredible!


A warm welcome to our new members of Bake of the Week and a big thank you to everyone who has returned once again – Great to have you baking along!

bake of the week baking linky

1. Darling little GF Polenta & Almond cupcakes from Alida at My Little italian Kitchen
2. My kids would devour these healthy digestive biscuits with tons of butter! Tales from the Kitchen Shed
3. Ever wanted to know how you get shapes inside our cupcakes? Visit A Strong Coffee for her tutorial
4. Super cute Olaf Biscuits that capture how cheeky he is from Searching for Spice
5. Beautiful colours from Winnie’s Blog with her Nut, Almonds & Dried Fruit Tart
6. Bet you didn’t expect these Pack-a-punch muffins to contain sardines? Fascinating bake from the Free From Fairy
7. Memories of childhood from Snap Happy Bakes with her Cheese Scones
8. How cute are these Heart Pies with sprinkles from Winnie’s Blog?
9. Magnificent Chocolate & Raspberry cake suitable for a special occasion from More Than An Occasional Baker
10. And beautiful whoopie pies with lovely piping from ET Speaks From Home

We are now open for you to add your next bakes – remember to try to visit a couple of other entries too and add the badge to your post

Casa Costello
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I’ll be back with another round up next Tuesday (or possibly Wednesday!) – In the meantime, don’t forget you can still add your #FoodieFriday entries that don’t fit in with this baking one until tomorrow. There’s no theme. Click here for info.

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Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia – White Loaves

There’s a new baking group in town across the world and it start today. Old readers of mine may remember years ago that I used to join in with the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group. I learnt loads from the few recipes that I joined in with but business and babies meant that I couldn’t keep involved every week.

We are starting afresh with a new book – Baking with Julia and we have a new recipe to follow every 2 weeks. I’m going to do my best to stick with this one – there are loads of recipes in the book that I’d like to crack. Some of them seem complicated, some of them a real challenge but all of them look yummy (and a teeny bit fattening too!)

Our first challenge seemed like a nice introduction – White Loaves … until I remembered I have NO luck baking bread. I don’t own a bread machine but think after this attempt I need to acquire one.

The bread smells and tastes lovely but is as heavy as a wet house brick – It did improve a LOT with toasting and lashings of butter (I seem to have gone all Enid Blyton) but I’ve got a long way to go before the Warburton family are quaking with fear. I have no idea why my bread always turns out so heavy – I followed the instructions to the letter, kneading for a full 10 mins and allowing to prove twice. Any ideas?

We have agreed not to post the recipes but to link up to whoever is hosting that week so click here if you fancy making a better effort than me.

In My Kitchen – January 2012

Cake of the week is taking a week off due to basically not having any time to make any cakes this week. I thought I’d use the opportunity to join in with the In My Kitchen Link Up run by Fig Jam and Lime Cordial which is a lovely blog that I’ve recently discovered. On the first of each month Celia shows us what she has going on and plans to do for the next month and invites us to do the same.

Our New Year’s Resolution of getting the children to eat new food and us all to eat more homecooked food is going really well. Tonight we had duck wraps in Chinese leaves with pomegranate and hoisin sauce. After the initial discussion about eating dead ducks (Violet) and not liking lettuce (Millie) we dove in – and very successful it was too. The duck was a whole duck, ready seasoned with sea salt and pepper – I think next time we will try to experiment a bit more with some spices to try for that authentic crispy duck flavour.

We are drinking Yorkshire Tea at the moment. Long long ago when I was a checkout operator at Morrisons the one thing that used to make me die of thirst was scanning boxes of Yorkshire Tea. The boxes haven’t got any fancy sophisticated packaging but there was just something about them that made me long for a brew. And today I finally bought some!

In the cupboard there is a huge box of Cadbury’s Creme Eggs. I’m getting ready for launching the Valentines homemade gifts that I will be selling this year. This will be the week that I’m going to get some made! And I’ll try not to eat too many Creme Eggs as I’m doing them 😉

My kitchen smells absolutely wonderful due to the St Eval Bay & Rosemary candle that I got for Christmas. I’d forgotten how relaxed a burning candle makes me and how much I love the smell of a scented candle. I can feel ANOTHER obsession coming on.

In the oven as I type is tomorrow’s tea – Gammon with Honey and Maple Syrup. I didn’t realise quite how big this beast was when I bought it – Feel free to come along, I’m sure there’s enough for everyone!

And of course, there are some new books for me to work through. Every time I try a new recipe I always make a little note on a post it next to the recipe. I love to think of the girls reading through these when I’m gone and thinking ‘Thanks Mum for the info!’

I’ve bought the Baking with Julia book myself – I fully intend on baking along with the Tuesdays with Dorie gang this time as they work their way through the Baking with Julia book. There’s some massive challenges in this book for me so expect a rollercoaster along the way!

I’d heard great things about the Leon Baking book so was really pleased to receive it for Christmas along with the Cookie book – The girls are delighted to see a book that promises 50 different cookies – I think they think I’m going to bake them all at once!

And so that’s my kitchen for January. Hopefully by February there will be lots more finished articles to show. For now, why not check out a few of the other kitchen in Celia’s link up – that’s where I’m going now!