Well, there’s a monster of a title for this dessert… but each component is so important that I just couldn’t leave any of them out!
Now that summer is drawing to a close I’ve been trying to take advantage of summer fruits as much as possible, so when I had occasion to make dessert for a crowd I decided to center it on fresh peaches, which looked great at the market and were just squeezably ripe (but sadly did not live up to their promise flavor-wise). Since one of my favorite uses of fresh fruit is to spoon it over an otherwise basic cake, I found a recipe that was only slightly fancied-up with brown butter, and pulled out my Gothic bundt pan to make it look extra pretty. For once, the cake unmolded perfectly (see tips below) and the brown butter added some nice depth of flavor. I could have stopped there, of course, but once I tasted the peaches I knew I’d need something more.
Enter this tasty butterscotch sauce, which I got from David Lebovitz. If you recall, I’ve had previous experience trying to improve mediocre peaches with butterscotch sauce, so I knew it would help. Add a softly whipped topping made from heavy cream and sour cream, and the extra sweetness and tanginess did a lot to make this dessert a success, despite the disappointing peaches.
Would I make this again? Definitely, though I’d ensure I had quality fruit next time. Peaches, nectarines, sauteed apples would all work well with this ensemble. Omit the butterscotch sauce and strawberries would be excellent as well.
Brown Butter Bundt Cake (adapted from Baking Bites)
6 oz. butter
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan and continue to cook over medium-high heat, swirling frequently, until milk solids turn deep golden brown. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
3. In the meantime, mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat eggs and sugar until very pale and fluffy.
5. Add vanilla, sour cream, and oil, and mix until smooth.
6. Stir in flour mixture until no streaks remain.
7. Finally, add cooled brown butter and whisk until thick and smooth.
8. Pour into a greased pan* and bake for about an hour, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a rack.
* Since I was using a detailed Gothic-style bundt pan, I tried out a tip I saw online that recommended brushing the pan with melted shortening and then dusting the inside with almond flour. Apparently shortening is better than butter, since butter has milk solids that can stick to a pain. Almond flour doesn’t form a weird paste on the outside of the cake like regular flour does, and doesn’t get as sticky and cement-like as granulated sugar (another popular option) can. The cake was a little bit stubborn at first but released cleanly, which is difficult with this particular pan!
Butterscotch Sauce (from David Lebovitz)
(makes a little over 8 oz)
4 tbs. (55g) butter
1 cup (180g) brown sugar
10 tbs (150ml) heavy cream, divided
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Salt to taste
1. In a skillet or wide-bottomed saucepan, melt butter, sugar, and 4 tbs. of the heavy cream. Stir until smooth and let it bubble at a simmer for 3 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and add the rest of the cream. Let cool for a few minutes, then add vanilla and salt to taste. Serve warm.
Whipped Sour Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Whip the whipping cream and vanilla into soft peaks.
2. Add powdered sugar and sour cream and continue to whip until it firms up.
To assemble, slice cake and top with sliced fresh peaches. Drizzle butterscotch sauce and top with a dollop of whipped sour cream!