I adore vanilla beans— wrinkly, unassuming pods opening to reveal moist, fragrant MAGIC. I buy vanilla beans in a three-pack glass tube at Penzeys spices, a Wisconsin-based company known for their progressive politics and their delicious herb and spice blends. They stock an impressive array of baking spices and extracts, too (and you can shop online if you don’t live near a store). I was running low on vanilla beans after a recent experiment making homemade vanilla almond milk, so G and I traveled to our nearest Penzeys on Saturday to stock up.
Dorie’s simple cake is a perfect treat on these grey winter afternoons and evenings in the Great Lakes region. I’ve sampled slices with cups of tea and mugs of cafe au lait, and I prefer the tea pairing. A well-steeped early grey is the perfect accompaniment to these satisfying cake.
What I most loved about baking this cake: listening to the cheerful bubbling of the butter as it boiled and browned. Happy noises yielded a gorgeously nutty and fragrant butter.
I added a splash of amaretto, per Dorie’s suggestion, and while I can’t quite taste the distinctive flavor in the finished cake, I do sense a greater depth of flavor.
We have half a loaf left, just enough to last us through the rest of the work week.
Happy January, friends!
check out my fellow baking bloggers at Tuesdays With Dorie.