Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Dutch Table: Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cake)

At a restaurant here in my area, they serve this amazing buttery cake called, of course, BUTTER CAKE.  This cake is so good, despite it's rather plain profile, that I have seriously considered calling the restaurant just to order cake for dinner.  I finally decided enough with the silliness, I needed to find a recipe.  Since this restaurant didn't seem to want to give its secrets away, I managed to find the closest thing, a Dutch version.  I have to tell you - this version is just as buttery and fantastic as the original, with the added delight of a ribbon of almond paste that bakes right in.

Note: Since this cake relies on the butter for most of its flavor, use the best butter you can buy.

Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cake)
Adapted from The Dutch Table blog

1 (7- or 8-ounce) package almond paste
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs, divided use
1 vanilla bean, or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into approximately 1-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Using a 9-inch round or an 8-inch square cake pan, press some plastic wrap into the pan, and then press the almond paste down into the bottom of the pan, forming a flat layer.  Lift the plastic wrap out of the pan, and wrap the edges around the top of the almond paste; set aside.  Butter the pan.

Mix the flour with the sugar, salt, one egg, and the seeds of the vanilla bean (or paste) in a food processor by pulsing several times. Add the cold butter, then pulse until the dough comes together. If the dough gets too sticky, wrap it in plastic film and refrigerate it briefly.

Divide the dough in half, and press one half in the pan.  Peel the plastic wrap off of the almond paste and lay the paste layer on top of the dough.  Cover with the second half of the dough, and make sure the top is even. Make a design by pressing with the tines of a fork.  Beat the second egg and brush the top of the cake with it, then bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it, and as soon as the sides begin to pull away and brown, it’s ready.

Let the cake totally cool before cutting it into narrow slices or squares.

Makes 16 servings

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