Friday, February 14, 2014

TASTE: Great pairing: Anna de Codorniu and Tribeca Treats inspired Vanilla Butter Cake

One of the sweet pleasures of my work is hosting parties and get-togethers.  As a part of that adventure is coming across lovely combinations of wines and delicious bites.  Right now, I am in the process of testing bites and sips for a Spring get-together and here are the lovely results.  So, naturally I have favorites and sure-fire winning combinations --- A Crisp, Clean Bubbly and Flavorful Cupcakes is one of those.

Here is a delicious paring that is perfect for your next girls-night-in or an impromptu tea party.

Anna de Codorniu Brut is a lovely Spanish Cava that is smooth, bubbly, crisp and clean in flavor but lightly floral, fragrant with citrus, sweet pineapple and background notes of vanilla.  It is frankly delicious and surprisingly affordable (Locally at HEB about $15).  It pairs really well with buttery cupcakes, smoked salmon blinis and a bowl of fresh strawberries and sliced mango squeezed with lime.

For this party, I am using a recipe found in and inspired by a find (pictured on the cover below) that I found at my local Half Price Bookstore.  Sweet Chic by the master chef at Tribeca Treats.  Super easy, rich with butter, fragrant with vanilla and a nice crumb.  It passed the kid test and the family test.  I'm sure it will be a hit at your house too.

Here is my recipe:
3 Large Room Temperature Eggs
1 cup organic sugar 
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
1.75 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

1) Put your eggs and sugar into your stand mixer.  Whip until pale yellow in color and ribbony gorgeous.  It takes about 3 minutes.  While that is whipping, put flour, salt, baking powder and soda in a small bowl. 

2) Add in the room temperature stick of butter and whip until well combined.

3) Slow down your mixer and add in half of the dry ingredients from the small bowl.  Add in half the milk. Mix until almost combined. Wipe down the edges of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything ends up in the mix. Add in vanilla. Repeat with the other half of the dry ingredients and milk.

4) Pour into a prepared (buttered and floured) 9 inch cake pan or into 12 -15 cupcake molds, depending on how much you put in the wrappers.

Bake for about 30 minutes until the center is set and the cake is golden and gorgeous.  Run a stick of butter evenly over the top of the cake while it is still hot. Slice thinly and serve alone or with a dollop of fresh whip cream and sliced berries, peaches or mango. 

Notes: To double the recipe, use 5 eggs, not 6.  Butter and eggs need to be at room temp so that your cake whips up beautifully.  I used Eggland's Best Eggs, Simple Truth Organic Cane Sugar, Challenge Butter and the best vanilla I can get my hands on.  The flavor was really nice, not too sweet and pairs really well with the bubbly. 

* Thanks to Anna de Codorniu for supplying Brut and Rose for review purposes.