Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mastros' Butter Cake

Butter cake is an amazing thing. I ran into a recipe for this really yummy dessert from this really great steakhouse called Mastros. Naturally, I had to make it. I warn you, this is NOT for the lighthearted. Actually, this really isn't for anyone. No one should really, ever, eat this. But it tastes really good.

I decided to make cupcakes instead of a full cake for three reasons. The first is that I didn't have the right sized cake pans (they're miniature cake pans, probably around 5"-6" in diameter). The second was that It'd give me opportunity to play around with the final product without potentially ruining the entire batch. The third was that it allowed me to cut the recipe in half. I mainly wanted to do this because I couldn't get myself to knowingly use 4 sticks of butter in one recipe. 4 sticks. Process that one for a minute.

The recipe is actually fairly simple. I actually found a different recipe (as usual, when I want to make something I check for a few different recipes to compare), which was even more simplistic. I went with this one since there was a single comment on the other recipe stating that it was almost the same, but missing the appropriate texture to the top to the cake (if that makes any sense to anyone else, that'd be amazing). This recipe had a "cream cheese layer" on top, so I thought maybe that would help. In the end, I kind of wish I had tried the other recipe. The cream cheese layer was like the top layer of a cheesecake (looking back, I don't know why I didn't realize that when I read the recipe), and was very sticky. I ended up slicing off the layer and trying something to mimic this top texture that was mentioned, but it didn't turn out quite like I had hoped. The cakes also rose, which was not what I was hoping for. It is supposed to be a flat, fairly dense cake. And again, crumbly rather than cake-y and fluffy/spongy.

I also think that I need to try an actual cake pan vs. the cupcake tin. The cake came out alright, but lacked the appropriate texture on the inside. The texture of the actual cake is very crumbly. I'm not sure if something was lacking in the recipe, or if it was the cupcak-iness that prevented the appropriate texture to form. The center of the cupcake seemed almost right. However, the rest of the cupcake had too much surface area that baked/browned. This meant the "center" of the cake seemed to be a very small volume of the overall cupcake. Again, if that made sense to anyone else, that'd be amazing. In easier terms, the very center of the cupcake (maybe about the size of a dime) was the only part that was crumbly like the actual cake.

Overall, this needs some rework. For one, I don't think the cream cheese layer adds anything. It just made the top very sticky and kind of annoying to deal with. I ended up cutting to tops off. The cakes also rose -- another reason why I cut the tops off, to flatten them so I could turn them over properly. I will need to update this with a second attempt in the near future.

Cake Batter

Cream Cheese Layer

Dividing the Batter

Adding the Cream Cheese Layer

After Baking

Topping Added -- Before Broiling
Mastros' Butter Cake
Difficulty: Medium

Cake Batter:
2 C Butter, room temp
4oz Cream Cheese, room temp
2 1/4 C Sugar
2 Large Eggs, room temp
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 C Flour
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Layer:
4 oz cream Cheese, room temperature
1 Egg, room temperature
1/3 C Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

2 Tbsp Butter, melted
2 Tbsp Sugar (too much!)
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Food processor
Electric Hand Mixer
Cake pan/cupcake tins


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
(Prepare the cake batter)
2. Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar in the food processor for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add eggs 1 at a time. Beat on low for 20 seconds after each egg is added.
4. Add flour and salt. Beat until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix.
5. Set aside.

(Prepare the cream cheese topping)
6. Whip together cream cheese and sugar.
7. Add egg and vanilla extract.
8. Scoop/pour the cake batter into your baking pan of choice.
9. Add a layer of the cream cheese topping.
10. Bake (time is dependent on what baking pan you choose. The cupcakes took about 25-30min. The 5-6" cake pan is supposed to take 60-75min according to the original recipe). They are done when the tops are brown and if a toothpick comes out clean.
11. Let cool. Once cool to the touch, remove from the baking pan.

(Prepare the topping)
11. Melt the butter and mix in the sugar and vanilla.
12. Turn the cake(s) upside down and brush the tops with the mixture.
13. Broil until sugar begins to crystallize. Keep a close eye so the cake does not burn. (Note: a blow torch is recommended in the original recipe instead of a broiler)


rogerlie said...

i thought you were going to do macaroons next

Anonymous said...

These are in the oven now! Full report soon!

Anonymous said...

The way to get the texture right is to mix by hand instead of with a cake mixer... Also baked in a souffle dish instead of a cake pan, but not sure if that helped.

Anonymous said...

You need to gain more understanding of flours. All purpose flour has about 13% gluten, which will raise the most. Cake flour has about 8-9% gluten and pastry flour has the least gluten 5 to 6.5% gluten.
Try playing around with flours first, then play around with mixing. Just a tip.