Saturday, August 2, 2008
Irish Oatmeal Cake with Butterscotch Filling and Buttercream Frosting
When I was at the library last week I checked out Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts for a trial run since I've been considering buying it for a while now. The extensive and incredibly intriguing sections on cake, poundcake, puddings, and bar cookies will probably make me buy it, but at least this way I can try out some of the recipes before shelling out for the book.
The first thing I tried was the Irish Oatmeal Cake with Butterscotch Frosting. I was a little perplexed because the cake does not have any cinnamon or other spices in it which seemed odd for an oatmeal cake, but I figured the butterscotch frosting would give the cake most of the flavor. I thought that we were going to do fondant with the cake though so I used the butterscotch as a filling and covered it regular buttercream. Turns out we didn't do fondant, but oh well...
Frosting the cake was a royal pain in the ass. This has probably been the most crumbly cake I have ever dealt with. I couldn't get the frosting to stick to the cake at all, and the beautiful white frosting I made quickly turned into a crumbly mess. I managed to get a bit of a crumb coat down, then threw the whole mess in the fridge for 20 minutes. After that the rest of the frosting was a bit easier to deal with, but it was still pretty crumbly and probably could have stayed in the fridge a longer.
As for flavor -- this is probably the sweetest thing I have ever made. I warned Chris as I gave him the piece to try that I hoped he didn't like his teeth because one piece was likely enough to rot them out of his head. Holy crap it was sweet. Sadly, the cake by itself was "eh" on flavor. It had a nice texture from the oatmeal and it was moist and soft, but it didn't really taste like much at all.
The butterscotch was nice and buttery and sweet and went okay with the oatmeal cake, but if I make it again I will likely put it on a different cake. And if I make the oatmeal cake again I will definitely add some cinnamon and some nutmeg to kick up the flavor and highlight the oatmeal. The buttercream I used came from my Southern Cakes book and it made an already sweet dessert even sweeter. Chris liked it quite a lot and happily finished the entire piece I gave him, but a few bites was more than enough for me.
2 cups all purpose fl0ur
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
6 tbsps butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsps vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two 9x2 pans.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a blender whirl the oats to the consistency of corn meal. Stir into the flour mixture and set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the vanilla and buttermilk and add alternately with the flour mixture. Mix until well blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes and then turn out onto racks to cool completely.
For the frosting, melt the butter in the saucepan. Add the brown sugar and simmer on very low heat for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Don't cheat on the time -- the longer it cooks the smoother the frosting.)
Transfer the butter-brown sugar mixture to a bowl. With an electric mixer, beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Add the milk a little at a time until the frosting is smooth and creamy. While the frosting is still warm, fill and frost the cake.