Anyone who knows me already knows that I adore Alice Medrich. To me she is the ultimate dessert wizard. Her desserts are so decadent and sublime that they bring tears to my eyes. Not only are they delicious but incredibly beautiful to look at. I stare in wonderment at the pictures in her books and can’t help wonder how she does it. In 2012 Alice released her book “Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts”. A more apt title could never be found. These desserts are truly sinful to eat and incredibly easy to make. They are the recipes you go to when you are short on time and long on sweet tooth. This vanilla cake is one of my go to staples for those times. The recipe says that the cake is ready for the oven before it oven is preheated and it is true. The batter is made in the food processor and it literally takes 5 minutes to have it ready to go in the oven. It can be dressed up or down with any number of zests, nuts, fruits, liqueurs or extracts that you choose. I have gussied it up many times but most times I just bake it in a loaf pan and call it a day. Then snack on it whenever the mood strikes.
The buttercream is equally as easy, although it does take a bit of cooling time so I usually start it before I make the cake batter and by the time the cake is baked and cooled the buttercream is ready as well.
The batter is just flour, sugar, butter, eggs, cream and vanilla. All blended quickly in the processor, scraped into the pan and baked. The recipe makes a singe 8 inch round but I wanted something a bit fancier this time so I doubled it and made two layers although you can easily just torte the single layer.
The buttercream is cream and sugar with a bit of salt, heated until it foams and then boiled for 1 minute. Let the mixture cool until it is luke warm, then beat it over ice water until smooth, add the vanilla and butter and beat it until you get the desired consistency. I prefer it a bit on the stiff side so it doesn’t smooth out as much when spread on the cake but I willingly give up the smooth aesthetic for the stiffer texture. It just looks more homemade that way anyway.
Totally delicious no matter how you dress it.