3.12.2012

st. louis gooey butter cake

prep time:  tbd
cook time:  40 - 45 minutes
servings:  16 - 20

topping ingredients:
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
12 tablespoons unsalted butter - at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 cup + 3 tablespoon flour
confectioners' sugar

cake ingredients:
3 tablespoons milk - at room temperature
1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 tablespoons unsalted butter - at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 3/4 cup flour

topping steps (make once cake has risen):
1. in a small bowl, mix corn syrup with 2 tablespoons water and vanilla. using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, 5 - 7 minutes. scrape down sides of bowl and beat in the egg. alternately add flour and corn syrup mixture, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition.

cake steps:
1.  in a small bowl, mix milk with 2 tablespoons warm water.  add yeast and whisk gently until it dissolves.  mixture should foam slightly.

2.  using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and salt.  scrape down sides of bowl and beat in the egg.  alternately add flour and the milk mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.  beat dough on medium speed until it forms a smooth mass and pulls away from sides of bowl, 7 - 10 minutes.

3.  press dough into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking dish at least 2 inches deep.  cover dish with plastic wrap or clean tea towel, put in a warm place, and allow to rise until doubled; 2 1/2 - 3 hours.

4.  heat oven to 350 degrees.  spoon topping in large dollops over risen cake and use a spatula to gently spread it in an even layer.  bake for 40 - 45 minutes; cake with rise and fall in waves and have a golden brown top, but will still be liquid in the center when done.  allow to cool in pan before sprinkling with confectioners' sugar for serving.

- new york times, october 2009

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