Skillet Vanilla Cake with Nutty Praline Topping
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
85 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (use good quality)
3/4 cup buttermilk (I used laban up)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
a good pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 cup nuts of your choice ( I used a mix of pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds)
Preheat your oven to180C. Grease a 10″ oven safe (ie: cast iron) skillet, or a regular baking pan is just fine.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, with a stand or hand mixer, cream together the granulated sugar and butter until fully incorporated, about 3 minutes.
Add the egg and yolk, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between the two.
Beat in the vanilla.
Now, with the mixer on low, add half of the flour. Beat until just incorporated. Add the buttermilk, and beat again until just mixed. Finally, beat in the remaining flour until almost fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. If possible fold in the dry ingredients using a spatula. (You never want to overwork the flour.)
Pour/spoon the batter into your prepared skillet.
Smooth the batter into the pan evenly. Place the pan on a baking rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. (Start checking on it from 20 mins). Ovens vary so the timings would vary too. Keep a close eye. 30 – 40 mins should be enough.
For the Nutty Praline
Combine the brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a soft boil and let boil for 3 minutes. When its comes up to a full boil, simmer and pour in the cream. Stand back it might spit at you. Let it simmer for a couple more minutes and then toss in the nuts and vanilla. You may chop it if you like, I preferred to keep them whole.
Allow cooling for a little while before pouring on the cake.
I pricked a few holes in the cake with a toothpick and then poured the warm praline over the cake. I didn’t use up the whole praline, but it is up to you how you prefer.
Slice into large chunks and serve.
Let me know if you try it. I’d love to know 🙂
P.S. I made this cake for my family. My dad is not a fan of chocolate cakes, so this was a very simple, moist vanilla cake with a light crumb. We had it just a few hours of baking it. The rest is sitting in an airtight container at room temperature. Its a good cake for a small gathering of 6-8 people and not the creamy dense type cake. Hope you enjoy it just as us 🙂