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Author Notes: These little cakes were adapted from a recipe in the San Francisco Chef's Table cookbook, contributed by Perbacco Ristorante & Bar. This quartered recipe yields just three lush little buttermilk cakes, perfect for a small celebration. The honey caramel is quite runny--more like a sauce--but it's utterly delicious and the perfect accompaniment to the plush, lightly sweet cake! —Erika
Makes 3 mini cakes (or large cupcakes)
For the buttermilk cakes:
- 3/4 cup 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 tablespoon salt (yes, TABLESPOON)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- zest half a lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
For the honey caramel:
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
- 6 tablespoons good-quality honey
- 1/4 teaspoon corn syrup
- 1/4 tablespoon butter
- /18 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- berries, whipped cream, Greek yogurt or gelato, for serving
- To make the buttermilk cakes: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease three 7 oz. ramekins. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix until the batter looks smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in alternating additions, ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just smooth, but do not overbeat.
- Divide batter evenly between the three ramekins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake springs back under your finger and/or a tester comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from a pan.
- To make the honey caramel: In a microwave-safe bowl or measuring glass, whisk together 1 tablespoon heavy cream, honey and corn syrup. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave for another 20 seconds and repeat until mixture is slightly thickened. Whisk in the butter, vanilla and salt until the butter is melted. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of heavy cream until you reach the desired amount of runniness. You can also cook this on the stovetop instead of the microwave and add a little bit of cornstarch mixed with water to thicken up the sauce if you like.
- Level the cakes by slicing off the domed top if desired and serve with a dollop of whipped cream, Greek yogurt or gelato and berries. Spoon honey caramel over the top or serve alongside.